Did you know there is a day in September dedicated to talking like a pirate? International Talk Like a Pirate Day is a parody holiday that has run annually since 1995 and is a way to celebrate the slang and lingo used by the pirates we’ve come to know through films and television. As September is the month for acknowledging pirates, what better time to visit Lundy Island – at one time, it was ruled by a self-proclaimed pirate king! That’s not the only reason we think you should add a trip to Lundy Island to your itineraries though, here are five reasons why you should visit Lundy Island this September.
For those that don’t know, Lundy Island literally translates to Puffin Island and is home to the South West’s largest puffin colony, it’s a haven for all kinds of sea birds and is located just off the North Devon coast. So, why should you visit? Well…
Getting there is an adventure
If you like a sense of adventure then you HAVE to visit Lundy Island, even getting to the island is an adventure! At this time of year, you can catch a ferry across to the island from Ilfracombe or Bideford and depending on the tide, you may even get to climb a ladder onto the island itself! During the winter months, the ferry doesn’t run, instead you can catch a helicopter from the mainland!
Being there is also an adventure
Lundy Island might only be three miles long, but there is an almost never ending list of activities for you to enjoy. If you like rock climbing, sea swimming or diving, you need to head to Lundy Island. The best bit? Because all the activities are restricted and managed by the Island’s manager, you need to book, meaning that you have exclusive use during your session. There are reasons for this – Lundy Island is the only statutory Marine Nature Reserve in England and although it is one of the best places for sea cliff climbing and diving, the main aim is to maintain the environment and not disturb the wildlife. The team at Lundy provide you with all the equipment you need and because you book your own session, it is never crowded and you can really experience the natural world at its finest.
Every visit is like stepping back in time
Even though there several accommodation options on the island, not all of them have electricity, so there is no TV or WiFi – it’s like a complete escape from modern life. The island itself is managed by the Landmark Trust and owned by the National Trust and there are 41 monuments and a number of listed buildings to explore. Though it is small, you can find everything from Bronze Age settlements to Victorian churches and a Georgian lighthouse.
Where else can you find a puffin or a seal?
One of the biggest draws for people is the incredible wildlife. Because of its status as a Marine Nature Reserve, it has a fascinating eco system with a host of wildlife that you’re unlikely to see anywhere else. The most famous residents are the puffins (hence the name) but they aren’t the only birds that roost here. You’ll also find dolphins, seals and sharks swimming around the shallows and sika deer and soay sheep roam the land. As well as being a Marine Nature Reserve, it is also a Site of Special Scientific Interest, making it a perfect day trip for nature lovers.
Did we mention the pirates?
So, the pirates – that isn’t the only interesting thing to be found in the island’s history. In fact, Lundy Island has been inhabited for at least 3000 years according to archaeologists. There are remains from the Bronze and Iron Ages and its name even comes from the Vikings who invaded Britain around the 9th Century. During the early days of the Norman conquest, the island was home to the de Marisco family who had a tumultuous relationship with the royals, ending with William de Marisco being executed for treason in the 1240s. After the de Marsico’s moved out is when the island became a haven for pirates and other outlaws, including nobles who had been disgraced and the afore mentioned pirate king – Captain Salkeld. While Salkeld and his crew ruled the island, they would use Lundy’s position to attack and capture ships in the Bristol Channel transporting goods in and out of Britain. Eventually a famous pirate hunter was enlisted to capture him but that didn’t go to plan and Salkeld had been chased from the island before he got there.
So, where better to spend International Talk Like a Pirate Day than an island previously ruled by a pirate? Find out more about Lundy Island, how to book a trip and what activities are on offer here.