‘Stepping back to the 1950s’ UK island with no phone service but a pub that never closes

Devon: Reporter enjoys swimming with seals near Lundy Island

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Off the coast of north Devon, in the Bristol Channel, an outcrop of granite is getting a lot of attention. With nothing between it and America, this island stuck in time is a history and nature lovers’ paradise.

Lundy Island is quite peculiar.

The granite outcrop’s inhabitants are outnumbered by puffins 15 to one.

There is no electricity overnight, no phone signal and a pub that never closes but will fine punters £1 for using their phones.

Lundy Island is owned by the National Trust and managed by the Landmark Trust.

The island’s importance for both history and nature cannot be overlooked, and Britons are sure to find something to do when visiting.

READ MORE: UK holiday: Britons want adventures – what’s holding them back?

But first, would-be holidaymakers need to make their ways to the island.

Lundy is only 12 miles off the coast, but it’s not the most accessible of places to reach.

From March to the end of October, visitors can catch the ferry.

Ferry and supply ship MS Oldenburg takes passengers from Ilfracombe and Bideford, with the journey taking less than two hours.

To visit the island at any other times, visitors will have to get a helicopter ride, at a cost of £137 per adult for a period return.

But this is the cost of time travel.

The three miles long and half a mile wide outcrop is known for having kept modernity at bay.

The island general manager, Derek Green, told the BBC: “The beauty of Lundy is that it hasn’t changed for many, many years; it’s like stepping back to the 1950s.

“There are very few vehicles, no pollution, no noise, lots of wildlife. It’s a place that is untouched by the modern world.”

He continued: “My task is to keep Lundy as a world apart, and to try and keep the 21st Century from knocking on our door.”

Lundy has no overnight electricity, no phone service, no cars.

Lundy General Stores serve the inhabitants and visitors alike, with well-stocked shelves carrying everything from Lundy stamps to fresh produce and beers, wines and spirits.

The Marisco Tavern, the island’s only pub, never closes its doors.

It only serves alcohol during permitted hours, but people can still come in at any time.

The tavern has a no phone policy, and there is a £1 fine for every use.

Lundy is famous for its puffin colony. In fact, the name Lundy means Puffin Island in Norse.

Birdwatching is a popular activity on the island, and so is diving, rock-climbing and fishing.

History-lovers will find plenty to discover and explore on Lundy.

The island has been inhabited for 3,000 years, and has been a base for Vikings, pirates, lighthouse keepers.

It’s also been passed from hand to hand in unusual ways: won in a card game, bought in cash…

With the oldest postal service still operating in the world and a 19th century church, Victorian quarry ruins and a castle, Lundy has plenty of history to uncover.

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