Trips to Steep Holm Island to restart next week

Steep Holm at sunset.

Steep Holm at sunset. - Credit: Martin Pearce

Visitors can explore one of Weston’s hidden gems this summer, as visits to Steep Holm Island resume. 

The 63-acre island in the Bristol Channel boasts limestone cliffs and caves and is steeped in local history - with tales of Vikings, pirates, monks and hidden treasure. 

Steep Holm is also a nature reserve and bird sanctuary - home to seals and muntjacs - and a site of special scientific interest due to the rare plants found on the island, including the May flowering wild Mediterranean peony. 

Trips to the island have been suspended since March 2020, when the country went into lockdown. But the Kenneth Allsop Memorial Trust, which owns and manages Steep Holm, has confirmed it is resuming trips to the island from Weston, following an ease in Covid restrictions. 

Trust chairman, Stephen Parker, said: “We are delighted to be welcoming people back to the island and looking forward to having lots of visitors to such a wonderful place."

Sailings to and from Weston can only take place at high tides and the day trip lasts 12 hours. The first trip is planned for July 13, with visits scheduled until the end of September.

Trust spokesman Graham Briscoe said: “The Island has been inhabited on and off for centuries, is full of hidden surprises and is steeped in history.

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"Its history is told by stories of Celtic gods carved in stone, Vikings and pirates, monks and legends of treasure.   

“It is an archaeological dream - archaeologists have found prehistoric evidence, Roman remains, coins, rare glass. An old priory and those who never left the island, whose graves were laid undisturbed for 100s of years.  

“The military supplies of the recent past can still to be seen today with military artefacts left from the time in the 1860s when Lord Palmerston thought Napoleon was going to attack England via the Bristol Channel, and the first and second World War cannons, gun emplacements, barracks and search light defensives for Bristol.”  

Sailings will take place on July 13, 25 and 27, August 9, 11, 22 and 24 and September 7, 9, 21 and 23. For more details, log on to www.Steepholm.online and to book, follow the link to Bay Island Voyages. 

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