Getting to Steep Holm

Occasional day trips operate to Steep Holm between Spring and Autumn (see Sailings and Message Board), and are entirely dependent upon the forecast weather conditions. Individuals, families and groups are all welcome, but it is vital to book in advance to secure a place. Trips, particularly on summer weekends, fill rapidly, and leaving booking until close to the date you would like often results in disappointment. As our visits are tide-dependent, a typical day on Steep Holm is around 11 hours.

Please note that the only way to visit Steep Holm is on organised trips run by Bay Island Voyages.

Booking a trip: 

Please telephone 07393470476 to check availability of your preferred date and make a booking.

Click here to visit the booking website.

Conditions:

  • You must read the Terms and Conditions on the Bay Island Voyages Website.
  • The boats are chartered and a small proportion of the fare goes toward the maintenance of the island.
  • The gradients on Steep Holm make it unsuitable for those who are unable to walk unaided or who are otherwise unfit. If in doubt, please ask at the time of booking.

Cancellation Policy:

  • You must read the FAQ on the Bay Island Voyages website for more information.

Restrictions:

  • Dogs not permitted.
  • Metal detectors, drones and barbecues are strictly prohibited.
  • Unauthorised caving and climbing is prohibited.
  • The Kenneth Allsop Memorial Trust is unable to accommodate overnight visitors.

Important note – before your visit:

Check with Bay Island Voyages the day before you visit.

Do not assume that if it is a warm sunny day the trip will automatically go ahead. Checking the status before you leave home will save a wasted journey to Weston-super-Mare.

On the day of your Trip

Parking:
Inexpensive parking usually available at Madeira Road car park, around 300m north-west of Knightstone (BS23 2HA). On-road parking may also be available on hillside roads.

You should arrive at the small slipway at the seaward end of Knightstone Harbour (BS232AD) at least 30 minutes before the departure time in order to check-in, and receive a safety briefing. Life jackets will be issued before you board the boat.

What should I take?
Warm and waterproof clothing for the ferry crossing, sturdy non-slip footwear, a hat, packed lunch, camera plus spare batteries, binoculars, a torch to explore the underground ammunition stores, cash for refreshments and souvenirs. Please note: credit and debit cards cannot be accepted.

What will I find there?
The terrain is rough, with a moderately steep path to the summit. Depending on the time of year, rare and unusual plants, including the wild Mediterranean Peony, large colonies of gulls, Cormorants, Peregrine Falcons, Ravens, other resident birds, and Muntjac Deer, may be seen. Victorian gun emplacements with their original seven ton cannons, Second World War gun emplacements, and underground ammunition stores. A German field railway recycled on Steep Holm to take wartime ammunition to the summit. An on-going archaeological dig – visitors are welcome to help. An exhibition room with artefacts found on the island, where you can follow the story of Steep Holm and its many occupiers.

Facilities:
The Visitor Centre housed in the Victorian barracks will be your base for the day, with plenty of tables and chairs. Items you do not need on your exploration of the island may be safely left there. Sales of hot and cold drinks, home-made cakes, confectionery and crisps. A selection of beers, wines and cider is available at the licensed bar. Souvenirs include a wide selection of books about Steep Holm – some only available on the island or through The Garret Press – tees and sweats, caps, fridge magnets, postcards, unique Steep Holm stamps, and much more. Royal Mail postage stamps are also available. Modern toilet facilities are located adjacent to the barracks.