The island of Lundy has been designated a 'Site of Special Scientific Interest', and the surrounding waters are protected within England’s first Marine Nature Reserve. For this new short break we’ll be based in a comfortable, restored Victoria villa from where we’ll head out on foot to enjoy colonies of auks by day, and at night, Manx Shearwaters. Flocks of Soay Sheep graze on high ground as well as Lundy Ponies, and there are various moths and butterflies on the wing at this time of year. The flora is likely to be a particular highlight, and June is the peak time for some of Lundy’s special plants to be in flower, including its only endemic plant, the Lundy Cabbage, which in turn is host to two endemic beetles! Rock Sea-spurrey and Sheep’s-bit grow on exposed western cliffs, while Balm-leaved Figwort and the scarce Wood Vetch grow on the more sheltered east side along with lush growths of ferns. Despite Lundy's small size, there is plenty to keep us interested, before settling into the characterful Marisco Tavern for our evening meals after our daily wildlife walks!
• Travel to & from the traffic-free island of Lundy on the MS Oldenburg
• Look for seabirds & cetaceans on the 2-hour voyage from Bideford or Ilfracombe
• Explore the island – just 3 miles from north to south! – on foot
• Visit Guillemot & Razorbills colonies & see nesting Puffins
• Lundy is home to England’s largest Manx Shearwater colony, with several thousand pairs!
• Grey Seals, Sika Deer & several species of bat amongst the mammals present
• Enjoy cliffs covered in Thrift & Sea Campion
• Look for Hay-scented Buckler-fern, Royal Fern & rare Dwarf Adder’s-tongue Fern
• Led by expert naturalist guide
All included in the price.
Millcombe House (shared facilities) and other National Trust cottages nearby.
Day 1 Sail from Bideford to Lundy.
Days 2/4 Varied natural history walks and excursions on the island.
Day 5 Sail Lundy to Ilfracombe.
Lundy (the old Norse word for ‘Puffin’) measures just 3 miles from north to south, lies 12 miles off the north Devon coast, and is the largest island in the Bristol Channel. The whole island has been designated a ‘Site of Special Scientific Interest’, and the surrounding waters are protected within England’s first Marine Nature Reserve. Lundy shows evidence of human occupation dating back to the Bronze Age, but nowadays has a resident population of 28 people and is owned by the National Trust.
We will travel here on the island’s own vessel, the MS Oldenburg, which sails from either Bideford or Ilfracombe in north Devon. The 2- hour voyage is a great opportunity to look for seabirds and cetaceans, and enjoy views of the spectacular Devon coastline. Once on Lundy — which is traffic-free — we will be based in a comfortable, restored Victorian villa from where we’ll head out each day on foot to explore the island. In June, colonies of auks, especially Guillemots and Razorbills are at their busiest, Puffins nest on the western slopes, and the island is home to England’s largest Manx Shearwater colony, which numbers several thousand pairs! Optional night-time forays will enable us to look and listen for the shearwaters, although you may be able to hear them from your room! We will also visit the seabird colonies on the west side of the island, observe flocks of Soay Sheep grazing on high ground as well as Lundy Ponies, and see Grey Seals on the rocks below.
June is also the peak time for some of Lundy’s special plants to be in flower, including its only endemic plant, the Lundy Cabbage, which in turn is host to two endemic beetles! The western cliffs should be clothed in carpets of Thrift and Sea Campion, and Rock Sea-spurrey and Sheep’s-bit also grow on these exposed areas. Balm-leaved Figwort and the scarce Wood Vetch grow on the more sheltered east side, and there are lush growths of ferns here too such as Hay-scented Buckler-fern, the magnificent Royal Fern and the rare Small Adder’s-tongue Fern.
Despite Lundy’s small size, there is plenty to keep us interested during our stay. Sika Deer also live on the island, along with several species of bat, and we will look for various moths and butterflies before settling into the characterful Marisco Tavern for our evening meals after each day’s wildlife ambulations!