devon uk

Want to discover which are the best islands in Devon?

Devon, located in the southwest of England, is renowned for its stunning coastline, picturesque landscapes, and rich history.

As one of the most popular tourist destinations in the UK, Devon attracts visitors from around the world with its charming villages, sandy beaches, and diverse attractions.

Nestled along Devon’s coastline are several captivating islands, each offering unique experiences and breathtaking scenery.

These islands enrich Devon’s tourism landscape, providing opportunities for exploration, adventure, and relaxation amidst natural beauty.

The purpose of this article is to delve into the allure of Devon’s islands and highlight the best ones that every visitor should consider exploring.

From historic landmarks to unspoiled nature reserves, we’ll showcase the diverse attractions and activities available on these captivating islands.

Moreover, we aim to provide practical insights and tips for planning memorable island excursions in Devon.

Now, let’s take a closer look at some of the best islands in Devon you must visit:

1. Lundy Island

Lundy Island

Lundy Island stands as a captivating jewel off the coast of North Devon, beckoning adventurers with its rugged cliffs, diverse wildlife, and rich history.

Situated in the Bristol Channel, this granite outcrop spans approximately three miles in length and boasts a unique charm that enchants visitors from afar.

With a history dating back thousands of years, Lundy Island has served as a strategic outpost, a haven for pirates, and a refuge for monks.

From its medieval past to its role as a Victorian holiday destination, Lundy Island carries layers of historical significance, evident in its ancient ruins, lighthouses, and maritime heritage.

Lundy Island’s dramatic landscape captivates visitors with its towering cliffs, secluded coves, and panoramic vistas of the Atlantic Ocean.

Designated as a Marine Nature Reserve, the island teems with biodiversity, offering sanctuary to seabirds, seals, and a myriad of marine life.

Nature enthusiasts will marvel at the island’s rugged terrain, vibrant wildflowers, and pristine beaches.

Visitors to Lundy Island can immerse themselves in a wealth of outdoor activities and attractions.

From guided nature walks and birdwatching expeditions to snorkeling adventures and seal-spotting cruises, there’s something for every nature enthusiast.

History buffs can explore the island’s ancient monuments, including the 13th-century Marisco Castle, while adventurers can embark on exhilarating hikes along Lundy’s scenic coastal paths.

Accessing Lundy Island is an adventure in itself, as visitors journey across the Bristol Channel aboard the MS Oldenburg, a passenger ferry departing from the mainland.

The ferry service operates from Bideford or Ilfracombe, offering regular sailings to the island during the tourist season.

Alternatively, adventurous travelers can arrive by helicopter, experiencing a bird’s-eye view of Lundy’s rugged coastline before touching down on the island’s helipad.

2. Burgh Island

Burgh Island

Perched majestically off the South Devon coast, Burgh Island emerges as a timeless icon of elegance and charm.

This tidal island, steeped in history and romance, offers a captivating retreat for discerning travelers seeking tranquility and indulgence amidst breathtaking surroundings.

Burgh Island’s history traces back centuries, with evidence of human habitation dating as far back as the Bronze Age.

However, it was during the early 20th century that Burgh Island gained prominence as a glamorous retreat for the British elite.

The island’s captivating landscape, dotted with rugged cliffs and golden sands, has inspired artists, writers, and musicians for generations.

One of Burgh Island’s most distinctive features is its Art Deco hotel, an architectural gem that exudes vintage glamour and sophistication.

This iconic hotel has welcomed illustrious guests, including Agatha Christie, Noël Coward, and Winston Churchill, who sought refuge and inspiration amidst its opulent surroundings.

Burgh Island offers luxurious accommodation options, ranging from elegant suites to secluded cottages, each adorned with period furnishings and modern amenities.

Guests can savor exquisite cuisine at the island’s award-winning restaurants, indulging in gourmet dining experiences complemented by panoramic views of the Devon coastline.

From leisurely walks along the island’s windswept beaches to exhilarating water sports in the azure waters of the English Channel, Burgh Island offers a wealth of activities and experiences for visitors of all interests.

Guests can explore the island’s hidden coves, embark on guided nature trails, or simply unwind in the island’s tranquil surroundings, enveloped by the timeless beauty of the Devonshire coast.

3. St. Michael’s Mount

St. Michael's Mount

Rising dramatically from the azure waters of Mount’s Bay in Cornwall, St. Michael’s Mount stands as a timeless testament to history, heritage, and natural beauty.

This tidal island, crowned by a majestic castle and surrounded by subtropical gardens, enthralls visitors with its captivating allure and rich tapestry of legends.

St. Michael’s Mount boasts a geological and historical legacy that spans millennia.

Formed from granite and slate, the island’s rugged terrain bears witness to ancient volcanic activity, while its historical significance is intertwined with tales of Celtic saints, medieval monks, and maritime conquests.

From Neolithic settlements to medieval fortifications, St. Michael’s Mount is a treasure trove of archaeological wonders and architectural marvels.

St. Michael’s Mount shares a striking resemblance to its counterpart, Mont Saint-Michel, in Normandy, France.

Both islands are dedicated to St. Michael the Archangel and feature medieval monastic communities nestled atop rocky outcrops.

This unique connection between St. Michael’s Mount and Mont Saint-Michel reflects centuries of cultural exchange and pilgrimage between England and France.

At the heart of St. Michael’s Mount lies a majestic castle, steeped in history and architectural splendor.

Originally constructed as a fortress in the 12th century, the castle has evolved over the centuries, blending medieval grandeur with Victorian elegance.

Surrounding the castle are enchanting gardens, brimming with exotic plants, colorful blooms, and panoramic vistas of the Cornish coastline.

Visitors to St. Michael’s Mount can embark on a captivating journey of discovery, exploring the island’s historic landmarks, scenic trails, and picturesque village.

Access to the island is governed by the tide, with visitors able to cross the causeway on foot during low tide or sail aboard a traditional boat when the causeway is submerged.

Guided tours of the castle and gardens offer insights into the island’s rich heritage, while coastal walks and beachside cafes provide opportunities for relaxation and reflection.

4. Drake’s Island

Drakes Island

Nestled within the tranquil waters of Plymouth Sound, Drake’s Island stands as a storied sentinel, guarding the approach to one of England’s most historic maritime cities.

This iconic island, steeped in legend and lore, bears witness to centuries of naval conquests, exploration, and intrigue.

Drake’s Island derives its name from the legendary English explorer and naval hero, Sir Francis Drake, who is said to have used the island as a strategic base during his circumnavigation of the globe in the 16th century.

Over the centuries, Drake’s Island has served various purposes, including a military fortress, a prison, and a coastal defense post, shaping the course of British history and maritime supremacy.

In recent years, Drake’s Island has undergone significant restoration efforts and development initiatives aimed at preserving its heritage and unlocking its potential as a cultural and tourist destination.

Plans for the island include the restoration of historic buildings, the creation of visitor facilities, and the implementation of sustainable tourism practices, ensuring that Drake’s Island remains a cherished landmark for generations to come.

Access to Drake’s Island is currently limited, with plans underway to facilitate guided tours and visitor experiences in the near future.

Visitors can catch a glimpse of the island’s historic landmarks and coastal vistas from vantage points along Plymouth’s waterfront, while boat tours offer opportunities for closer inspection of its rugged shoreline and imposing fortifications.

As development progresses, Drake’s Island is poised to become a premier destination for history enthusiasts, nature lovers, and curious travelers seeking to unravel its secrets and stories.

Other Smaller Islands in Devon to Consider

Flat Holm Island

In addition to the prominent islands previously discussed, Devon is home to several smaller islands, each offering its own unique charm and allure.

These hidden gems dot the coastline, providing secluded retreats, pristine beaches, and opportunities for exploration amidst unspoiled natural beauty.

Flat Holm Island:

Situated in the Bristol Channel, Flat Holm Island is renowned for its rich biodiversity and historic lighthouse, offering visitors a tranquil escape and panoramic views of the Welsh coastline.


Nestled off the coast of Wembury, the Mewstone is a designated nature reserve, teeming with seabird colonies and marine life, making it a popular destination for birdwatching and wildlife enthusiasts.

Buckland Abbey Island:

Located on the River Tavy near Tavistock, Buckland Abbey Island is steeped in history, with connections to Sir Francis Drake and the Cistercian monks.

Visitors can explore the island’s historic abbey, gardens, and woodland trails, immersing themselves in centuries of heritage and culture.

These smaller islands offer the perfect setting for day trips or longer stays, allowing visitors to unwind amidst stunning landscapes, discover hidden coves, and immerse themselves in local history and culture.

Whether exploring rugged coastlines, embarking on wildlife adventures, or simply soaking up the serenity of island life, Devon’s smaller islands promise unforgettable experiences and cherished memories for travelers of all ages.


Devon’s islands stand as beacons of natural beauty, history, and adventure, beckoning travelers to embark on unforgettable journeys of discovery.

From the rugged cliffs of Lundy Island to the timeless charm of Burgh Island, each island offers a unique tapestry of experiences, inviting visitors to explore pristine landscapes, delve into rich heritage, and forge lasting memories.

As you plan your next adventure, consider venturing off the beaten path to explore Devon’s enchanting islands.

Whether you seek tranquil beaches, ancient ruins, or wildlife encounters, Devon’s islands promise a wealth of experiences for every traveler.

Embark on coastal hikes, uncover hidden coves, and immerse yourself in the timeless allure of these captivating destinations.

Before setting out to explore Devon’s islands, take time to research each destination, familiarize yourself with tide times and accessibility, and consider guided tours or boat trips for a deeper understanding of the island’s history and ecology.

Be sure to pack essentials such as sturdy footwear, weather-appropriate clothing, and plenty of water and snacks for your adventures.

islands in devon

FAQ’s About the Islands in Devon:

What are the islands off the coast of Devon?

Off the coast of Devon, several islands dot the waters, each offering its own unique charm and character.

Some of the notable islands include Lundy Island, Burgh Island, and St. Michael’s Mount.

Why is the Devon Island uninhabited?

Devon Island, located in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, is uninhabited due to its harsh climate and remote location.

With freezing temperatures, sparse vegetation, and challenging terrain, Devon Island lacks the necessary resources and infrastructure to support permanent human settlement.

Why is Burgh Island famous?

Burgh Island, situated off the South Devon coast, is famous for its Art Deco hotel and historic significance.

The island has hosted notable guests such as Agatha Christie and Noël Coward, and its stunning scenery and rich history make it a popular destination for travelers seeking luxury and romance.

Does anyone live on Devon Island?

Devon Island, located in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, is largely uninhabited.

However, it is occasionally visited by scientists and researchers conducting environmental studies and geological research due to its similarity to Mars’ surface.

What is the small island off the North Devon coast?

One of the small islands off the North Devon coast is Lundy Island.

It is renowned for its natural beauty, diverse wildlife, and historic significance, making it a popular destination for nature enthusiasts and history buffs alike.

What is the island off the south coast of Devon?

One of the islands off the south coast of Devon is Burgh Island.

This iconic island is known for its Art Deco hotel, stunning coastline, and rich history, attracting visitors from around the world.

What is the island off the north coast of Cornwall?

Off the north coast of Cornwall lies St. Michael’s Mount, a tidal island crowned by a medieval castle and surrounded by subtropical gardens.

It shares a resemblance to Mont Saint-Michel in France and is steeped in history and legend.

What island is off the coast of Cornwall?

Off the coast of Cornwall lies the Isles of Scilly archipelago, which consists of several inhabited and uninhabited islands.

These islands are known for their stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, and rich biodiversity, making them a popular destination for tourists and nature lovers.

What are people from Devon called?

People from Devon are often referred to as “Devonians.”

This term is used to describe residents of Devon and reflects the county’s rich cultural heritage and distinct identity.

devon island

(Island Expert)

Christian is a dynamic serial entrepreneur and a licensed real estate agent with a relentless passion for unlocking the potential of island real estate. Christian's expertise extends beyond entrepreneurship and property transactions. He possesses a profound expertise in crafting captivating content and persuasive copywriting tailored exclusively to the enchanting realm of island real estate.

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