A day trip to Lundy Island is an absolute must for your next North Devon holiday and here’s why!

At just 3 miles long and just over half a mile wide, as far as islands are concerned Lundy is on the petite side. However, what it lacks in acreage it more than makes up for in beauty and scenery, with cliffs, beaches, coastline, rockpools, a castle and a lighthouse to explore.

Puffins and pirates

A trip to Lundy Island is the closest thing you can have to your very own pirate adventure. You’ll take to the sea in an old ship, alight on a former smugglers’ haunt…and discover treasure (though maybe not the sort you’re thinking of). It’s a truly unique experience and one that will treat you to a priceless haul of nature-infused beauty with some wonderful memories to take home too.

Lundy Island is one of North Devon’s most fascinating natural landmarks. A must-visit attraction for anyone who loves nature, the coast, and adventure, here you’ll find a fascinating range of eco systems, landscape, flora and fauna. Lundy Island means Puffin Island and besides its winged residents, historically this small rocky habitat has had some other rather interesting past inhabitants. Dating way way back, there are records of Bronze Age communities living here as well as religious hermit. It’s even been a hangout for pirates and smugglers escaping the long arm of the law!

Nature’s refuge

Nowadays it’s a nature reserve and a very special place. Wildlife of all ilk including sea and land birds like Puffins and Manx Shearwaters, several deer varieties, rock wallabies, squirrels, butterflies and more, call this place home. Lundy boasts 330 different species of flowering plants, six of which are nationally scarce including the Lundy Cabbage which only grows on the island and is protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act.


Activities on Lundy Island

There’s so much to see and do here that the hours will fly by. Delve into the island’s past with a wander through its ancient castle. Learn about the lighthouse which stands proudly on the headland and uses new and fascinating technology to guide ships safely past its rocky shores and shallows. Take a break at Lundy’s only pub which never closes, The Marisco Tavern, and enjoy a bite to eat before setting off to enjoy one of these brilliant activities.

The Lundy Letterboxes

This ‘treasure trail’ is one of the best ways to see all of the island, with 27 hidden boxes, each containing a unique rubber stamp, to be found. Follow clues to locate and collect the stamps, including the elusive ‘Lundy Bunny.’ Packs with clues can be purchased from the shop, with compasses available for hire.

This activity is suitable for both adults and children, however due to the nature of the landscape it is advised that children are closely supervised. Many visitors return annually to undertake this quest, exploring hidden corners of the island. A simplified Letterbox sheet is available for day visitors, focusing on boxes nearer to the South end of the island and the village, with updates on the trail provided by the shop to minimize impacts on Scheduled Monuments.

Rockpool Rambles

Visitors can embark on a warden-led journey to uncover the hidden treasures of Devil’s Kitchen rockpools during the Rockpool Rambles. Discover a vibrant marine ecosystem teeming with gem anemones, clingfish, cushion stars, and more. Rockpool guides are provided for free to aid your exploration, with no booking necessary, although the activity is weather and tide dependent.

Snorkel Safari

Dive into the mesmerising underwater world of Lundy with the Snorkel Safari event program. Led by experienced guides, you’ll get to explore the diverse marine life of the Landing Bay, encountering creatures like spider crabs, ballan wrasse, and anemones. Each session lasts an hour, including time for gear preparation and a pre-snorkel briefing. Suitable for all levels, equipment is provided for hire.

Guided Walks

Immerse yourself in the rich history and natural beauty of Lundy through Guided Walks. Led by the Warden, these walks offer insights into the island’s seabird colonies, including a visit to Jenny’s Cove during the breeding season to witness Lundy’s famous puffins. Walks are held year-round, with routes tailored to the season and weather conditions, and no booking is required.

Getting there

To get there, you’ll need to hop on the motorised *MS Oldenberg ferry which sails from either Bideford or Ilfracombe, depending on the tides.. It’s a 3-hour journey across the Bristol Channel which can get choppy, however the journey is well worth it and you may even spot dolphins and seals along the way!

For those who don’t have the patience or the sea legs for a lengthy boat trip, a helicopter service is also available. It departs from Hartland Point and the journey to the island takes 17 minutes, or you can choose to fly one way and sail the other.

*The MS Oldenberg ferry operates 26 March – 25 October while helicopter charters still operate during certain weeks in the winter

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