Lundy Is A Lifestyle Not A Career Option
Only One Pub ;-(
If you don't believe in "Time Dilation" come to Lundy and you will!!
This is going to be one of the slightly odder tips I am going to write about Lundy but it really is something the visitor may miss and really should do. Allow me to explain.I love eggs and I simply adore pickled eggs which have been a staple of pub snacks for as long as I can remember. Heaven knows, I have even been known to pickle my own now and...more
It will come as no surprise to regular readers of my travel pages but I love pottering about in graveyeards, churchyards, cemeteries, call them what you will. I find them endlessly fascinating and great sources of social history. Like just about everything else on Lundy, the old cemetery is unusual and slightly mysterious and I loved it.It is...more
It seems that many people are very concerned with the concept of "food miles" these days (i.e. how far the food has travelled from production to table) and it has to be said that the Marisco Tavern on Lundy really has to score very highly on this criterion for a good restaurant. Much of the produce is sourced from Lundy and when you consider that...more
Whilst I love using my Island's superb range of home-bred and reared meats creatively I still think that the best showcase for them is as roasts. On Sundays we don't serve roasts for lunch for the simple reason that if the weather is halfway decent most people like to get out about and make a day of it. So instead we serve our roasts as dinner on...more
There is only one Pub, the Marisco Tavern, built at the beginning of the XIX century it is a real british pub with a lovely ambiance. The meals are prepared mostly with local products, lamb, duck, pork, eggs, and more are from Lundy. So, fresh ingredients, local recipes, and a great kitchen people can give you only one result: very good food. The...more
As Lundy's only pub the Tavern is obviously my Island's social centre, for visitors and staff alike. Certain things we work hard at maintaining as they are - the decor and furnishings are carefully chosen to be consistent with how we want our guests to see us.
There are no distractions in the pub. There's no gaming machine, no juke box, no television and no mobile communications devices are allowed to be used. Instead we offer spot-on beers, an eclectic range of other drinks, good food and friendly, professional staff to serve them up. Nothing clever, just simple things done properly.
These things are always there, and don't change. However the Tavern is rarely boring. It is people who make places and every night the Tavern develops a different character depending on its customers.
Ditto with location. We don't physically move the pub around the Island but the views change all the time. You can sit at the same window, or on the terrace and look out at a moveable feast of changeling scenery. The weather, the light, the sea currents - these are in continual flux and for those who appreciate them become not just a fascination of introversion but also a major topic of social observational conversation.
Sometimes we plan events such as live music evenings, usually linked to something else during the day. On our "Splash-in", underwater photography day we invite a band over from the mainland to provide evening entertainment for the weekend. Othertimes our staying visitors organise their own amusements - if you check out my video here Viva Lyme Regis you'll get the idea.
Best tho' are when things are totally off-the-cuff. When no-one is expecting anything particular to happen but the ambience is right and we have the right people.
When my good "fiend" Fergy, known lovingly to us VT'ers as that mad Irishman Planxty, came over for a visit he came guitar-in-hand. But it wasn't a case of uncasing the guitar at first opportunity - it was more a case of drinking in the Tavern every day and night until the moment was right.
Bit of a bugger having to be his supporting act, on the drinking front (certainly NOT the musical one as attested by those who had to put up with myself and the boss duetting "Flower Of Scotland") but being the performer he is, his timing was impeccable.
One of the divers staying with us added his bits, everyone sang along and a good night was had by all.
Thanks for that Fergy and you were just badly-behaved enough to enhance my street cred LOL
Unless you have your own light aircraft or boat, and there are landing facilities for both on Lundy, you have two choices of how to get to Lundy depending on the season and the weather. There is a helicopter service all year round (weather permitting) although between March and November you have the option of a leisurely cruise on the MS Oldenburg,...more
We have a small airfield here on my Island which can be used by visiting aviators. The runway is a 400 metres long grass strip which is kept in check by grazing our sheep on it and is marked on both sides by white-painted chunks of granite.The strip is easily located, being alongside the Old Light, but apart from the border markers and the sheep is...more
A couple or three times a year we get a visit from a passing cruise ship, usually one of the Noble Caledonian vessels. These aim to arrive early-ish morning and leave in the evening.This comes across as an interesting cruise company since they seem to have briefed their passengers on what to expect from my Island and so the visitors have already...more
Shopping tips are not generally my forte here on Virtual Tourist but It is really rather easy on Lundy as you have a simple choice. you can eother go to THE shop or go without! Like so much else on the island, there is only one although in fairness it is rather good. If any of you have ever seen the old British TV sitcom "Open All Hours" starring...more
I've been cooking professionally for a long time, too long a time to contemplate, and I know a good egg when I meet one. I've met eggs from all over the world - American eggs with their spotless white shells, Bulgarian eggs still warm from their layer, battery-farmed ones, the freshest of fresh free-range from local farms here in Devon but I can...more
My Island only has one shop but what a shop it is. Whether you need basic household necessities such as wine and beer (and even corkscrews) or more exotic stuff such as bread and milk you'll find it here. The saggingly-laden shelves don't hold a lot of anything, merely a bit of everything (and there's plenty more stock upstairs).You can get Island...more
Rabbits were probably introduced to Lundy by the de Marisco family in the 12th century as they were a convenient source of fresh meat popular with the Normans at the time. Originally they would have been kept in a walled warren to facilitate capture but inevitably a few would have burrowed their way out and so a wild population also developed.With...more
Although surrounded by water my Island has no fresh water supply of its own except for rainfall. Throughout our history rainfall has been collected in various reservoirs and when Hudson Heaven had his Villa built (now Millcombe House) the roof was designed (see pic) to maximise the capture of the rain which was then channelled into a reservoir in...more
There are very few written rules here on Lundy and the whole Island is generally accessible. However Lundy is a major seabird breeding colony and during the nesting season we do put restrictions on where climbing and scrambling is allowed in order to minimize disturbance of the birds.The areas restricted will vary season-by-season depending on...more
The Marisco Tavern is the only pub and restaurant on the island and a wonderful place it is. In many ways it distils the essence of Lundy, being a place where people come and chat, eat, drink and generally enjoy themselves in a manner that would be perceived by some as being old-fashioned. I see nothing wrong with this. There is no television here...more
If arriving to Lundy during the boat season (late March until the last week of October) visitors get dropped off at our Jetty on the Landing Bay. From there you will have to make your own way up the hill. Our Village is just over half-a-mile away, by the shortest route, during which the ascent is about 400 feet. The first section of the road up to...more
This is more of an "advice" than a warning or danger as the jellyfish are pretty harmless.The most accessible, and safest, place to go swimming here is the Landing Bay. Being tucked away in the Southeast corner, and further protected by Rat Island it is sheltered on three sides - the prevailing winds come from the Southwest. The water is also...more
Lundy is fames for its colonies of puffins, and the best time to see them is during the breeding season from May to July. Lundy gets its name from the old Norse word lunde which menas puffin.
Puffins were the main reason for us going to Lundy Island. Once we'd had our lunch, we got the staff to mark out on the map exactly wher we could see these colourful birds.
It was a fair walk, nearly two miles in each direction, and some scrambling down the rocks, and we only had two hours to do it in, but we decided it had to be done. We rushed along the path and found the rocks she had described. We scramble down to the grassy area and get out binoculars out. No puffins. What a great disappointment!
Unique Suggestions: There are now only four breeding pairs of puffins on Lundy Island, and they are very well hidden. The chances of seeing them are very low. Make sure you know EXACTLY where the puffins are, and allow yourself a lot of time to pick them out.
Fun Alternatives: I wish we had just ambled along leisurely, rather than rushing to try and spot the puffins. Enjoy the scenery, soak up the atmosphere. You can always buy a post card of puffins (as I did)
Luggage and bags:
If you are on a day trip, take everything in a small day sack, and don't take too much as you will be walking a lot and have to carry it up the steep hill.
For those who are staying overnight, there is a 20kg limit. The lugagge will be brought up to the top from the boat for you by a tractor.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Good, comfortable walking boots with a good grip and ankle support are a must. Bring rain gear, as the weather can change rapidly out here.
I have no doubt that in many parts of the world (some of which I have visited) that the concept of a 24 hour a day fire brigade response would be seen as laughable. However, in the UK, we take this as an article of faith. If we 'phone 999 we know that sooner or later a trained fire crew will turn up and sort out whatever problem we have, from the...more
I've called them the secret steps, because they're quite hidden and not really mentioned in any of the leaflets about the island. Anyway, about halfway along the tramway by the North Light, there's a very rough path leading down the cliff face. It looks impossibly steep from above, but really isn't too bad as long as you're careful. From the...more
Up at the North Light, if you've got time to spare, have a look at the tramlines to the right of the lighthouse. It's not really what you'd expect to find at the end of an isolated island, but yes, they are tram tracks...used to transport supplies to the lighthouse keepers. Ships would land at the platform down below (see next tip) and while people...more
One of the easiest and most enjoyable activities to partake in on Lundy Island is to go walking. Wear a pair of comfortable walking boots with a good grip and ankle support, as the ground is often uneven. Once you have reached the top of the hill, the island is mostly fairly flat. There is a rough tractor track that runs the length of the island,...more
Again, this tip is not written from personal experience. I am a warm-watwer diver only! :-)Lundy was designated Britain's first statutory Marine Nature Reserve in 1986 and offers some of the best conditions for diving around the British coast. We saw several dive boats go out while we were there. The water is very clear and there is a rich and...more
The island is a favourite spot for rock climbers. I must confess I didn't try it - last time I did any rock climbing I was in my teens. The west coast is the main place for climbers, with routes graded from moderate/difficult to E3. Also the Knights Templar Rock on the east coast as well as Gannet's Buttress.Please note that some of the climbs are...more
If you take the lower East Side path northwards from Quarry Beach you'll notice that where the granite has been quarried from the cliff-face the remaining rock has developed black and dark-brown patina. This is due to wind-born micro-organisms, such as microcolonial fungi and bacteria, which have attached themselves to these relatively sheltered...more
If you descend to the lower East Coast path from Quarry Pool and head northwards you pass the sites where the granite was excavated during the brief existence of the Lundy Granite Company (1863-68). The broad footpath here was the tramway along which the hewn blocks were transported to be loaded onto ships at Quarry Beach.The first major excavation...more
The small graveyard next door to the Old Light is thought to date back to the 5th century when supposition has it that Lundy was home to a minor monastic community. One of the archaeologists who has investigated the cemetery, Charles Thomas, believes that one of the earliest graves was that of St Nectan of Hartland whose remains were disinterred...more