Visiting the Island

Please see our Sailings page for more information regarding the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on our sailing schedule.

The only way to visit Steep Holm is on organised trips run for the Trust by Bay Island Voyages.

Occasional day trips operate between Spring and Autumn and are largely 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 also tide-dependent, a typical day on Steep Holm is around 12 hours from departure to return to the mainland.

All trips depend on the weather conditions and anticipated return times are for departure from the island and may vary according to conditions on the day. 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.

Which facilities are there on the island?


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.




What is there to see on the island?


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. Please note that the terrain is rough, with a moderately steep path to the summit.




What should I bring on my visit?


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 that credit and debit cards cannot be accepted.




Where can I park in Weston-super-Mare?


In Weston inexpensive parking is 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 Causeway (BS23 2AD) 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.




When/where do you sail from and how do I book?


Currently most departures are from Knightstone Causeway, Weston-super-Mare, BS23 2AD. ​There are also some opportunities to depart from Cardiff at Lower Board Walk, Mermaid Quay, Cardiff Bay, CF10 5BZ. ​Please see our Sailings page, then telephone 07393 470 476 or visit www.bayislandvoyages.co.uk to book online. There are separate pages for sailings from Weston-super-Mare and sailings from Cardiff.




Are there conditions and restrictions? (Please read carefully before booking)


Important Conditions · You must read the Terms and Conditions (including cancellation policy) and Safety Information on the Bay Island Voyages website. · The boats are chartered and if sufficiently booked any small surplus goes toward the maintenance of the island. · The Trust reserves the right to cancel any trip if insufficient bookings would mean financial loss to the Trust. · 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. For those living locally it is roughly the equivalent of being able to walk up the length and steepness of Manor Road in Weston-super-Mare but over rougher ground. However, once the top is achieved most of the island can be walked more easily. Restrictions · Children under the age of 18 years must be accompanied and supervised by their parent or guardian at all times when on the island. · There is a minimum height restriction operated by Bay Island Voyages along with ability conditions. · Dogs and any other animals are not permitted on the island. · Metal detectors, drones, smoking, fires and barbecues are all strictly prohibited. · Unauthorised caving and climbing is prohibited. · The Kenneth Allsop Memorial Trust is unable to accommodate overnight visitors.




Is there a Safe and Sound Policy?


Please click here to see our Safe and Sound Policy.





Common Questions