Lunga Island the largest of the Treshnish Isles and a photographers and birdwatchers dream. There are thousands of puffins and guillemots.
The puffin breeding season on the Isle of Lunga (one of the Treshnish Isles) starts in the middle of April. To make sure to have thousands of them on Lunga Island to spot, I recommend a visit not before May. They stay on this island until the beginning of August. For your trip planning, please check our monthly puffin overview with details for spring, summer, fall, and winter for the Isle of Lunga below. Also, check out our Isle of Lunga Puffins Video on YouTube. A helpful monthly weather overview can be found here: Treshnish Isle - Scotland - Monthly Weather
Puffin Sightings | Lunga Island
- September - March |Bad Time:
No puffins are on the island during these months, from autumn until early spring.
- April| Good Time:
It's possible but rare to see puffins in spring before mid-April. Although not the greatest time, you usually spot them from mid-April on. However, sometimes they even arrive later in April. Experts say: Early to mid-April, sometimes later.
- May - June - July | Best Time:
Late spring and early summer is the perfect time. You spot thousands of puffins on Lunga Island! To save money, make sure to book your nearby accommodation in advance (see below).
- August | Mediocre Time:
Be careful, as they stay on the island only until early August. Sometimes slightly longer. We wouldn't risk visiting later than in the early days of August if at all.
I went there at the end of June, and besides puffins, I saw chicks from the guillemot, razorbill, and shag. The puffin chicks are hidden in the burrows, and you may encounter them only when they leave the nest.
Lundy is a place of outstanding natural beauty and a must when visiting Cornwall. It's an incredible getaway of it all.
The small Lundy Island - just 5 km / 3 miles long - is very popular for daytrippers during spring and summer. The island is famous for birding, especially the cute puffins. Find more details below. Regarding the weather May to September are the most pleasant months although rain, drizzle, and mist occur throughout the year. It's pretty often unpredictable with very challenging weather conditions. June is the peak for the flowering season. The ferry MS Oldenburg departs from Bideford and Ilfracombe depending on the tide times and takes less than two hours. It's the same for the return ferry trip. Occasionally you arrive at the other port, but a shuttle will bring you back to the car.
The season on the island starts end of March and ends end of October if travelling by ferry. The island is accessible by helicopter from November to April if you stay in one of the 23 cottages of Lundy. A small number of puffins can be seen in the breeding season. The best months to spot puffins are April to July/early August. However, sightings outside of this period are possible but rare.
The ferry ride takes less than 2 hours. This makes the island even more popular. People already queue an hour before departure to get a seat. However, you won't find massive crowds on Lundy Island. But still, it's advisable to book the ferry ticket in advance, especially during the weekend and summer holidays. Same for the 23 cottages and the campground. If possible come mid-week when visiting in July or August.
Ferry (MS Oldenburg) and Accommodations
- For 'ferry' booking, you can either give them a call or write them an email: Ferry Booking. Find the timetable here: Ferry Timetable (departing either from Bideford or Ilfracombe)
- For booking one of the 23 available cottages on the island: Cottage Booking (select 'Lundy' as the region)
- Whether you're staying for a day trip or longer on the island, it's a must to spend some time in either Bideford or Ilfracombe. Why? The ferry departs directly from both beautiful towns. Book your stay via booking.com as they offer the best rates and top-notch service: Bideford Hotels or Ilfracombe Hotels (Tip: Bookmark both links in case you're not booking right now. It will save you time and money)
Diving at Lundy
It's also a top diving destination in the UK; located in the Bristol Channel. The sea around Lundy is the first Marine Nature Reserve in England. Best time for diving and snorkeling during summer due to warmer sea temps. The diving season starts end of April and lasts until the end of September with good visibility. There are more than hundred shipwrecks around Lundy which makes it even more exciting. Due to strong tidal currents, it’s only for experienced divers recommended. A bonus curious grey seals may follow you. Dive Sites
Lundy is one of the largest seabird breeding colonies in South West England.
- Usually, puffins arrive between mid to end of March on Lundy Island for breeding. Puffins are leaving the island in August at the latest. As Lundy Island is rat free now (2019), you can expect a higher number of these gorgeous birds. There is a colony at Jenny's Cove, and even during rat eradication, the pufflings and all other chicks were save there. However, usually you can obserbe them in distance only. Bring a binocular and/or a zoom camera.
- Seabird breeding colony (guillemot, razorbill, max shearwater, shag, and different gulls) can be spotted from the end of March until September.
- Migratory birds make a stop on the island from March to June and August to November.
Lundy Island Puffin Calendar