Lundy trip 2015 by stu shaw

Stuart Shaw

Day 1

Getting to Lundy is an adventure in itself, with the graceful MS Oldenburg ferry, from Ilfracombe. Unfortunately it wasn’t so graceful for our crossing as the sea was well choppy. Some of the group were to be found below deck talking down the big white telephone.  Once on the island you are transported back to earlier times with no roads, no cars, only fresh air and wildlife to enjoy, oh and there’s some climbing too!

A short walk form the harbour and we found the local pub, shop and our accommodation, however this would have to wait as the weather was good and some climbing to be done.

A mile walk up the Island and we came across Jenny’s Cove, a very picturesque part of the island with guillemots, razorbills and various gulls flying nearby.

Ken, Pete and Joe set up the top ropes and abseil line before belaying down to check the routes. Meanwhile Jo Cheung, Jo Tansey, Adrian and I got kitted out and Wendy found a suitable place in the sun, content just to relax and unwind.

A few hours were spent climbing the rocks of Jenny’s Cove and some suitable routes were found for me being a novice climber.

A great days climbing was had by all and stories to be told later in the pub.

Day 2

The morning started of with a bracing jog along the East coast, past the lighthouse, we headed off towards the north, and the stop off point was the fantastic view of Devils Slide. The climbing would have to wait as breakfast was calling, so the group jogged back to the Barn for bacon, eggs, toast and a welcome cup of tea.

The weather was good so armed with a map of the Island and letterbox clues to hand, half the group headed off in search of some hidden boxes. This was also a great excuse to see the Island and explore its hidden coves and hopefully see some wildlife, birds and mammals.

We wasn’t disappointed, Sika deer, Soay sheep, goats, guillemots, razorbills, swallows, skylarks giving it their all and lots of grey seals but no puffins.

Once we reached the three quarter wall we headed off east to the Devils Slide where five of the group were climbing. They were ¾ of the way up and enjoying the climb as well as the magnificent views and excellent weather, although a chilly breeze. We spent a while relaxing on the cliffs before heading off to Jennys Cove in search of Puffins. Only one was spotted emerging from a hole, the rest must have been out fishing.

The evening was spent in the Marisco Tavern, good food and excellent local ales helped pass the evening along with tales of the day’s activities.

Day 3

Awoken by the sound of the rain and wind, a look outside the door was met by very poor visibility. A look across the camp site saw the tents taking a bit of a battering; glad we opted to stay in the Barn. No run this morning….breakfast, a cup of tea and another meeting were the order for now till the weather cleared up. A plan was hatched, a group would go in search of some climbing on the East coast , hopefully out of the wind, while Wendy and I headed for the North coast to see the top of the Island and take a gentle walk down the East coast. The sun came out again but a strong wind blew as we headed for the furthest point the Northern Lighthouse.

A small cove was found where about 40 grey seals were relaxing on the rocks just off the shore line. This was a good spot for lunch as we spent and hour watching the seals and taking a few photos. One was balanced precariously on a tall rock, but seemed quiet relaxed, maybe waiting for the tide to come back in.

The walk continued down the coast line where we met the climbers, looking a little disappointed as no suitable climbing venues had been found. However they were also enjoying the very picturesque views and the sun was giving us all a very healthy glow to our faces.

A short walk later and we were by the harbour, followed by a brisk walk up the steps to the southern lighthouse in search of a few more letterbox clues. Hopefully a few more ticks on the card. Back down the steps and off to the Barn for another well earned cup of tea.

The evening was again spent in the Tavern, consuming the local ale and stories of the day’s adventures, along with a very unusual version of Jenga, much to the amusement of us all.

Day 4

Today was the last day; the sun was shining again however a strong wind blew. There would be no ferry crossing today, thankfully said a few of the group, with memories of the choppy crossing over. The helicopter had been summoned, an exciting experience for those who hadn’t flown in one before. We were allocated into groups and given our flight times.

The group headed off to the harbour and rat island to enjoy the last few hours, maybe a few more letterbox clues would be found. It was also a chance to reflect on the last few days and how much enjoyment had been had.

Some good climbing and walking, picturesque views along the coastline, an abundance of wildlife and excellent company made the stay on Lundy a very pleasurable experience.

The sound of the helicopter rotor blades indicated it was time to depart the island, was it worth the trip, it sure was, would we come back, probably not, too much of the world still to see, but glad of the opportunity to see a small but beautiful part of our Country.

This article was written by Stuart Shaw and published on this website on the 15th June 2015