An explorer's guide to the islands of Britain

51.339864, -3.108383
Distance: 2.2 km
Difficulty: Easy
Method: Walking
Wow Factor: 8 out of 10

Key Facts

  • Location: Bristol Channel, Somerset
  • Size: 20 hectares
  • Terrain: Easy path; optional steep, exposed steps down cliffs
  • Access: Boat
  • Map: OS Explorer 153
  • Starting point: East Beach. Lat/Long 51.339992, -3.103407. GR ST 23237 60679
  • Accommodation/food:

    The Barracks for hot and cold drinks, homemade cakes, beer, wine and cider. Bring your own packed lunch.

  • Island Summary:

    An exhilarating rib ride away from Weston Super Mare this steep-sided island is packed with surprises. There are plenty of exposed sections down the steep cliffs to visit the ruins of the military buildings of Rudders Rock Battery, 208 Steps and Searchlight Battery and to test the nerve of those with the best head for heights (at your own risk). Alternatively, there is an easy ramble around the military ruins, museum and to enjoy the plentiful wildlife as well as fabulous views across to the Welsh and Somerset coastlines.

  • Look out for:
    • Culvert spiders in Split Rock Battery
    • Seeking out the rare wild peonies unique to the island
    • Panoramic views of the Somerset and Welsh coastlines
    • Testing your nerve by scrambling down to the old searchlight posts
  • Route description:

    A steep ascent from Landing Beach is followed by an easy path around the island with plenty of interest along the way. For those wanting more challenge there are some steep descents down exposed stairs and cliffs to visit further military ruins. Only do the latter if you are happy with the conditions you find on the day.

  • Getting there:

    Access is only available through trips organized through the Kenneth Allsop Memorial Trust. Call 01934 522125 or email steepholmbookings@gmail.com to reserve a place. Do read through the restrictions and guidance on the island before visiting and the current prices for the trip.

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