Best Time To Visit Lundy Island In The UK

Love traveling to some of the more remote, tourist-free areas of the world? Love nature? Lundy Island might be exactly what you’re looking for. When’s the best time to visit Lundy Island to get the most out of your trip? Read on….

A visit to Lundy Island, located in the United Kingdom, is an incredible experience. The quaint little island is located where the Bristol Channel meets the Atlantic Ocean. However, those who get to enjoy the beautiful landscape on the island are limited.

With only 23 properties allocated for travelers and a handful of residential homes, the crowds are quite small year-round. If you are fortunate enough to snag accommodations, you are in for a real treat.

And you can’t forget the puffins! The cute little birds come to the island for an extended period each year, and if you time your travel right, you can catch them! Lundy translates to “Puffin Island” in the Old Norse language, and you’ll love seeing these birds in action.

best time to visit lundy island
Lundy Island is one of the world’s puffin hotspots

But when is the best time to visit Lundy Island, UK? We outline the ideal timelines for a visit below to help guide you in your travel plans.

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Things To Know

If you are interested in planning a trip to Lundy Island, you will want to know a few critical pieces of information that will impact your stay. 

As mentioned above, the amount of rental homes available on the island is extremely limited. These properties are managed full-time by The Landmark Trust, comprised of 27 members living on the island year-round. 

To get to Lundy Island is a two-hour ferry ride. This ferry departs several times a week during the winter months but has more routes available during the summer. While weather conditions rarely impact the ferry schedule, it is a good idea to keep the thought in the back of your mind just in case.

While you can secure your own boat transportation outside of the ferry, the locals and the corresponding authority don’t recommend doing so. Not only is there an additional charge for utilizing the guest boat slip, but they also only have one available. 

Many snorkelers and divers utilize the water around the island. For those less familiar with the island’s layout, it can be dangerous to those in the water and on the boat if the boaters enter the wrong area.

Cell phone service is spotty on the island, and the one eatery that is located there, The Marisco Tavern, does not allow cell phones while on the premises. The island also does not have public internet or television, so if you are looking for a tranquil adventure, this is it!

best time to visit lundy island
Marisco Tavern, Lundy Island

Lundy Island is famous for the Puffins that come to the area, but they also have a wide array of sea animals throughout the surrounding waters. Additionally, many shipwrecks can be seen while scuba diving around the island. While small, the destination packs a significant amount of history.

There are general stores available to purchase food and supplies. The tavern also has a collection of research books to help you identify local flowers and plants that you can use on a complimentary basis. 

As you can surmise from the information above, a visit to Lundy Island will not be a trip of the hustle and bustle. You will have every opportunity to relax, enjoy nature, and take in the serene landscape while making core memories with your loved ones.

The Best Time To Visit Lundy Island

While there is never really a wrong time to visit Lundy Island, you will find that the best conditions for travel come between June and October. One of the biggest things you need to consider when planning a trip to the island is the water conditions, which can significantly impact your experience.

During this time of year, several ferries go between the mainland and Lundy Island. These ferries are dependent on weather and can be canceled or delayed if conditions aren’t favorable. 

best time to visit lundy island
Lundy Island’s spectacular scenery is perfect for hiking

As an alternative, or if you want to save time, you can always opt to get to the island by helicopter. The fees are substantially higher, but the travel time is considerably less.

When planning your travel, it is essential to remember that Lundy Island is a no-vehicle island. Therefore, your mode of transportation will primarily be on foot. During bouts of rain, this could become unpleasant. The island itself is only three miles long by half a mile wide, so you don’t have to worry about being stuck with a significant area to cover while walking.

With the weather never going above the mid-’60s, you will have optimal conditions for hiking and exploring around the island. Starting in August, you will be able to view the Puffin birds as they come to the area. As many as 400 Puffins can be seen at one time in Lundy! 

Because the busy season falls during the summer months, when more people are available to go on vacation, the daily rates at the accommodations are a bit higher than in the off-season. However, you are gaining better weather conditions with less rainfall for a more elevated rental cost.

The Cheapest Time To Visit Lundy Island

If you want to visit Lundy Island but have a tighter budget, then the cheapest time to visit is during the winter months, namely December, January, and February. Because of reduced tourism, the accommodations come in at a lower rate, and you can secure an entire residence at a significant discount.

One thing to remember is that the ferry to Lundy Island will depart fewer times throughout the week during the winter than during the peak months in the summer. Therefore, the ferry operators may delay or cancel if the weather isn’t good. With an increase in rainfall, the likelihood of this happening is higher.

best time to visit lundy island
One of the scenic, peaceful walking trails on Lundy Island

If the ferry isn’t operating, guests can gain access to the island via helicopter, albeit at a higher rate than the ferry. This option is commonly used during the winter months, but is also dependant on the weather. If the weather is bad and visibility is low, the helicopter will not run for the safety of passengers and operators alike. 

Another thing to consider is that you will be outside of the Puffin season. Being a top reason tourists visit Lundy, missing this occasion can be upsetting. If observing the Puffins is high on your priority list, you will want to aim for a trip in the summer months.

To further cut costs, you may want to consider purchasing food items on the mainland before traveling to Lundy Island. Due to the scarce inventory and the irregular boat schedule, the prices of goods are significantly higher on the island compared to other areas.

The Best Time To See Puffins on Lundy Island

Being that the island is named for this unique bird, it goes without saying that seeing the Puffins is one of the main attractions of Lundy Island. Because of that, many individuals want to time their visit appropriately to observe these visitors. 

best time to visit lundy island for puffin viewing
The adorable puffins of Lundy Island!

For optimal Puffin viewing, it is best to arrive on Lundy Island between March and August. To get the best look at these exquisite birds, locals recommend the following:

  • Binoculars
  • Proper Walking Shoes
  • High-Quality Camera With Zoom
  • Time (Puffins can be pokey!)

These months are the nesting times for Puffins. Therefore, you may see them fly to their burrows where their babies are, or ultimately will be, located. Keeping an eye out for their telltale orange beaks will help you to spot them in flight.

As with all birds and animals, it is critical to respect their space. While you may want to get closer to the birds, it is best to keep a significant amount of space for the safety of yourself and the wildlife. 

Final Thoughts – Best Time To Visit Lundy Island

As we all know, the experience an individual or family hopes to get from their vacation depends on their interests alone.

However, most people can agree that a spectacular holiday has all of the following elements:

  • Great Weather
  • Affordable Rates
  • Ample Opportunities
  • Peace and Relaxation
  • Puffins!

With these three items in mind, visiting Lundy Island during the summer months provides the best time frame for experiencing the most possible. Not only is the weather the best of the year, with a high that doesn’t exceed 65 degrees Fahrenheit, but you can participate in all available hikes, water activities, bird viewing, and local activities put on by The Landmark Trust.

Moreover, a trip to Lundy Island during these summer months will let you see the resident Puffins during their nesting season. While it is possible to see them outside this window, their presence is more prevalent in the summer. Additionally, the summer months have a more frequent ferry schedule, allowing greater access to the mainland and the island.

The only downfall to a summer visit is the elevated accommodation rate. Because these fair-weathered months bring in the most tourism, the demand for a place to stay is high, and the fees also resemble that. 

However, comparing Lundy Island to other vacation destinations, the experience is still more affordable than many big-city adventures. And the element of peace and relaxation is available in spades on the island.

Therefore, it is essential to clearly understand what you want to get out of your experience to make it a reality. 

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