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Thursday 16th September 2021

A Day Trip To Lundy Island

There are such a fantastic range of places to visit and explore in North Devon. A day out at Lundy Island is simply one of the best and comes highly recommended. Especially if you're looking for a soul-reviving retreat from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

The tranquil landscape is situated in the Bristol Channel and offers 3 miles of unspoilt coastal scenery and wildlife. There are convenient ferry links via Ilfracombe which are easy to access from our North Devon holiday cottages, near Woolacombe.

Here are just some of the reasons to visit Lundy Island on your North Devon adventure...

Lundy history

If you like visiting places in the UK with a rich and varied past, you'll love discovering more about Lundy's fascinating history. The island is full of tales of changing ownership that date back an estimated 3000 years.

For a long period the island was thought to be used as a base for pirates before its modern history phase which started in 1834. Following this significant date, the changing hands marked the beginning of how we know Lundy today with beach road, church and interesting buildings.

The name Lundy (meaning Puffin) was thought to be attributed to the island by vikings in the 9th century AD. Lundy Island is now owned by the National Trust and lovingly maintained by the Landmark Trust.

Lundy Island

A walker's paradise

Despite being a small island there is plenty see a walk around Lundy. On your travels you'll spot caves and coastal views as well as the highest lighthouse in the country and a Victorian quarry. Make sure you remember to pack your binoculars for a day of great exploration and discovery.

The rugged landscape offers a walker's paradise with many opportunities to spot rare seabirds and wildlife. Spring and autumn are considered the best times for birdwatchers with many species migrating to the island in these times. There is an excellent blog on birds of Lundy to follow the very latest bird sightings and news.

Lundy Island coastline

Things to do on Lundy Island

It's not just walks that provide things to do on the island. There's also opportunities for diving, rock climbing and fishing. The friendly and knowledgeable wardens lead events such as rockpool guides, snorkel safaris and talks.

There are a number of listed buildings and ancient monuments dotted around the island to visit. These unusual landmarks include a 13th century castle, a magnificent villa that dates back to Georgian times and the old lighthouse. There is also one pub on the island, the Marisco Tavern which serves as both a pub and restaurant. A general store is situated on the island providing well-stocked goods including souvenirs and letterboxing packs.

Letterboxing is a popular activity completely unique to Lundy. Essentially, it's a treasure trail consisting of 27 hidden boxes to find around the island. A great challenge to find all the rubber stamps and one that the kids will love to try out. Please be aware that it may take more than one visit to complete fully and that great care should always be taken accessing remote parts of the island.

Lundy lighthouse

Getting to Lundy Island

In summer, visitors reach Lundy by boat from Bideford or Ilfracombe, and in winter by helicopter from Hartland Point. Lundy’s own ferry, the German-built MS Oldenburg sails at least three times a week and the crossing takes about 2 hours each way. This is a an experience in itself where you can admire the original features of the vessel, as well as enjoy the bar and buffet. In good weather venture out on the deck to soak up the views and hopefully spot some dolphins!

MS Oldenburg

A typical day visit provides 4 to 6 hours of quality time to explore the island. From Willingcott Valley it takes around 10 minutes to drive to Ilfracombe.

Visit the The Landmark Trust website for more information.


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