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Map of Lundy with inset maps of British Isles and Bristol Channel
Site of Special Scientific Interest
Area of Search Devon
Grid Reference SS135460
Interest Biological
Area 445 hectares (1.72 sq mi)[1][2]
Notification 1987
Location Map English Nature

Lundy is the largest island in the Bristol Channel, lying 12 miles (19 km) off the coast of Devon, England, approximately one third of the distance across the channel between England and Wales. It measures about 3 miles (5 km) by 0.75 miles (1.2 km). Lundy gives its name to a British sea area and is one of the islands of England.

As of 2007, there was a resident population of 28 people, including volunteers. These include a warden, island manager, and farmer, as well as bar and house-keeping staff. Most live in and around the village at the south of the island. Most visitors are day-trippers, although there are 23 holiday properties and a camp site for staying visitors, mostly also around the south of the island.

In a 2005 opinion poll of Radio Times readers, Lundy was named as Britain's tenth greatest natural wonder. The entire island has been designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest[3] and it was England's first statutory Marine Nature Reserve, and the first Marine Conservation Zone[4] , because of its unique flora and fauna. It is managed by the Landmark Trust on behalf of the National Trust.



Lundy's jetty and harbour

The name Lundy is believed to come from the old Norse word for "puffin island" (Lundey),[5] although an alternative explanation has been suggested with Lund referring to a copse, or wooded area.[6] According to genealogist Edward MacLysaght the surname Lundy is from Norman de la Lounde, a name recorded in medieval documents in counties Tipperary and Kilkenny in Ireland.[7]

Lundy has evidence of visitation or occupation from the Neolithic period onward, with Mesolithic flintwork, Bronze Age burial mounds, four inscribed gravestones from the early medieval period,[8][9] and an early medieval monastery (possibly dedicated to St Elen or St Helen).


Beacon Hill Cemetery

Sketch of Beacon Hill cemetery

Beacon Hill cemetery was excavated by Charles Thomas in 1969.[10] The cemetery contains four inscribed stones dated to the 5th or 6th century AD. The site was originally enclosed by a curvilinear bank and ditch which is still visible in the South West corner. However, the other walls were moved when the Old Light was constructed in 1819. Early Christian enclosures of this type are known as lanns in Cornish. There are surviving examples in Luxulyan, in Cornwall; Mathry, Mydrim, and Clydey in Wales; and Stowford, Jacobstowe, Lydford, and Instow, in Devon.

Thomas proposed a five stage sequence of site use: (1) An area of round huts and fields. These huts may have fallen into disuse before the construction of the cemetery. (2) The construction of the focal grave, a 11 ft by 8 ft rectangular stone enclosure containing a single cist grave. The interior of the enclosure was filled with small granite pieces. Two more cist graves located to the west of the enclosure may also date to this time. (3) Perhaps 100 years later, the focal grave was opened and the infill removed. The body may have been moved to a church at this time. (4) & (5) Two further stages of cist grave construction around the focal grave.

23 cist graves were found during this excavation. Considering that the excavation only uncovered a small area of the cemetery, there may be as many as 100 graves.

Inscribed Stones

Inscribed stones

Four Celtic inscribed stones have been found in Beacon Hill cemetery:

1400 OPTIMI,[10] or TIMI;[11] the name is Latin and male. Discovered in 1962 by D.B. Hague.[12]

1401 RESTEVTAE,[10] or RESGEVT[A],[11] Latin, female. Discovered in 1962 by D.B. Hague.[12]

1402 POTIT[I],[10] or [PO]TIT,[11] Latin, male. Discovered in 1961 by K.S. Gardener and A. Langham.[12]

1403 --]IGERNI [FIL]I TIGERNI,[10] or—I]GERNI [FILI] [T]I[G]ERNI,[11] Brittonic, male. Discovered in 1905.[12]

Knights Templar

Lundy was granted to the Knights Templar by Henry II in 1160. The Templars were a major international maritime force at this time, with interests in North Devon, and almost certainly an important port at Bideford or on the River Taw in Barnstaple. It is likely this was because of the increasing threat posed by the Norse sea raiders; however, it is unclear whether they ever took possession of the island. Ownership was disputed by the Marisco family who may have been already on the island during King Stephen's reign. The Mariscos were fined, and the island was cut off from necessary supplies.[13] Evidence of the Templars' weak hold on the island came when King John, on his accession in 1199, confirmed the earlier grant.[14]

Marisco and pirates

Marisco Castle

William de Marisco was implicated in the murder of Henry Clement, one of the king's messengers, in 1235.[15] In 1238, an attempt was made on the king's life by a man who later confessed to being an agent of the Marisco family; William de Marisco fled to the island, where he lived as a virtual king. He built a stronghold in the area now known as Bulls' Paradise with 9 feet (3 m) thick walls that safeguarded him and his 'subjects'. This triggered a concerted effort to rid the then king, Henry III, of the family.[14] In 1242, the king sent his best men to scale the island's cliff, and William de Marisco and 16 of his accomplices were captured and tried. The king built the castle (sometimes erroneously referred to as the Marisco Castle) in an attempt to establish the rule of law on the island and its surrounding waters.[16]

A period of anarchy followed, with English and foreign pirates and privateers – including other members of the Marisco family – taking control of the island for short periods. They found it profitable to capture the many passing Bristol merchant ships bringing back valuable goods from overseas.[17] Because of the dangerous shingle banks in the fast flowing River Severn and Bristol Channel, with its 32 feet (10 m) tide, the second highest in the world,[18][19] ships were forced to navigate close to Lundy.

Around 1645 Barbary Pirates under command of the Dutch renegade Jan Janszoon operating from the Moroccan port of Salé occupied Lundy, before he was expelled by the Penn. During this time there were reports of captured slaves being sent to Algiers and of the Islamic flag flying over Lundy.[20][21]

Civil war

In the English Civil War Thomas Bushell held Lundy for King Charles I, rebuilding Marisco Castle and garrisoning the island at his own expense. He was a friend of Francis Bacon, a strong supporter of the Royalist cause and an expert on mining and coining. This was the last part of the Royalist lands to capitulate to the Parliament forces, and only after a year-long siege. Richard Fiennes, representing General Fairfax, received the surrender.[22]

In 1656 the island was acquired by Lord Say and Sele.[23]

The Old Light

18th and 19th centuries

The late 18th and early 19th centuries were years of lawlessness on Lundy, particularly during the ownership of Thomas Benson, a Member of Parliament for Barnstaple in 1747 and Sheriff of Devon, who notoriously used the island for housing convicts whom he was supposed to be deporting. Benson leased Lundy from its owner, Lord Gower, at a rent of £60 per annum and contracted with the Government to transport a shipload of convicts to Virginia, but diverted the ship to Lundy to use the convicts as his personal slaves. Later Benson was involved in an insurance swindle. He purchased and insured the ship Nightingale and loaded it with a valuable cargo of pewter and linen.

North lighthouse

Having cleared the port on the mainland, the ship put into Lundy, where the cargo was removed and stored in a cave built by the convicts, before setting sail again. Some days afterwards, when a homeward-bound vessel was sighted, the Nightingale was set on fire and scuttled. The crew were taken off the stricken ship by the other ship, which landed them safely at Clovelly.[24]

Foundations for the first lighthouse were laid in 1787 but the lighthouse was not built until Trinity House obtained a 999-year lease in 1819. The 97 feet (30 m) tower was designed by Daniel Asher Alexander and built by Joseph Nelson at a cost of £36,000.[25] Because the site is 407 feet (124 m) above sea level, the highest in Britain, the fog problem was not solved and the Fog Signal Battery[26] was built about 1861, but eventually the lighthouse was abandoned in 1897 when the North[27] and South[28] Lundy lighthouses were built.

Millcombe House

William Hudson Heaven purchased Lundy in 1834, as a summer retreat and for the shooting, at a cost of 9,400 guineas (£9,870). He claimed it to be a "free island", and successfully resisted the jurisdiction of the mainland magistrates. Lundy was in consequence sometimes referred to as "the kingdom of Heaven". It belongs in fact to the county of Devon, and has always been part of the hundred of Braunton.[23] Many of the buildings on the island today, including St. Helena's Church and Millcombe House (originally known simply as The Villa), date from the Heaven period. The Georgian-style Villa was built in 1836.[29] However, the expense of building the road from the beach (no financial assistance being provided by Trinity House, despite their regular use of the road following the construction of the lighthouses), the Villa and the general cost of running the island had a ruinous effect on the family's finances, which had been damaged by reduced profits from their sugar plantations in Jamaica.

20th and 21st centuries

William Heaven was succeeded by his son the Reverend Hudson Grosset Heaven who, thanks to a legacy from Sarah Langworthy (née Heaven), was able to fulfill his life's ambition of building a stone church on the island. St Helena's was completed in 1896, and stands today as a lasting memorial to the Heaven period. It has been designated by English Heritage a Grade II listed building.[30] He is said to have been able to afford either a church or a new harbour. His choice of the church was not however in the best financial interests of the island. The unavailability of the money for re-establishing the family's financial soundness, coupled with disastrous investment and speculation in the early 20th century, caused severe financial hardship.

One Puffin coin of 1929, bearing the portrait of Martin Coles Harman

Hudson Heaven died in 1916, and was succeeded by his nephew, Walter Charles Hudson Heaven.[31] With the outbreak of World War I, matters deteriorated seriously, and in 1918 the family sold Lundy to Augustus Langham Christie. In 1924, the Christie family sold the island along with the mail contract and the MV Lerina to Martin Coles Harman, who proclaimed himself a king. Harman issued two coins of Half Puffin and One Puffin denominations in 1929, nominally equivalent to the British halfpenny and penny, resulting in his prosecution under the United Kingdom's Coinage Act of 1870. The House of Lords found him guilty in 1931, and he was fined £5 with fifteen guineas expenses. The coins were withdrawn and became collectors' items. In 1965 a "fantasy" restrike four-coin set, a few in gold, was issued to commemorate 40 years since Harman purchased the island.[32] Harman's son, John Pennington Harman was awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross in Kohima, India in 1944. There is a memorial to him at the VC Quarry on Lundy. Martin Coles Harman died in 1954.

Residents did not pay taxes to the United Kingdom and had to pass through customs when they travelled to and from Lundy Island. Although the island was ruled as a virtual fiefdom, its owner never claimed to be independent of the United Kingdom, in contrast to later territorial "micronations".

Following the death of Harman's son Albion in 1968,[33] Lundy was put up for sale in 1969. Jack Hayward, a British millionaire, purchased the island for £150,000 and gave it to the National Trust,[32] who leased it to the Landmark Trust. The Landmark Trust has managed the island since then, deriving its income from arranging day trips, letting out holiday cottages and donations.

The island is visited by over 20,000 day-trippers a year, but during September 2007 had to be closed for several weeks due to an outbreak of Norovirus.[34]

Wreck of Battleship Montagu

Battleship HMS Montagu aground on Lundy in 1906

A naval footnote in the history of Lundy was the wreck of the Royal Navy battleship HMS Montagu. Steaming in heavy fog, she ran hard aground near Shutter Rock on the island's southwest corner at about 2:00 a.m. on May 30, 1906.[35] Thinking they were aground at Hartland Point on the English mainland, a landing party went ashore for help, only finding out where they were after encountering the lighthouse keeper at the island's North light.

HMS Montagu during the failed salvage attempts of the summer of 1906

Strenuous efforts by the Royal Navy to salvage the badly damaged battleship during the summer of 1906 failed, and in 1907 it was decided to give up and sell her for scrap. Montagu was scrapped at the scene over the next fifteen years. Diving clubs still visit the site, where armour plate and live 12-inch (305-millimeter) shells remain on the seabed.


Lundy Granite

Lundy is located at 51°10′37.8876″N 4°39′57.96″W / 51.177191°N 4.6661°W / 51.177191; -4.6661 (51.177191, 4.6661).[36] It is 3 miles (5 km) long from north to south by about 0.75 miles (1.2 km) wide, with an area of 445 hectares (1.72 sq mi)[37][38]. The highest point on Lundy is at 142 metres (466 ft). A few metres off the southeastern coast is Seal's Rock.


The island is primarily composed of granite from the palaeocene period, with slate at the southern end; the plateau soil is mainly loam, with some peat.[3][39] Among the igneous dykes cutting the granite are a small number composed of a unique orthophyre. This was given the name Lundyite in 1914, although the term – never precisely defined – has since fallen into disuse.[40]



Lundy Cabbage (growing at Bristol Zoo)

There is one endemic plant species, the Lundy Cabbage (Coincya wrightii), a species of primitive brassica.[41]

By the 1980s the eastern side of the island had become overgrown by rhododendrons (Rhododendron ponticum) which had spread from a few specimens planted in the garden of Millcombe House in Victorian times, but eradication of this non-native plant has been undertaken by volunteers over the past fifteen years in an operation known on the island as "rhody-bashing", which it is hoped will be completed by 2012. The vegetation on the plateau is mainly dry heath, with an area of waved Calluna heath towards the northern end of the island, which is also rich in lichens, such as Teloschistes flavicans and several species of Cladonia and Parmelia. Other areas are either a dry heath/acidic grassland mosaic, characterised by heaths and Western Gorse (Ulex gallii), or semi-improved acidic grassland in which Yorkshire Fog (Holcus lanatus) is abundant. Tussocky (Thrift) (Holcus/Armeria) communities occur mainly on the western side, and some patches of Bracken (Pteridium aquilinum) on the eastern side.[3]


Until 2006 the Lundy Cabbage was thought to support two endemic species of beetle. The beetles are now known not to be unique to Lundy, but an endemic weevil, the Lundy cabbage flea beetle, (Psylliodes luridipennis) has been discovered. The island is also home to the purseweb spider (Atypus affinis), the only British member of the bird-eating spider family.[42]


The number of puffins (Fratercula arctica), which may have given the island its name, declined in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, with the 2005 breeding population estimated to be only two or three pairs, as a consequence of depredations by brown and black rats (Rattus rattus) (which have now been eliminated) and possibly also as a result of commercial fishing for sand eels, the puffins' principal prey. Since 2005, the breeding numbers have been slowly increasing. Adults were seen taking fish into four burrows in 2007,[43] and six burrows in 2008.[44]

A group of six puffins on Lundy, June 2008

As an isolated island on major migration routes, Lundy has a rich bird life and is a popular site for birding. Large numbers of Black-legged Kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla) nest on the cliffs, as do Razorbill (Alca torda), Guillemot (Uria aalge), Herring Gull (Larus argentatus), Lesser Black-backed Gull (Larus fuscus), Fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis), Shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis), Oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus), Skylark (Alauda arvensis), Meadow pipit (Anthus pratensis), Common Blackbird (Turdus merula), Robin (Erithacus rubecula) and Linnet (Carduelis cannabina). There are also smaller populations of Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) and Raven (Corvus corax).

Lundy has attracted many vagrant birds, in particular species from North America. The island's bird list totals 317 species.[45] This has included the following species, each of which represents the sole British record: Ancient Murrelet, Eastern Phoebe and Eastern Towhee. Records of Bimaculated Lark, American Robin and Common Yellowthroat were also firsts for Britain (American Robin has also occurred two further times on Lundy).[45] Veerys in 1987 and 1997 were Britain's second and fourth records, a Rüppell's Warbler in 1979 was Britain's second, an Eastern Bonelli's Warbler in 2004 was Britain's fourth, and a Black-faced Bunting in 2001 Britain's third.[45]

Other British Birds rarities that have occurred (single records unless otherwise indicated) are: Little Bittern, Glossy Ibis, Gyrfalcon (3 records), Little and Baillon's crakes, Collared Pratincole, Semipalmated (5 records), Least (2 records), White-rumped and Baird's (2 records) sandpipers, Wilson's Phalarope, Laughing Gull, Bridled Tern, Pallas's Sandgrouse, Great Spotted, Black-billed and Yellow-billed (3 records) cuckoos, European Roller, Olive-backed Pipit, Citrine Wagtail, Alpine Accentor, Thrush Nightingale, Red-flanked Bluetail, Black-eared (2 records) and Desert wheatears, White's, Swainson's (3 records), and Grey-cheeked (2 records) thrushes, Sardinian (2 records), Arctic (3 records), Radde's and Western Bonelli's warblers, Isabelline and Lesser Grey shrikes, Red-eyed Vireo (7 records), Two-barred Crossbill, Yellow-rumped and Blackpoll warblers, Yellow-breasted (2 records) and Black-headed (3 records) buntings, Rose-breasted Grosbeak (2 records), Bobolink and Baltimore Oriole (2 records).[45]


Sika Deer

Lundy is home to an unusual range of mammals, almost all introduced, including a distinct breed of wild pony, the Lundy Pony. Until recently, Lundy and the Shiant Isles in the Hebrides were the only two places in the UK where the Black Rat (Rattus rattus) could be found. It has since been eradicated on the island, in order to protect the nesting seabirds. Other species which have made the island their home include the Grey Seal (Halichoerus grypus), Sika Deer (Cervus nippon), Pygmy Shrew (Sorex minutus) and feral goats (Capra aegagrus hircus). Unusually, 20% of the rabbits (Leporidae) on the island are melanistic compared with 4% which is typical in the UK. In mid-2006 the rabbit population was devastated by myxomatosis, leaving only 60 pairs from the previous 15–20,000 individuals. Soay Sheep (Ovis aries) on the island have been shown to vary their behaviours according to nutritional requirements, the distribution of food and the risk of predation.[46]

Marine habitat

In 1971 a proposal was made by the Lundy Field Society to establish a marine reserve. Provision for the establishment of statutory Marine Nature Reserves was included in the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, and on 21 November 1986 the Secretary of State for the Environment announced the designation of a statutory reserve at Lundy.[47]

There is an outstanding variety of marine habitats and wildlife, and a large number of rare and unusual species in the waters around Lundy, including some species of seaweed, branching sponges, sea fans and cup corals.[48]

In 2003 the first statutory No Take Zone (NTZ) for marine nature conservation in the UK was set up in the waters to the east of Lundy island.[49] In 2008 this was declared as having been successful in several ways including the increasing size and number of lobsters within the reserve, and potential benefits for other marine wildlife.[50] However, the no take zone has received a mixed reaction from local fishermen.[51]

On 12 January 2010 the island became Britain's first Marine Conservation Zone designated under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009, designed to help to preserve important habitats and species.[52][53]


The Lundy ferry Oldenburg sails into Ilfracombe harbour, north Devon, past inflatable ThunderCat powerboats waiting to begin an offshore race.

Two ways exist for getting to Lundy, depending upon the season of travel. During the summer months (April to October) visitors are carried on the Landmark Trust's own vessel, MS Oldenburg, which sails from both Bideford and Ilfracombe. Sailings are usually three days a week, on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, with additional sailings on Wednesdays during July and August. The voyage takes on average two hours, depending on ports, tides and weather. The Oldenburg was first registered in Bremen, Germany in 1958 and has been sailing to Lundy since the replacement of her engine in 1985.[54]

During the winter months (November to March), the Oldenburg comes out of service, and the island is served by a scheduled helicopter service from Hartland Point. The helicopter operates on Mondays and Fridays, with flights between 12 noon and 2 pm. The heliport is a field at the top of Hartland Point, not far from the Beacon.

A grass runway of 400 metres (1,312 ft) by 28 metres (92 ft) is available, allowing access to small STOL aircraft skilfully piloted.[55]

Entrance to Lundy is free for anyone arriving by scheduled transport. Visitors arriving by non-scheduled transport are charged a small entrance fee, currently (July 2007) £5.00, with an additional charge payable by those using light aircraft. Anyone arriving on Lundy by non-scheduled transport is also subject to an additional fee for transporting luggage to the top of the island.

In 2007, Derek Green, Lundy's general manager, launched an appeal to raise £250,000 to save the mile-long Beach Road, which had been damaged by heavy rain and high seas. The road was built in the first half of the 19th century to provide people and goods with safe access to the top of the island, 120 metres (394 ft) above the only jetty.[56] The fund-raising was completed on the 10th March 2009.[57]

Staying on the island

Lundy has 23 holiday properties to choose from, sleeping between 1 and 14 people. These include a lighthouse, a castle and a Victorian mansion. Many of the buildings are constructed from the island's granite. All have heating and many also have wood-burning stoves with a bath or shower depending on size. Kitchens are fully equipped for those wishing to self-cater.

The island also has a campsite, at the south of the island in the field next to the shop. It has hot and cold running water, with showers and toilets in an adjacent building.


The island is an unparished area of Torridge district of the English county of Devon.[58] It belongs to the ward of Clovelly Bay.[59] It is part of the constituency electing the Member of Parliament for Torridge and West Devon and the South West England constituency for the European Parliament.


Owing to a decline in population and lack of interest in the mail contract, the GPO ended its presence at the end of 1927.[60] For the next couple of years "King" Harman handled the mail to and from the island without charge. On 1 November 1929 he decided to offset the expense by issuing a series of private postage stamps, with a value expressed in "Puffins". The printing of Puffin stamps continues to this day. They have to be put on the bottom left hand corner of the envelope, so that the mainland sorting offices can process them: their cost includes the standard Royal Mail charges for onward delivery. Puffins are a type of stamp known to philatelists as a "local carriage label". Issues of increasing value were made over the years, including air mail, featuring a variety of people. Many are now highly sought-after by collectors.[61]

Lundy Island continues to issue stamps with the latest issues being in 2006 (100th anniversary of the wreck HMS Montagu) and 2008 (50th birthday of MS Oldenburg). The value of the early issues has risen substantially over the years. The stamps of Lundy Island serve to cover the postage of letters and cards from the island to the nearest GPO post box on the mainland for the many thousands of annual visitors, and have become part of the collection of the many British Local Posts collectors. These stamps appeared in 1970s in the Rosen Catalogue of British Local Stamps, and in the Phillips Modern British Locals CD Catalogue, published since 2003.[62]

Labbe's Specialized Guide to Lundy Island Stamps serves as a definitive guide to the issues of Lundy Island including varieties, rarities and special philatelic items.[63]


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  2. ^
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  7. ^
  8. ^ See the discussion and bibliography in Elisabeth Okasha, Corpus of early Christian inscribed stones of South-west Britain (Leicester: University Press, 1993), pp. 154-166
  9. ^ Lundy Field Society 40th Annual Report for 1989. Pp. 34 - 47.
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  44. ^ Saunders, Nicola (personal communication)
  45. ^ a b c d Davis, Tim & Tim Jones (2007), The Birds of Lundy ISBN 0-954-0088-7-1
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  55. ^ UK VFR flight guide, 2003 edition, ISBN 1-874783-624
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  63. ^ Guide to Lundy Island stamps, 2008 edition

Further reading

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Lundy [1] is an island 3 miles long and 1/2 mile wide in the south west of the United Kingdom, where the Bristol Channel meets the Atlantic Ocean.

The island is owned by the National Trust and run by the Landmark Trust, a UK charity organisation. All profit from visitors is reinvested into the upkeep of the island.

The island is a large granite formation with very high cliffs. There is an abundance of wildlife on the land and in the surrounding sea. Many rare birds visit or live on the island including Puffins, after which the island is named. There is lots to see even for non-bird watchers, including amazing scenery and many historic buildings. The island currently only has 20 residents, all employees of the Landmark trust, but has a castle, a church, three lighthouses (two operational, one decommissioned), a farm, a tavern, a small shop and many other buildings.

Get in

During the warmer months, you can visit Lundy for the day or longer by travelling on the MS Oldenburg from Barnstaple or Clovelly. The journey takes just over 2 hours and allows you to take in the views of the Devon coast along the way. It is also possible to charter a vessel or make your own way there, although you will be charged a small landing fee. During the winter months a Helicopter service runs from Hartland point. The chopper takes about 6 minutes and will fly in all but the worst weather conditions for a reasonable price of £69 for a return ticket.


The island is steeped in history and has some very interesting places to visit regardless of your archaeological interests. The old lighthouse in the middle of the island is reputed to be the highest lighthouse in England and was decommissioned as it spends much of it's time in bad weather with it's head in the clouds. The lighthouse is still open to visit and you can climb the very steep and precarious spiral staircase to the very top where the light platform now accommodates two deck chairs, from which the whole island can be observed. One of the best things about Lundy is that it is totally un-commercial and there are no signs and the only fences or barriers are there to keep the farm animals in. The Landmark where the only tourist touch are the puffin toys sold in the village shop.


Full cooking facilities and utensils are available if you want to cook, however, the food at the Marisco Tavern is such good quality and so plentiful, it's better to ignore the domestic work and enjoy the island and have someone cook and clean up for you. The main meals are kept on a warm burner, so you will not have to wait for your meal unless you order something different - the cooks are very flexible. A main meal costs about the same as a normal UK pub meal, but the quantities are far larger and the quality of cooking exceeds that of many very expensive restaurants I have visited. Breakfast, lunch and Tea are available, and the desserts are amazing, in large portions and very unhealthy!


Local beers are available on tap and a full bar with reasonable prices is open through normal drinking hours. For the more adventurous, it is also possible to camp on the island. The camping field is very close to the Tavern and the village shop. The Landmark trust also occasionally invite volunteers to the island, where in return for a few days work building walls, roads and helping out with the upkeep of the island, they will get free accommodation and food.


There is a wide variety of accommodation, using many of the renovated original buildings. There are self catering properties for up to 12 people. Smaller properties house 4 people, 2 people and there is even a hut which will accommodate 1 lonely hermit looking to escape it all.

Stay safe

Being on the edge of the Atlantic ocean with little shelter, Lundy's weather can be extreme during the winter months. Storms can include Force 10-11 winds (up to 70 MPH) winds. During the summer months, Lundy can often be much warmer than the mainland. Be sure to bring taking good walking shoes, waterproof clothing and most importantly, your sense of adventure!


Lundy generates its own electricity and collects its own water. There are no televisions, radios or telephones in the accommodation. It is the perfect antidote for a hectic work life. The island is a perfect place to wind down and relax and it is very easy to forget about life on the mainland. It doesn't matter whether you choose to explore every hidden corner of the island or stay in your warm cottage and enjoy the view and the serenity.

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

LUNDY, an English island at the entrance of the Bristol Channel, 1 2 m. N.W. by N. of the nearest point on the mainland, namely Hartland Point on the Devonshire coast. The nearest ports are Clovelly and Bideford. The extreme length of the island is 3 m. from N. to S., the mean breadth about half a mile, but at the south the breadth is nearly 1 m. The area is about 1150 acres. The component rock is a hard granite, except at the south, where slate occurs. This granite was used in the construction of the Victoria Embankment, London. An extreme elevation of about 450 ft. is found in the southern half of the island; the northern sloping gently to the sea, but the greater part of the coast is cliff-bound and very beautiful. The landing, at the south-east, is sheltered by the small Rat Island, where the once common black rat survives. There are a few prehistoric remains on Lundy, and the foundations of an ancient chapel of St Helen. There are also ruins, and the still inhabited keep, of Marisco Castle, occupying a strong precipitous site on the south-east, held in the reign of Henry II. by Sir Jordan de Marisco. The Mariscos, in their inaccessible retreat, lived lawlessly until in 1242 Sir William Marisco was hanged for instigating an attempt on the life of Henry III. In 1625 the island was reported to be captured by Turkish pirates, and in 1633 by Spaniards. Later it became an object of attack and a hiding place for French privateers. The island, which is reckoned as extra-parochial, has some cultivable land and heath pasture, and had a population in 1901 of 94.

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Simple English

Lundy is an island off the coast of Devon, England, UK.


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