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Lundy, a 3 mile long island standing proudly in the Bristol Channel twelve miles from the nearest mainland (Hartland Point on the Culm Coast of Devon) is quite simply one of the best climbing destinations in the British Isles!
The climbing is mostly found on the granite cliffs of the rugged, wave pounded, West Coast with grades ranging from Diff to E8. The routes are firmly set in the traditional adventuous mode (apart from a small number of lines that still have a couple of bolts), although there are plenty of friendly crags!
Where to stay
Ranging from posh cottages to camping. Must be booked early to avoid disappointment during peak season. Large groups should consider attempting to book "The Barn" as it works out relatively cheap if you can fill it up... but this will need to be done a long time in advance! Bookings are made through The Landmark Trust/ or The Lundy Shore Office .( 01271 863636 )
How to get there
The MS Oldenburg sails from Bideford and Ilfracombe regularly during the summer. This currently costs about £40 for a return. Alternatively, if you've got more money to spend and want a speedier ride (the boat takes between 2 and 3 hours, and can be a bit rough!) a helicopter can be arranged.
Peak Climbing Season
Runs from August through to late september. During the bulk of the summer many of the cliffs are affected by bird nesting restrictions (1st April to 31st July). A trip during the nesting season is still worth considering as there are a number of crags which remain open - these can vary from year to year so you'll need to check with the Lundy Warden first.
What gear to take
A standard rack of gear should suffice (wires, Friends, quickdraws, Hexes etc) but consider taking a few extra bits for rigging abseils and for the longer routes. Although you can get away with a 50 metre abseil rope, a longer one (some take 100 metres!) will make things easier as you won't have to tie ropes together - a static line (i.e. not just a stretchy old climbing rope!) is preferable as it will minimise cliff top erosion and is also less prone to wear over edges and dislodging rocks. If you do only have a 50 metre ab rope a section of "rigging rope" will prove handy to extend belays, which are often set a way back from the edge, to the cliff top (once again this is best if static).
Food and essentials
Are available on the island from a small shop. This can be a little expensive, which is understandable given the expense of shipping provisions to the island. At the time of writing they stock metholated spirits, and Coleman Gas Canisters (the latter are not that cheap so go prepared!). There is also the Marisco Tavern, the focal point for apres- (and sometimes pre-) climbing activities - as well as a a few good beers they also do food (best bargains from the specials section on the counter) and a stunning cooked breakfast.
It is likely that you're trip to Lundy will include a fair amount of walking and some steep descents so take appropiate footwear!
Lundy ( by Paul Harrison and Gary Gibson Published by The Climbers Club 1994) The definitive Lundy Guide! Full of inspirational routes. A supplement guide is downloadable from The Climbers Club
A selection of the best routes can also be found in South West Climbs by Pat Littlejohn (Diadem Books 1991).
New route details
Available at javu. When on the island new routes and climbing log books can be found in the Marisco Tavern. These are well worth a read for amusement value and sometimes useful route information. Also see the Climbers Club webite for a supplement.
Lundy Top 10 Paul Harrison, co-author of the guidebook and author of the supplement, shares his Top 10 routes on the island.
Dave Ferguson on the Cullinan
Available at the Lundy Island website - this includes further contact and accomodation details.
Thanks to Boreal for supporting the site!
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