Gems of England - Stundy Lundy

A couple of months ago I visited the island of Lundy and the Scilly Isles with a friend. Lundy sits out in the Bristol Channel, about 12 miles off the Devon coast, from where the boat leaves at Ilfracombe (which has its own dramatic scenery). Though 12 miles doesn't sound that far, the tendency for sea fog to block your sightline of the island (and in turn the view back to the mainland) is high, and so after entering what might seem like some kind of Devonian Triangle, Lundy appears like some mystical fantasy rock. In a way it is.

Though the above pic looks precarious, that day was actually very pleasant. The weather was almost pristine the whole 2 1/2 days we were there, except for some intense rolling fog on the last day as some kind of natural reminder that we had outstayed our welcome and we should get the hell off it now.

Ignoring the buildings and current residents (animals and humans) Lundy is a barren land. The only trees you'll see are the ones on the climb up the hill from the ferry. After that you're on your own, so take a hat or a parasol. Or not a parasol, the wind can get feisty. Being so sparse of shade does mean it is an amazing sun-trap and you get to see the sun travel the whole way across the sky if the heavens are clear. I'm not sure what a storm feels like there, but I imagine it's something like Shutter Island.

For a tiny rock, at 4x1.5 miles, Lundy sure has some wildlife. Ponies, sika deer, horned cows, a variety of seabirds, seals, wild goats and Lundy sheep (which are reddish-brown), puffins, the elusive black rabbit (which remained so), plus the shy and stunning Peregrine falcon.

Though we saw no puffins, which I have seen before in Shetland, seeing this beauty in the wild was certainly worth the trek. The fastest animal on the planet (its dive can reach 200mph) this Peregrine Falcon did not treat us to that show, but was perfectly happy to let me take few snaps as it sat alone high on the edge of the island.

Certainly if you wait up long enough near midsummer (past midnight) you'd see the Milky Way if the skies were clear. You'd see it fly right across the whole world because of the beautiful isolation of the island. But we chose early mornings instead of very late nights.

After a smooth boat ride back through the Mist, we arrived back on the mainland for a fairly long trek (and camp) towards Land's End airport to hop over to the Scilly Isles.

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