North Devon is a spectacular county, boasting an array of amazing places to visit including the island of Lundy. Positioned in the Bristol Channel, 11 miles off the North Devon coast, this little granite outcrop has a lot to offer. The Landmark Trust rescue historic buildings at risk and, once restored, offer them as inspiring places to stay. In 1971, the trust took over the lease of the island (owned by the National Trust) and has restored many unique and memorable places to stay on Lundy from a castle keep to a 19th Century Georgian mansion. The range of properties available on the island gives the opportunity for everyone of any budget to stay. Every visit to the island, even if for just a day, is an amazing unique adventure. Even the journey here is a new experience for many. From April to October the island can be reached on our supply ship MS Oldenburg (who has a story of her very own,) from Ilfracombe or Bideford, and from November to March, staying visitors arrive by helicopter from Hartland Point. Built in 1958, MS Oldenburg operated as a ferry operating from the German mainland to the Friesian islands until 1982 when she was bought by the Warrings family who ran the ‘Butter-Cruises’. These duty-free cruises ran until 1985 when the loop-hole, which permitted their operation, was closed and the opportunity to buy MS Oldenburg for Lundy was taken by the Landmark Trust. MS Oldenburg has been our supply vessel ever since and can hold up to 267 passengers who make use of the buffet, shop and bar whilst sitting on deck or within the foredeck saloon with its large windows creating a panoramic view. Lundy is renowned for its wealth of marine and terrestrial wildlife, particularly as it is home to the largest seabird colony in the southwest and has its own species, the Lundy Cabbage. During the summer breeding season kittiwakes, fulmars, guillemots, razorbills and puffins can be found across the west and north coast of the island. At night, Manx shearwaters return to the island and many visitors enjoying listening to their melodic calls as they return to their burrows.
Storm petrels have recently begun to breed on the island, a sign that the island’s Seabird Recovery Project has been a great success. The project began with the eradication of the island’ s rat population for 2002-2004 allowing the island to be designated as ‘rat-free’ in 2006. The island’s rich flora creates carpets of yellow, purple and pink during the summer season as the endemic Lundy Cabbage, Bird’s-foot Trefoil, Sheep’s Bit Scabious and sea Thrift come into bloom. One species, the Heath Spotted Orchid, can be found in the marshy areas of the plateau. Here you will often come across some of our larger animals, particularly the Lundy Ponies, Soay sheep, Highland steers and Sika deer. These animals roam north of Quarter Wall to assist with our conservation grazing scheme which is in place to enhance the island’s Site of Special Scientific Interest. The waters around the island are also protected through a Special Area of Conservation, Marine Conservation Zone and No Take Zone. Together these designations conserve and enhance the spectacular marine life that is found in such a unique location and includes species such as pink sea fans, cup corals, cuckoo wrasse and our mischievous grey seals. The wealth of habitats, wildlife and wrecks attract hundreds of divers every year and many visitors join in our Snorkel Safaris to get a taster of the rich life that can be found under the waves. Humans have lived on Lundy since Neolithic times and have left behind many historical structures that provide us with clues as to who lived here and when. Many of these have been designated as Scheduled Monuments to protect and conserve them, and the whole of Lundy is a Heritage Coast. The most notable of these include the Old Light, Marisco Castle, Fog Battery and Brazen Ward. Each historical structure has its own story to tell and, as with Landmarks across the UK, all of the letting properties have significant stories of their own. To find out more visit http://www.lundyisland.co.uk or see our Facebook pages: The Landmark Trust – Lundy and Lundy Conservation Team. Guided walks and illustrated talks are available throughout the year whilst Rockpool Rambles and Snorkel Safaris take place during the summer.