Lundy Island

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Key information: Lundy Island

  • This famous island-reserve has fabulous land and sea life, huge cliffs and stunning views.

Walkopedia rating

  • Walkopedia rating90.5
  • Beauty32
  • Natural interest15.5
  • Human interest11
  • Charisma32
  • Negative points0
  • Total rating90.5

Vital Statistics

  • Length: Up to 11km
  • Maximum Altitude: N/A
  • Level of Difficulty: Moderate


Lundy Island sits some 12 miles off the north-west coast of Devon. It is a nature reserve and famous for seabirds (you will see puffins, razorbills and guillemots at the right time of year), with huge 400ft cliffs above an often violent sea which was Britain's first marine nature reserve - you will be likely to see seals. Its exposed west has its toughest cliffs, while its (relatively) sheltered eastern side (relatively) mellower, with trees ever.

Lundy has been inhabited for more than 3,000 years – its name derives from the Norse for Puffin Island-and was subsequently a base for marauders and smugglers, as well as a fortified outpost commanding the Bristol channel. It is home to a castle (of sorts) and old batteries. It exported granite far and wide; a spectacular track snakes along the mid-cliffs of the eastern shore, was once a railway line for this purpose.

Lundy is plateau-topped, and easy walking. At some 3 miles long and 1/2 mile wide at most, it is easily walked around on a 11km (7 miles) circuit. (Half circuit 7.4km/4.5 miles.)

Access is by boat from Ilfracombe or Bideford (2hrs each way) - check sailing times as these vary, so can affect the walking time you have there. Lundy is managed by the Landmark Trust, and varied accommodation is available. See See also

Much of the coast is cliffs, not all of them 100% stable. If in doubt, stick to the paths.

South West Coast Path: Minehead to Padstow (National Trail Guides) - Roland Tarr /Aurum Press Ltd. Has a section on walking on Lundy.

Visitors are at their peaks in high summer, although limited ferry spaces keep numbers down. The best time of year can be May and June, when the wildflowers are at their heart melting best and the days are long. But be prepared for bad weather at any time. Autumn and winter walks can be thrilling – and relatively alone. Hardy types who like a good sea-storm will probably get a kick out of Winter, bearing the short daylight hours in mind.

For detailed weather information, have a look at: or

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Safety and problems: All walks have inherent risks and potential problems, and many of the walks featured on this website involve significant risks, dangers and problems. Problems of any sort can arise on any walk. This website does not purport to identify any (or all) actual or potential risks, dangers and problems that may relate to any particular walk.

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Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.


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