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The Best Hotel in England: Burgh Island, South Devon

Updated on February 16, 2015

Burgh Island (One of the Best Hotels in the World)

Burgh Island is a small island off the coast of South Devon in the Southwest of England separated from Bigbury-on-sea on the mainland by just a few hundred yards of sea at high-tide and a short stretch of beach at low-tide. The island is home to one of the best hotels in the world, the Burgh Island Hotel, which is a restored, grand art-deco hotel with a few luxurious rooms.

The Island is only accessible by "sea tractor", which drives across the causeway, at high-tide although it can be reached on foot or by Landrover at low-tide.

The hotel is most famous for it's exquisite cuisine. Room tariffs are high (starting at about £380 or $600) but do include dinner and breakfast.

The Burgh Island is also famous for it's association with Agatha Christie: It was the inspiration for both And Then There Were None and the Hercule Poirot mystery Evil Under The Sun. A TV adaptation of the latter was actually filmed on the island. Other films and TV programmes that have been filmed here include: "Catch Us if You Can" (1965 British Film) and a Lovejoy episode called "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" was filmed in the Pilchard Pub which is next to the hotel on the island.

Burgh Island

Where is Burgh Island? - Map of Burgh Island in South Devon

Burgh Island is next to the small Devonshire town of Bigbury-on-sea in the West Country (Southwest England)

A markerBigby on Sea, England -
Bigby on Sea, England
get directions

Burgh Island Sea-Tractor

The "Sea Tractor" is used to ferry customers to and from Burgh Island at high-tide, when the island is completely separated from the mainland. There is a modern Sea-Tractor, but they have been in use for many years and feature in the excellent TV adaptation of the Hercule Poirot mystery Evil Under The Sun

Burgh Island Hotel and The Pilchard Inn

Burgh Island Hotel and The Pilchard Inn
Burgh Island Hotel and The Pilchard Inn


Lovejoy episode called "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" was filmed in the Pilchard Pub which is next to the hotel on the island (see photo above) This is a very old pub, several hundred years old.

Hercule Poirot: Evil Under the Sun

Agatha Christie was inspired to write the Hercule Poirot mystery, Evil Under the Sun, after visiting Burgh Island Hotel.

Burgh Island at Low-Tide

At low-tide it is possible to walk across to the island from the mainland across a beach. If you are staying at the hotel, however, they will send a Landrover to collect you from the locked car park in Bigby-on-sea.

Burgh Island Hotel. 1930s opulence. - Exquisite cuisine, tennis, croquet and billiards

The hotel has a croquet lawn, tennis courts and an old style billiard room with a 12' table set up for snooker. Everything in in keeping with the 1930s when the hotel was built, with appropriate furniture, décor and ornaments in every room. Even the original metal window frames are intact, despite the sea-air attacking them. The only room that isn't quite in keeping with the era is the TV room which has a huge plasma screen in it. Some of the bedroom just have retro-style radios for entertainment. Mobile phone reception on the island is very poor which could be deemed to be a bonus.

Food and drinks are available all day and service is wonderfully slow, not that you would be in a rush to go anywhere. The main event however is the evening dinner in the Ballroom for which you should wear "black tie" or at very least a smart suit. If you prefer to be less formal the dinner can be served in the Bistro, but I would recommend the Ballroom. Food is also available in the Pilchard Inn, which is owned by the hotel, but given that the food is included in the price of the room, it would be a shame to miss out.



And Then There Were None

Agatha Christie was also inspired to write the novel, And Then There Were None, after visiting Burgh Island Hotel.

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    • greenspirit profile image

      poppy mercer 4 years ago from London

      I've wanted to stay here ever since I saw Burgh Island in Evil Under The Sun; I just love Art Deco architecture. Methinks it's a tad beyond my means right now sadly, but it's on my list!

    • profile image

      Boulevard 5 years ago

      I donât think the one who follow this information will face any issue. According to me it is well managed information by the writer in this post.great post

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    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 5 years ago from USA

      I did not see this when I visited England. Wish I had. So lovely.

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 5 years ago from USA

      I did not see this when I visited England. Wish I had. So lovely.

    • SayGuddaycom profile image

      SayGuddaycom 6 years ago

      Hey I've been there!

    • Vallygems1 profile image

      Vallygems1 6 years ago

      Awesome my Mom was born in Devon I have however never visited. Think its about time

    • greenspirit profile image

      poppy mercer 7 years ago from London

      One of my favourite places. Lovely to see it here.

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image

      MargoPArrowsmith 7 years ago

      Its always so green!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      This lens is awesome. I love it. I am going to tell my editors on my Thai News website to write something about this lens and probably feature it.

      I will comment here again once we do.

      Great Work

    • Dianne Loomos profile image

      Dianne Loomos 8 years ago

      The Burgh Island Hotel sounds wonderful! I'm glad you included a photo of the sea tractor as I was wondering what that was.

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 8 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      Looks so beautiful!