At just a stone’s throw from golden sand and clear waters, Woolacombe Bay Hotel is an ideal location to explore the North Devon coast. Admittedly, you could enjoy an extended spot of loafing; but the dramatic scenery is often love at first step for ramblers, sea anglers, surfers and other explorers.
But perhaps the most enticing option of al is take to the waters and sail to Lundy Island, with the MS Oldenburg one of the most popular choices (tickets can be booked at Woolacombe tourist information centre on The Esplanade). Climbing aboard is a nostalgic experience on this graceful motorized boat, which is built on traditional lines. Below deck she retains her original panelling and brass fittings, but has been skilfully modernised to provide heated saloons, bar, buffet, shop and information centre.
But the creature comforts, although welcome, are a lesser attraction than the natural treasures of the jouney. For wildlife lovers, Lundy Island’s position with the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Bristol Channel to the east creates a unique combination of environmental conditions that have created some unique and dramatic coastal habitats.
For the bird watchers, these cliffs are home to seabird colonies including Puffins and Manx Shearwaters, whereas the relatively sheltered and calm east coast has spectacular displays of wildflowers and provides sanctuary to migrating birds in the spring and autumn. The diversity of wildlife above the waves is mirrored below the waves too, providing rich picking for everything from seals to sharks .
If it's an out-and-out Lundy wildlife cruise you want, other operators such Boat Trips to Lundy are also worth booking- and on fine days you'll enjoy amazing views and the chance to see some fantastic sea life, from rare birds to groups of playful dolphins.
But Lundy is not simply a wildlife reserve- hence those looking for a historic and cultural features on the island also have plenty to see. It might no be vast, but within its one and half square miles Lundy has no less than forty-one recognized monuments as well as many listed buildings. These structures are just as diverse as the wildlife too, ranging from the remains of Bronze Age settlements to a medieval castle and Georgian lighthouse.
In truth, it’s impossible to cover both the natural highlights and manmade treasures in a single day, and Lundy is not a place to be rushed. One single day trip is just a taster as the island’s small size masks its true complexity. Visitors return time and time again to experience the pleasures Lundy has to offer.
Here at Woolacombe Bay Hotel we are beautifully placed to set sail for Lundy on a day trip. Nor are we just a great summer destination- and in fact many of our repeat visitors simply love the colours and calmer atmosphere of autumn; do keep checking throughout September and beyond for the latest offers and last minute deals
Lundy Island Trivia and Fun Facts: -
- Although the island gets many visitors, permanent residents (other than sea birds) are few: In 2007 the island had just 27 residents.
- The island gets its name from the old Norse word “lundi”, meaning puffin.
- The island’s Rhododendrons might look pretty, but are an invasive nuisance species on Lundy. Locals have formed “Rhody-bashing” parties to fight back.
- Besides the famous bird life, Lundy is a great place to spot seals, dolphins and even its own distinct hooved residents, the “Lundy ponies”.