Figuring out how to get to Lundy Island requires a bit of planning. And how you get to Lundy Island is massively dictated by what time of year you choose to visit. From the end of March to early October, you can take a boat trip or ferry to Lundy Island. From the end of October to early March, you take the helicopter to Lundy Island. This is all liable to change, though; one bad weather day and you’ll have to rethink your transport method. This is a real UK expedition.
Lundy Island’s isolated spot off the coast of Devon is part of its appeal. The island is a patch of wilderness and rugged beauty – demanding that you embark on an adventure just to arrive. This guide will cover how to get to Lundy Island in all the best possible ways, plus some extra essential knowledge at the end. So, how do you get to Lundy Island? Let’s get started.
1. Catching the ferry to Lundy Island
Price (per adult return): £89 for overnight stays and £50 for day trips
Catching the ferry to Lundy Island is the most popular way to reach it. It is also the cheapest way to get to Lundy Island. The Lundy Island ferry is MS Oldenburg, and you can sail from Bideford or Ilfracombe. You disembark at Lundy Island Harbour, walking up a gravel trail to reach the little village centre. The ferry to Lundy Island takes around two hours, with the walk taking about fifteen minutes once you disembark.
You can book a return ticket that allows an overnight stay or a same-day return ferry to Lundy Island if you want a day trip. A day trip is suitable for those with limited time, whereas staying overnight is best if you want an authentic experience of the island. You can check out the Lundy Island ferry schedule for 2023 here.
2. Taking a boat trip to Lundy Island
Price (for an adult): £60+
While you could catch the ferry to Lundy Island, another option is an organised boat trip. A boat trip is brilliant for someone wanting a more guided experience. And the good news is that you’ll find hundreds of boat trips to Lundy Island. Whether you wish to snorkel with seals, disembark and hike the island looking for ponies and Japanese deer, or take a geological tour of the rock formations, there’s a tour for you.
A boat trip to Lundy Island varies considerably in price depending on individual tour operators. However, the average is around £60. We’ll list some of the best options below, dividing them into boat trips from Ilfracombe and Clovelly.
Boat trips to Lundy Island from Ilfracombe
The shuttle tour departs at 8 am and picks you up at 5 pm. While you aren’t guided on the island, it aims to give you a ‘sea safari’ experience on the way there, with regular dolphin, porpoise, and seal sightings.
The special seal swimming tour costs £95pp and allows you to get up close to Lundy’s most playful residents.
This tour includes a five-hour safari experience around the island, departing from the pier at Ilfracombe.
– Experienced Diver Lundy Trips
This tour is especially for experienced divers with Advanced PADI qualifications. You’ll get to dive with seals and explore the numerous shipwrecks around Lundy Island’s shores.
Boat trips to Lundy Island from Clovelly
This small tour uses the Lundy Murrelet to transport a maximum of twelve guests to Lundy Island. You can go fishing, sightseeing, diving, or even indulge in water sports like kayaking.
3. Flying to Lundy Island Airfield
Prices (per adult return): £149
Finally, you can take the helicopter to Lundy Island from Hartland Point, landing at Lundy Island Airfield. If you want to visit Lundy Island between October and March, this will be your only option – and it is a little more expensive. But the sea becomes far too rough for ocean crossings.
Instead, on Mondays and Fridays, helicopter rides are chartered between Lundy Island Airfield and the mainland. The helicopter transports six people at a time and takes just six minutes to complete the journey. You check in at the Hartland Point Heliport and sit in a little lodge while you wait, with informative boards and a café to keep you entertained. You head out in a single file when your flight is called to board the helicopter.
If you can stay for a few nights, this is the most adventurous answer to ‘how to get to Lundy Island’. As far as helicopter rides go, it is reasonably affordable. Taking a helicopter to Lundy Island is an experience that gives you stunning aerial views.
Visiting Lundy FAQs
Now that we’ve covered how to get to Lundy Island let’s look at some common FAQs. This section will answer all your burning questions.
How long does it take to get to Lundy Island?
This depends whether you get the ferry or helicopter to Lundy Island. On the Lundy Island ferry, it takes two hours. On the helicopter, it takes six minutes.
How to get to Lundy Island from London
When the Lundy Island ferry is running, you can drive from London to Ilfracombe in four hours and twenty minutes or catch public transport in five hours. From Ilfracombe, you can catch the ferry to Lundy Island in two hours.
During the helicopter season, you have to drive to get to Lundy Island from London. Drive four hours and forty minutes to Hartland Point then catch the helicopter from Hartland Heliport.
How to go camping on Lundy Island
Going camping on Lundy Island is very straightforward and has spaces for up to 40 people. While open fires are prohibited, you can cook on gas stoves and have access to water and toilet and shower facilities. There’s also the village shop and pub to use just steps away.
You can camp for the duration the ferry to Lundy Island is running, and the campsite closes over winter.
What are the accommodation options on Lundy Island?
Apart from camping, there are plenty of year-round accommodation options on Lundy Island. These options are renovated historic properties by the Landmark Trust. The best properties include the cottages in Castle Keep, a 13th-century castle commissioned by Henry VII when he overthrew the troublesome Marisco family. The cottages are built into the ancient castle walls and have a strong atmosphere and sense of history.
Upper and Lower Lighthouse are two fantastic choices. Quite self-explanatory, they are built on two levels in the Old Lighthouse quarters, and guests have doorstep access to the lighthouse tower, which has a pair of deckchairs for relaxing with good views.
When is the best time to visit Lundy Island?
Overall, the best time to visit Lundy Island is in May. In May, you’ll be able to spot dolphins, whales, and puffins. Plus, the weather will be milder, so you can hike amongst the ponies more enjoyably and even go snorkelling with some cheeky seals.
For an extreme experience of Lundy Island, visit in December or January, when you’ll fly by helicopter to Lundy Island and experience intense winds and wilderness.
How to get to Lundy Island by helicopter
To get to Lundy Island by helicopter you have to book in advance by ringing 01271 863636 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. To book a helicopter, you also have to book accommodation from Friday to Monday or Monday to Friday. You’ll be asked to provide your weight and full name, paying by card over the phone.
On the day, you drive to Hartland Point Heliport and pay for parking in cash (only). You then go through a check in process and wait in a lodge until it is time for you to embark.
When can you see the Lundy Island puffins?
You can see puffins on Lundy Island from April to June and occasionally just outside this period. During this time, sightings are so reliable that they are almost guaranteed at Jenny’s Cove and St Phillip’s Stone.
When can you snorkel with seals on Lundy Island?
The best time to snorkel with seals on Lundy Island is between June and September. Technically, you can snorkel with seals all year round. But the sea is so choppy and cold over winter that you really don’t want to, and tour operators only run over summer.
Where can you see Lundy ponies on Lundy Island?
You can spot Lundy Ponies between the Quarter Wall and Halfway Wall on Lundy Island. They tend to graze along the east coast in dry weather and the west coast in wet and windy weather.
What is the Lundy Island pub like?
The Lundy Island Tavern is a traditional building packed with a library wall, board games, plenty of international and local drinks behind the bar, and a kitchen that covers three mealtimes a day. It has no wifi (in fact, there is a fine for anyone that disrupts other people using technology). It is an off-the-grid style pub to unwind in on Lundy Island.
Is Lundy Island haunted?
Yes, Lundy Island is haunted. The Heaven family owned Lundy Island between 1834 and 1917, and one of their children died on the island. Millcombe House, the property the family built as a home, can be rented today as a holiday home. Guests have experienced the sounds of a child running in the night and mysteriously opened drawers and doors.
Many people have died on and around the island, including shipwrecked sailors, German fighter pilots, and past residents. There is a graveyard underneath the Old Lighthouse, plus a private memorial to Harman’s son on the Lower East Path, who died bravely in WWII.
How long does it take to walk across Lundy Island?
On the central path, it takes an hour to walk from the Castle to the north endpoint of Lundy Island. The west coast takes around two hours, and the lower east coast takes four hours.
How long do you need to visit Lundy Island?
You could visit Lundy Island in a day, but you’d have to prioritise what to see and do and make some sacrifices. You need at least two days to see the best parts of the island. And to see everything, you need four days.
So, you know how to get to Lundy Island, and hopefully, you feel nice and prepared. Have a wonderful trip, and enjoy having such a wild experience in the UK. Whether you get the helicopter, boat trip, or ferry to Lundy Island, you’ll get a sense of adventure. Lundy is one of the most exciting UK island getaways.
If you want more experiences in wild corners of the UK, check out our best Scottish road trips, sunrises in Snowdonia, guide to visiting the Mourne Mountains, or walks in the Yorkshire Dales.