Difference between revisions of "Lundy"
Revision as of 11:30, 27 May 2010
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.
During the warmer months, you can visit Lundy for the day or longer by travelling on the MS Oldenburg from Ilfracombe or Bideford. 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.
This is small island and you can (and should) walk everywhere.
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.
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.