Lundy Island (Marisco Castle, Old Lighthouse): A Hidden Gem in the Bristol Channel


Lundy Island is a small, yet extraordinary island located off the coast of North Devon, in the Bristol Channel. The island is only 3 miles long and half a mile wide, but it is packed with history, wildlife, and natural beauty.

Lundy Island is a small but stunning island packed with history, wildlife, and natural beauty.
– The island has a long and fascinating history, dating back to the Bronze Age, and has been ruled by the Vikings and Normans.
Marisco Castle and the old lighthouse are iconic landmarks on Lundy Island, offering visitors stunning views and unique accommodation options.
Bideford is the gateway to Lundy Island, and visitors can take a ferry to the island from the historic market town.

Lundy Island is a must-see for those seeking an adventurous and unique experience. The island has a long and fascinating history, dating back to the Bronze Age. It was also a notorious pirate hideout and has been ruled by the Vikings and Normans. In the 19th century, it became a popular spot for smugglers, and during World War II, it was used as a target range for British bombers. 

Today, Lundy Island is a designated National Nature Reserve and Marine Conservation Zone, home to a vast array of flora and fauna.


Although it is a small island, it also has historic and fascinating landmarks which visitors can truly appreciate its rich history.

Marisco Castle

One of the most notable landmarks on the island is Marisco Castle, a ruined fortress that dates back to the 13th century. It was built by Henry III as a strategic base to control the Bristol Channel.

Over the years, it was used as a hunting lodge, a prison, and a smuggling den. The castle offers stunning views of the island and the sea, making it a popular spot for visitors.

Old Lighthouse

Another iconic landmark on Lundy Island is the old lighthouse. The lighthouse was built in 1820 and was in operation until it was decommissioned in 1897. Today, the lighthouse has been converted into accommodation, offering visitors a unique and unforgettable experience. 

The lighthouse accommodation is split into two apartments, the lower and upper, each with its distinct character and charm. The upper apartment offers stunning panoramic views of the island and is perfect for stargazing and bird-watching.

Bideford, a historic market town in North Devon, is the gateway to Lundy Island. Visitors can take a ferry from Bideford to Lundy Island, which takes around 2 hours. The ferry service operates from March to October, and advanced booking is recommended.

Lundy Island is a unique and special place that offers visitors an unforgettable experience. From the island’s rich history and stunning natural beauty to its iconic landmarks and unique accommodation, Lundy Island is a must-visit destination for anyone visiting North Devon.

Author Matt Ogborne
Matt Ogborne
About the Author

Welcome to! I’m Matt, a seasoned explorer and avid fan of Bideford and the broader North Devon area. With over a decade of consistent family visits, virtually every weekend, I’ve immersed myself in the rich history and vibrant culture Bideford & North Devon.

On this site, you’ll find a wealth of knowledge amassed from my adventures here. From in-depth local guides to engaging blog posts about Bideford. Whether you’re looking for recommendations on things to do or guidance on where to stay we have you covered. Join me as we delve into the heart of Bideford, North Devon – a town that’s more than just a destination, but an experience waiting to be discovered.

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