Lundy Island, North Devon
If you get the chance when you’re on your large group holidays in Devon, make time for a visit to Lundy Island because this is such a unique place it would be shame to miss it, especially if you appreciate beautiful scenery, peace and quiet, and nature.
Lundy Island is a granite outcrop in the Bristol Channel, 12 miles from the North Devon Coast. It’s been inhabited for over 3,000 years and in its time has seen Bronze and Iron Age settlements, been invaded by Vikings, a base for pirates, and a hideaway for disgraced nobility. Now that’s what you call a rich and varied history. These days it’s all a lot more peaceful, although the locals would probably disagree in the peak season when tourists come over from Bideford and Ilfracombe on the boats and the majority of them flock to the only shop and pub on the island. If you take yourself away from that hub and go off and explore you can find a secluded spot and settle down with the binoculars to look out for seals and puffins – the name Lundy comes from Lund-ey, meaning puffin island in Norse.
The island is only three miles long and no more than half a mile wide so there are no roads and no cars – living here must be a dream. Guided walks are run throughout the year, including rockpool rambles, and the kids can have fun trying to find the Lundy Bunny on the letterboxing trail. If you’ve got the gear you can go fishing or snorkelling – if you’re very, very lucky you might get the chance to swim with seals. It’s a time to slow down, to drop the pace and be mindful because for most of us, this sort of thing is a rarity.
Catch MS Oldenburg from Ilfracombe or Bideford to Lundy Island, bearing in mind that you need to be ready to board 45 minutes before departure. There’s a bar, buffet and gift shop on board and if there’s one thing you should keep an eye out for it’s the dolphins who like to follow the boat, an absolute joy to see.
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All information correct at the time of writing