- Travel and Places
The Best Hotel in England: Burgh Island, South Devon
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.
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)
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
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.