I was once casually reading a list of top islands to get married on (as you do…) and alongside the Carribeans, the Maldives, the Bora Boras of this world, there was Burgh Island, Devon, England. I was intrigued. I didn’t know there were any islands off Devon, let alone any cute enough to make the top 10 list for wedding venues. So track it down and visit I did.
But I’m getting ahead of myself – in order to have a lovely day here I first had to do some maths. Crunch some numbers, if you will. Basically, the Island is just off the coast of Devon, and at low tide you can walk out to it. However at high tide this is not advisable. We therefore had to calculate when low tide would be so that we could get out to the island before it was cut off.
We googled for the Tide Times and calculated that we would need to arrive at 10am in order to walk to the island. Well needless to say we were late for that but luckily we watched a couple wade out through the shallows, heading for the island. They were carrying a small child so in a more adventurous mood I followed, my BF in tow. (One of the only times I have gone into a potentially risky situation first!)
We enjoyed a pub lunch on the island, which was pleasant if a tad cold. The pub door bore a sign saying “Villagers only, no tourists” which my BF commented was slightly like the TV show the League of Gentlemen. Normally you’d think local businesses would welcome tourists but I guess they must have had more come in to use to loo than to buy stuff.
There is a hotel on the island in Art Deco style (like Miami!), which is the aforementioned wedding venue. This also had a sign saying “keep out, patrons only” or similar. So our only option was to walk around the island itself – which was fine as it was beautiful. It felt like the setting of a Famous Five novel to me – with a ruin on top, rocky cliffs, and ravens circling, just like Kirren Island. I wouldn’t be surprised to find smugglers in caves there. (Although Kirren Castle is actually based on Corfe Castle, in Dorset…)
We strolled around the small island and then sat admiring the view of the Devon coastline. The sea was azure blue and the sun was strong so I really loved it! Before long the tide was low so we paddled back to the mainland.
But fear not – if you were to mess up your “High Tide Maths”, there is a sea tractor that drives people across to the island for £2 each way.
Driving to and from there was a bit dodgy, with small lanes which I didn’t feel entirely comfortable with, in my city car. Bigbury on Sea was the small village that Burgh Island is adjoined to, and this had ice creams and cafes etc.
But overall I had a wonderful day. I felt like I was in New Zealand or similar, rather than in good old Devon 🙂
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