Getting to the island

Getting to the Island

Jon Ross

Day Trips to Looe Island

The health and wellbeing of the public, volunteers and staff are of utmost importance to Cornwall Wildlife Trust, and we have been keeping a close eye on government advice in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Please see below for the most up to date information about visiting and the measures we have put in place for visitors.

Booking information

Please note that boat trips have now finished for 2020.

  • Please call the boatman on 07814 264514 to book your trip (no texts or messages)
  • Please bring correct money and you will be asked to place it in an honesty box.  Soon we hope to have a card reader so that payments can be contactless.
  • The number of passengers on the boat is normally restricted to 11. This total is now affected by social distancing measures - please contact the boatman to discuss your options.
  • Return boat fee (paid to boatman): £10 per adult and £5 per child (aged 10 or under).  Landing fee (paid on island) : £4 per adult and £1 per child (aged 10 or under)
  • The small passenger boat (Moonraker) can access the island up to two to three hours either side of high tide, in daylight hours and in fair weather. Trips cannot take place at low tide or in rough seas.

Visiting the island

All visits are weather and tide dependent. The crossing via a small passenger boat takes 20 minutes and you will have about two hours to explore.

Please note that visits can only be made on official, organised trips. Access to the island and its foreshore is managed for the benefit of wildlife. Please help to keep Looe Island Nature Reserve special. Craft such as boats, jet skis, kayaks/canoes and paddle boards etc as well as snorkelers/divers and swimmers are therefore asked to respect the no landing sign.

The use of drones (UAVs) is not permitted over or near the nature reserve. Fishing is not allowed on the island during two hour visits also. 

Much needed construction work is expected to take place on the island. Apologies but this may cause some disruption during your visit.

Where to get the boat

Board the boat from the floating pontoon, near the RNLI lifeboat station slipway in East Looe. There is an island trips information board on Buller's Quay which is alongside the RNLI slipway close to the junction of Church End and River View in east Looe. The boatman will advertise upcoming trips on this board. 

What to expect from your trip at this time

Access to the island involves climbing over the side of the boat onto a small landing trolley. Care is also needed to negotiate the swash of the waves which can cover the trolley. At present there will be limited assistance to get on/off boat.  If you need assistance please delay your trip until we can offer more help.

After walking across the sand and shingle beach there is a simple sloping path up to the Tractor Shed. There are some steps around the buildings. Elsewhere some paths are steep, uneven and slippery, so we recommend wearing appropriate footwear.

The path around the whole island is less than 1km long and can be comfortably walked in around 30 minutes (if not stopping to take in the scenery and information). While on island please ensure you keep to two metre social distancing and follow the one way system around the trail.

Respect areas that are closed.  This includes all buildings.  There will be no access to the visitor centre, bird hide or small Jetty

Laminated trail guides are still available for use.  At the end of the trail please place guides in the container so that they can be cleaned ready for re-use.

When on the island, one person from each visitor group to leave contact details for NHS Test and Trace campaign.

Facilities on the island at this time

  • Once landed on the island, visitors will be lead to a welcome area for a brief introductory talk. This is also where landing fees will be collected. Here you will be offered a copy of the trail guide and shown to the start of the path around the island.
  • Respect areas that are closed.  This includes all buildings.  There will be no access to the visitor centre, bird hide or small Jetty.
  • We suggest your own bring hand sanitiser (and possibly face covering/mask).
  • Use hand sanitiser after touching surfaces such as gates.
  • Use hand sanitiser before and after using the compost toilet.
  • Remember there is no drinking water, nor refreshments/snacks on the island – please bring your own supplies.
  • Please take all your waste/recycling home with you – we suggest bringing your own waste bag.

Remember, to keep the island safe and special, and to help protect wildlife, landing and access is only permitted via the authorised boat

We're good to go - Looe Island