Norovirus is the most common stomach upsetting bug in the UK. It is highly contagious and can be spread by direct contact, through consumption of food handled by a person infected and through secondary sources such as door handles and telephones, on which the virus can survive for several days. The symptoms aren't life-threatening but are very unpleasant involving vomiting and diarrhoea. There's no cure for it and the body's own system usually gets rid of the virus within a couple of days, but the person infected may still be contagious up to 48 hours after the symptoms have passed.
Because of Lundy's compactness and isolation we have to be extra vigilant where such infections are possible. It only takes one infected person to arrive on our Island carrying the virus for it to rapidly spread throughout the whole community, staff and staying visitors alike, and can result in us effectively having to be quarantined until every letting property and public building is thoroughly deep-cleaned. This has happened in the past and we've had to shut down the Island for several weeks.
One of the most effective ways of preventing the spread of the virus is for everyone visiting the Island to ensure that they wash their hands regularly and use the sanitizers which are provided in every property, all public washrooms, on the Oldenburg and at the Hartland heliport. Those of us who live and work here are equally diligent and all the public areas are routinely cleaned with sanitizer several times a day.
You'll also find that most hotels and B&B's on the mainland around our departure ports also provide hand sanitizer in their bedrooms and washrooms for exactly this purpose.
So when you see notices and bottles of sanitizer as pictured please do use them if you are visiting us.
- Sailing and Boating
A warning to technophiles.
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 (complete with satellite delivered sporting events), no gaming machines, no quiz machines or any of the other devices that bleep and flash at you in so many pubs nowadays. Lundy is like that. Whilst it is in many ways very modern in being so eco-friendly, it is in so many other respects terribly archaic which only adds to it's appeal. There are holiday let premises on the island which do not even have electricity and very popular they are. Lundy really is a place to come and get totally away from the hurly-burly of modern life.
This tip, therefore, is a warning to those of you that cannot spend one minute away from your electronic leashes (mobile (cell) 'phones, iPads, tablets etc, etc.). They are not permitted in the Tavern. You are more than welcome to go outside and use them but not inside. If you forget and do use one, you will be fined the princely sum of £1. However, in the way of Lundy, even this has a benefit as the fines collected go towards a charity which cares for the vetrinary needs of the ponies on the island so, apart from the slight embarrassment of being "called out" by one of the staff, you ae doing a good thing.
I played a gig in the Tavern one night and did actually ask whether my headstock electronic tuning device was permissable or not. Thankfully, it was deemed acceptable which is a blessing or I would have sounded even worse than I eventually did!
You have been warned!
Expect A Bit Of A Climb!
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 Millcombe House is the steepest and from there you have the choice of taking the stepped pathway up to the Tavern or to continue following the road as it zig-zags past Bramble Villas to arrive at the Village via the Church.
Whether you are a staying guest, or a day-tripper, you're advised to travel light and for stayers your main luggage will be delivered to your property provided it has been checked-in and tagged.
In neither case are stiletto heels advised!
We do cater for those with disabilites, or injuries, by providing a Landrover shuttle both up and down if required.
- Hiking and Walking
Landing Bay Jellyfish
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 relatively shallow as the beach slopes gently into the Bristol Channel which means it is usually a bit warmer than elsewhere.
Amongst the diverse marine life there are a couple of species of jellyfish; Moon (Aurelia aurita) and Blue (Cyanea lamarcki). The Moon has a very distinguishing four quadrants when see from directly above and is suitably pale. The Blue looks nasty with its dark tentacles. Neither however have powerful stings and at worst contact with them will give you a nettle-like prickling. The only time you really need to avoid them is when they are en-mass, but that's more for the discomfort factor than any serious need.
Occasionally we'll also have a Lion's Mane which has a more powerful sting, but once again this is more akin to a fierce nettle than anything life-threatening.
Here's a couple of ID pics above.
Website below has all the details:
- Water Sports
Crossing The Bar
It might seem a bit strange for those that know me to find me entitling a tip "Crossing The Bar" but it's not that kind of bar!!
The Bar in this instance is the raised seabed where Bideford Bay (or Barnstaple Bay as it is known by those coming from there) meets the Bristol Channel. This is caused by the outflow of the rivers Taw and Torridge shifting sand, silt and small pebbles out into the bay (of whatever name) and when this flow meets the Channel it is effectively halted, resulting in a hump on the seabed.
If sailing outwards to Lundy on the MS Oldenburg from Bideford you can have relatively calm seas for most of the crossing but if the wind is against the boat then crossing the Bar can be quite rough even with headwinds of only force 3 or 4.
If you are not a good sailor I always advise staying on deck where the fresh air and being able to see what's happening can ease seasickness and note that crossing the bar only takes a minute or two.
Generally the return crossing is much smoother as it is timed to correspond with incoming tides.
BTW the three pics here are all from the same crossing.
- Sailing and Boating
What Goes On On Lundy Stays On Lundy!!
Our little community is composed of normal people who just happen to have chosen the relative isolation of the island for whatever purposes we have in mind. We're not "zoological exhibits" and so a little bit of respect for our privacy is appreciated.
One of the guys mentioned in the pub the other night that a couple of visitors had watched him in his private quarters through their binoculars - he only knew that because they told him!!
- Hiking and Walking
- Beer Tasting
One thing that seems to surprise daytrippers is the killer hill from the Landing Bay to the village. Lundy is quite a flat island...but only once you get up to the plateau! The road from the jetty starts off gentle, but it soon begins to climb as it winds up the side if the cliff. If you're fit and used to walking up hills, you can be in the village in 15-20 minutes, but some must take a lot longer. There is a landrover, but this is not for passengers...this is to carry supplies and luggage for the islanders, although I suppose they might make exceptions for the elderly or disabled...if you're just unfit or unused to walking or are wearing silly shoes, you'll just have to walk I'm afraid! This is why i'd suggest taking a daytrip that gives you several hours ashore, to give you time to recover at the pub once you've reached the top, and then see a bit more of the island.
One thing about the road is that it is a road, and a fairly good one at that. The rest of the paths around the island are just that...paths, some overgrown, most uneven, and many with steep drops on one side. What I liked about Lundy is that there are no fences, no danger signs, no railings to spoil the view...it's all up to your common sense not to stand right on the cliff edge. To reach some beaches, you need to be prepared to scramble down steep paths through the undergrowth, or climb down lots of uneven steps...or even haul yourself down a handy rope. If you go down, just remember you'll have to climb back up again!
Be prepared for serious delays
Expect the unexpected. Remember Lundy is seriously affected b the weather. On one occasion, before they introduced the helicopter, we were delayed for for 2 days because the sea was too rough and the Captain of the Oldenburg felt it was unsafe to make the trip and another occasion we could not get off the island for 3 days. Fog, high winds, rough seas can all affect getting on or off even today. (we went before the helicpter and before they built a quay so you had to land by rowing boat - including the cattle and sheep!!!)
- Adventure Travel
Although there are no special facilities on Lundy Island for the disabled, they will try and accommodate you as best as they can.
For the plain unfit, be prepared to find yourself seriously out of breath as you climb the steep hill to reach the top of the island. You will be rising 400 metres during your climb. You can take a number of different routes, depending on whether you wish to climb all steep steps, walk the long weay round, but less steep, road, and somewhere inbetween.
Although both David and I are not prone to seasickness, many people around us fell ill during what I thoguht was a reasonably smooth crossing. I saw some six or seven people being sick near our seat.
Sick bags are available throughout the boat, and if you are not a good sailor I suggest you get one as you board.
The sea was very smooth as long as we were just skirting the Devion coast, but as soon as we headed out into the open waters, the swell grew to about three feet.
There are tablets available against motion sickness, but most of the will make you feel drowsy. Wrist bands are said to effective by some people, whereas others swear by homeopathic remedies or plain old ginger. Whatever works for you.
Often it is best to sit on deck where you can enjoy the fresh air, and try and keep your sight on the horizon.