Tiny island has just a pub and 3 houses – you can stay there for price of pint

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A camping spot in the UK offers a unique staycation opportunity with the tiny remote island only having a castle, pub, and three houses.

For the price of a pint, campers can set up their tents at Piel Island, the 50-acre remote landmass that sits just off the coast of Cumbria, at the top of the Furness Peninsula.

The island has some historic features to it, with the 14th century Piel Castle and a 300 year old pub, along with three cottages with permanent residents.

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The historic pub, Ship Inn, re-opened in 2021 after several years of closure and is described as "a jewel that the traveller can stumble across and be won over forever".

The 300-year-old Inn was faced with the threat of closure until the Piel Island Pub Co stepped in to take on the iconic venue.

Ship Inn has been described as the "main heartbeat of the island", serving a range of local ales, spirits and pub grub – it's open from 11am to 11.30pm everyday except Mondays.

Kirsty Ridge, a director of Piel Island Pub Co and the managing director of Cumbrian pub chain Lakeland Inns, said: “This project is certainly different compared to my other pubs, but it has been really exciting and a challenge we have all enjoyed.

“There’s been obstacles we have had to clear and there’s been a lot of hard work behind the scenes, but it’s all been made worthwhile when you see the reaction from locals and visitors who appreciate what we have done.

“The support from the public has been amazing and we’ve been really busy, and we’re grateful for such backing.

“The pub is a vital part of this unique and wonderful island, and we’re privileged to have played our role in getting it back up and running, much to the delight of our customers.”

Piel Island was gifted to the people of nearby Barrow as a memorial to those who lost their lives in the First World War, and locals say the pub is the lifeblood to attracting people to the area.

Piel Island Pub Co are offering a unique camping experience to visitors for as little as £5 per tent per night, where campers will be able to spot the surrounding seal colonies that have made the Furness Peninsula their home.

To get there, make your way to Roa Island by car or train, and catch the ferry across to Piel Island.

The closest station is Roose (4 miles from Roa Island) on the Barrow-in-Furness to Lancaster line.

There is a free car park situated by Roa Island Boat Club.

From April to September, the ferry runs to and from the island each day between 11am and 4.30pm at £5 return per adult, £3 for children, and under 5s travel free.


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