ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Travel and Places»
  • Visiting Europe

Visiting the island of Lundy, England: bird-watching and isolation

Updated on September 10, 2013
Flag of England
Flag of England | Source
Lundy's St. Helena's church
Lundy's St. Helena's church | Source
Postage stamp from Lundy, depicting a puffin
Postage stamp from Lundy, depicting a puffin | Source
Map location of England's island of Lundy
Map location of England's island of Lundy | Source

Part of England, but very much on the edge

Visitors to England — especially to the South-East — will often comment on how close by and accessible everything seems to be. Lundy, however, is diferent.

The island of Lundy is in the Bristol Channel, 19 kilometres off the north coast of Devon. It is 5 kilometers long. England has sometimes been regarded as having been in what historians call 'splendid isolation', but, for its part, Lundy is among the locations most isolated from the rest of England. This island is part of England, but very much on the edge. (Canadians familiar with Sable Island, Nova Scotia, will get the idea... .)

Over the centuries, numerous shipwrecks have occurred around Lundy's rocks. Two lighthouses on Lundy have aided navigation in the Bristol Channel, and were automated in the 1990s.

Given its sheer isolation, Lundy has long issued its own postage stamps, although the 'official' status of these is somewhat nebulous. In the past, the island even issued its own coinage. The local landowning Heaven family were so closely associated with the welfare of the island and its few inhabitants that — inevitably, maybe — humorists have called the island 'the Kingdom of Heaven'.

Today, Lundy is owned by the National Trust. The Friends of Lundy supports the protection and preservation of the island, and offers travel discounts and regular news briefings.

Lundy's resident population is less than 30, but particularly in the summer numbers are swelled by visitors who choose between more than 20 properties where accommodation is available. Other visitors come on day trips (statistically, I added to the day visitor, rather than overnight, population... .) The MS Oldenburg sails to Lundy a few times per week from the ports of Ilfracombe and Bideford, but during winter these sailings are replaced by a helicopter service operating from north Devon's Hartland Point.

Lundy is ideal for bird-watching, and one species of bird which comes to the island in droves is the puffin. This bird is greatly identified with Lundy to the extent that it has become something of a local symbol: the English penny has been referred to as a puffin, and local postage stamps depict the bird.

Some intriguing history:

King Henry III of England built a structure called Marisco Castle, in 1242, which can be seen today. Given its isolation, the island was difficult to govern effectively.

In part of the 17th century Lundy functioned effectively as a possession of the Republic of Salé, on the Moroccan coast, corsairs from which roamed far overseas. Admiral Sir William Penn, father of the founder of Pennsylvania, was responsible for ensuring the eventual departure of the Barbary sailors.

During the English Civil War, Lundy was strongly Royalist, and — not surprisingly, given its isolation — was among the last outposts to fall to Parliamentary forces.

Also worth seeing:

Bideford (on the Devon mainland): Railroad buffs will enjoy the Bideford Railway Heritage Centre. (Don't forget that English people say 'railway' instead of 'railroad'!)

...

How to get there: The Lundy Shore Office at Bideford, Devon, operates regular sailings to Lundy by the MS Odenburg. United Airlines flies to London Heathrow Airport, where car rental is available. Bideford is 312 kilometers from Heathrow; by road, take M4/M5/A361/A39/A386. Please check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.

For your visit, these items may be of interest

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)