You can visit this island as often as you want if you help run it

Island of Steep Holm, UK

If you still haven’t firmed up those summer plans, this English island may be beckoning you. The small island of Steep Holm, which is off the coast of North Somerset in the U.K., is currently in need of volunteers to make sure it stays running and remains in tip-top shape. While the island is pint-sized at only half a mile long, it is highly valuable to scientists and also hosted the Victorian-era military (and probably smugglers and pirates, too).

Like other islands in the region, Steep Holm is only accessible during high tide. The island in the Bristol Channel is managed by the Kenneth Allsop Memorial Trust and has been occupied for thousands of years, extending back to the days of the Vikings.

Steep Holm is five miles away from the coast and has brisk tidal currents surrounding it, which makes accessing it even more of a challenge. On the other hand, it’s a quiet, peaceful natural reserve that features rare plants and a bird sanctuary, along with World War II artifacts.


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Currently, the island has a total of 20 volunteers who are responsible for a variety of tasks, including prepping tea and coffee for visitors as well as general upkeep.

“Without the volunteers the island wouldn’t exist. The volunteer’s input is critical and we feel it’s very important to spread the history so everyone can know what’s going on out here,” Mark Harris, deputy warden and trustee of the Kenneth Allsop Memorial Trust, told the BBC.

However, to make sure it stays running, the island needs at least 20 more volunteers. If you sign up, you get the advantage of being able to make as many trips as you’d like to the island. Currently, there are 20 to 25 boats that sail to the island each year between April and October, bringing 900 day trippers. Volunteers are required to assist with them.

Despite the constant visitation, no one has actually lived on the island for approximately 100 years. The only year-round residents are animals, including Muntjac deer and different types of birds — like cormorants, falcons, ravens and gulls that can be seen dive-bombing visitors who get too close to their nests.

If you’re interested in taking the leap and volunteering at Steep Holm, you can contact the trust that runs the island via its website.

Curiosity, Travel

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About the Author
Lauren Alexander
Lauren is a freelance lifestyle editor and writer who sources inspiration from her international travels. If she's not on the beach, you can find her eating her way through local markets or at home DIYing self care products.

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