See puffins, breathtaking views and more on Lundy Island in Devon

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Sitting quietly in the middle of the Bristol Channel threshold is Lundy Island. Although in terms of distance Lundy is not far from the busiest parts of the UK, it couldn’t be further apart.

With little or no access to modern technological conveniences and even limited access to electricity, Lundy is also a place to truly get away from it all.

Now a protected wildlife sanctuary, Lundy’s stunning coastline remains untouched, beautiful and open to exploration. With puffins, a variety of other bird species, grazing Sika deer and Soay sheep, and even Atlantic gray seals floating in the surf, Lundy Island is a place to escape the anxiety of the modern world.


Lundy Island in Devon

Owned by the National Trust and managed by the Land Mark Trust since 1969, Lundy is preserved where the Bristol Channel opens to the Atlantic. With a checkered history of use for smuggling and piracy, there are still remnants of fortifications and batteries on the island.

However, for the past half century, Lundy has been a mere place and haven for wildlife. Travelers to the island can enjoy modest but comfortable accommodation and separation from the digitally connected world of the mainland.

Walks along coastal cliffs, vistas from humble vantage points and sweeping views of the night sky make Lundy a magical destination. Accessible by ferry, Lundy is an excellent destination for a day trip and an extended stay.

What to do?

Tour the island on foot

Just three miles long and half a mile wide, Lundy is an easy destination to explore on foot. Tour the buildings and landmarks of the island while catching a glimpse of the wildlife that also call it home.

Related: Hiking the Scottish Highlands: A Beginner’s Guide to Trails

Discover Lundy’s wildlife

Lundy’s isolation has led some to compare it to the Galápagos. With many unique creatures living on the island such as pygmy shrews and pipistrelle bats. Over time many were introduced such as rabbits, Sika deer, Soay sheep, goats, ponies, Highland cattle, Gloucester Old Spot pigs and domestic sheep.

The island’s bird species are also huge draws, especially the puffins which nest on the island from April to July. These incredible birds can be found on the island all year round, but they are more prevalent during this time.


Another species worth noting are the Atlantic gray seals that live along the coast of the island. They can be seen almost anywhere along the island, either resting on rocks or shaking their heads out of the water. If you would like to see their puppies, they are born every year between September and November.

  • 5 Day Wildlife Tour – Naturetrek, Lundy in Summer, “A 5-day trip to explore the tranquil charm and natural history of Lundy with island expert Andrew Cleave.”
  • 6 hour wildlife tour – Bluefin, 6hr Lundy Wildlife Sightseeing Trip, “1 hour wildlife tour of Lundy Island to see dolphins, porpoises, lots of seals and puffins, gannets, razorbills, guillemots , etc., as well as incredibly spectacular island scenery.”


Stargazing in Lundy

Lundy is a designated Dark Sky Discovery Site. This means that all electricity on the island is cut off at midnight, allowing a pure and clear view of the night sky. There are many points on the island that are perfect for observing the night sky, and with the electricity completely out, you don’t even have to try to get away from the few concentrations of buildings on the island.

Diving and snorkeling

With such a vast and vibrant coastline, Lundy is a great destination to dive beneath the waves and experience marine life up close and in person. Lundy has also been the site of many shipwrecks which have left many interesting sunken ships under the waves to explore.


Related: Bucket-List Trip: Two Week Road Trip Around Ireland

Where to rest?

Marisco Tavern

As Lundy’s only pub, Marisco Tavern holds special significance to the community here. It never closes, although it still has to follow the rules about when alcohol is allowed to be served. He does, however, have permission to run the electricity after all the other generators on the island have stopped. It’s the only place on Lundy that can do that.

  • Address – Lundy EX39 2EY, UK
  • Contact – +441237431831
  • Cost -$-$$

Lodging

With various small accommodations scattered throughout the island and the availability of which constantly changes. They range from small houses and cabins to historic places. It’s best to check and see what’s available at the time of your trip, so you can find out what will work best for you. The Land Mark Trust maintains a list of these properties with costs and details, so you can find what is best for you.


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