Islands in Devon: Exploring the Hidden Gems of Southwest England
When you think of Devon, you may picture rolling hills, rugged coastlines, and charming seaside towns. But did you know that this county in Southwest England is also home to some stunning islands, each with its unique character and history? From tranquil retreats to wildlife havens, Devon’s islands are waiting to be explored. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the most beautiful islands in Devon and what makes them so special.
1. Lundy Island: A Natural Paradise
Tucked away in the Bristol Channel, Lundy Island is a place of natural beauty and tranquility. With no cars, no crowds, and no distractions, it’s the perfect place to escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Visitors can hike, bike, or simply stroll along the island’s rugged coastline, taking in stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean. Lundy is also a wildlife lover’s paradise, with puffins, seals, and dolphins among the many species that can be spotted here.
2. Burgh Island: A Step Back in Time
If you’re looking for an island with a touch of nostalgia, Burgh Island is the place for you. This small, tidal island off the coast of South Devon has been a popular destination since the 1920s, with its Art Deco hotel attracting the likes of Agatha Christie and Noel Coward. Visitors can still stay in the hotel today, soaking up the glamour and history of a bygone era. But Burgh Island isn’t just about the hotel – it also has a fascinating history, with evidence of human habitation dating back thousands of years.
3. Drake’s Island: A Fortress on the Sea
Located in Plymouth Sound, Drake’s Island has a long and fascinating history. It was once a defensive fortification, built to protect Plymouth from invasion, and later served as a prison for French and American POWs during the Napoleonic Wars. Today, the island is being restored and is set to open to the public as a heritage attraction. Visitors will be able to explore the island’s historic buildings, learn about its military past, and enjoy stunning views of Plymouth Sound.
4. St Michael’s Mount: A Castle on the Sea
If you’re looking for an island with a castle, St Michael’s Mount is the one for you. This tidal island off the coast of Cornwall is home to a stunning medieval castle, which has been inhabited by the same family for over 300 years. Visitors can explore the castle’s rich history, stroll through its beautiful gardens, and enjoy panoramic views of the coast.
5. The Taw-Torridge Estuary: A Hidden Gem
Last but not least, we have the Taw-Torridge Estuary, a network of salt marshes and sandbanks that form a unique ecosystem. Although not technically an island, the estuary is worth a mention for its natural beauty and diverse wildlife. Visitors can take a boat tour of the estuary, spotting birds and other wildlife along the way, or simply wander along its quiet beaches and enjoy the peace and quiet.
Devon’s islands may be small in size, but they are big on beauty, history, and natural wonder. From Lundy’s rugged cliffs to Burgh Island’s Art Deco glamour, each island has its own unique character and charm. Whether you’re a history buff, a wildlife lover, or simply seeking a break from the daily grind, Devon’s islands are waiting to be discovered.
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