When Is the Best Time
The small Lundy Island - just 5 km / 3 miles long - is very popular for daytrippers during spring and summer. The island is famous for birding, especially the cute puffins. Find more details below. Regarding the weather May to September are the most pleasant months although rain, drizzle, and mist occur throughout the year. It's pretty often unpredictable with very challenging weather conditions. June is the peak for the flowering season. The ferry MS Oldenburg departs from Bideford and Ilfracombe depending on the tide times and takes less than two hours. It's the same for the return ferry trip. Occasionally you arrive at the other port, but a shuttle will bring you back to the car.
The season on the island starts end of March and ends end of October if travelling by ferry. The island is accessible by helicopter from November to April if you stay in one of the 23 cottages of Lundy. A small number of puffins can be seen in the breeding season. The best months to spot puffins are April to July/early August. However, sightings outside of this period are possible but rare.
The ferry ride takes less than 2 hours. This makes the island even more popular. People already queue an hour before departure to get a seat. However, you won't find massive crowds on Lundy Island. But still, it's advisable to book the ferry ticket in advance, especially during the weekend and summer holidays. Same for the 23 cottages and the campground. If possible come mid-week when visiting in July or August.
Ferry (MS Oldenburg) and Accommodations
- For 'ferry' booking, you can either give them a call or write them an email: Ferry Booking. Find the timetable here: Ferry Timetable (departing either from Bideford or Ilfracombe)
- For booking one of the 23 available cottages on the island: Cottage Booking (select 'Lundy' as the region)
- Whether you're staying for a day trip or longer on the island, it's a must to spend some time in either Bideford or Ilfracombe. Why? The ferry departs directly from both beautiful towns. Book your stay via booking.com as they offer the best rates and top-notch service: Bideford Hotels or Ilfracombe Hotels (Tip: Bookmark both links in case you're not booking right now. It will save you time and money)
Diving at Lundy
It's also a top diving destination in the UK; located in the Bristol Channel. The sea around Lundy is the first Marine Nature Reserve in England. Best time for diving and snorkeling during summer due to warmer sea temps. The diving season starts end of April and lasts until the end of September with good visibility. There are more than hundred shipwrecks around Lundy which makes it even more exciting. Due to strong tidal currents, it’s only for experienced divers recommended. A bonus curious grey seals may follow you. Dive Sites
Lundy is one of the largest seabird breeding colonies in South West England.
- Usually, puffins arrive between mid to end of March on Lundy Island for breeding. Puffins are leaving the island in August at the latest. As Lundy Island is rat free now (2019), you can expect a higher number of these gorgeous birds. There is a colony at Jenny's Cove, and even during rat eradication, the pufflings and all other chicks were save there. However, usually you can obserbe them in distance only. Bring a binocular and/or a zoom camera.
- Seabird breeding colony (guillemot, razorbill, max shearwater, shag, and different gulls) can be spotted from the end of March until September.
- Migratory birds make a stop on the island from March to June and August to November.
Lundy Island Puffin Calendar
Weekly Hotel Deals (Ilfracombe)
Either for a day trip or a longer stay on the island: Our advice is to stay in Ilfracombe, as the MS Oldenburgs departs more often from there. Tip: You don't need to check the deals below very often. Just click 'See all deals' and then bookmark the search results page!
Where and Tips
Lundy is a place of outstanding natural beauty and a must when visiting Cornwall. It's an incredible getaway of it all. It's digital detox - neither mobile nor internet connection as well as no TV and no traffic. Lundy is accessible by ferry from spring to autumn and by helicopter only during winter. Taking the boat can cause seasickness. Be prepared or buy the medicine on board. It’s a steep ascent after arriving at the harbour on Lundy. If you have walking difficulties, let the boat crew know that they can arrange a pick up by land rover to avoid this steep walk. It's a beautiful and easy trail to circle the entire island. There are three lighthouses situated: the South, the North, and the Old Light necessary due to the remote location. The Old Lighthouse, the ancient castle, and other historic buildings are for rent now. Enjoy the breathtaking landscape while hiking along the coastal path, the smuggler's cave, and earthquake cracks. Lundy is Norse and means Puffin. You may spot some of these cute birds but not in huge numbers. However, it's a paradise for birders, but if you want to watch the puffins up close; check out Lunga Island.