Plymouth’s Drake’s Island to reopen to public for two days due to 'phenomenal interest'

Plymouth’s Drake’s Island is to reopen next month to the public for two days.

The historic island, which is located in Plymouth Sound, is a former fort, prison and adventure centre but has been closed to the public since 1989.

105 tickets were being offered for a one-off tour but due to 'phenomenal interest', an extra date has been added.

Each ticket sold will go towards funds for the local charity St Luke's Hospice.

The charity say they are currently experiencing some delays to their website booking system due to the sheer amount of people trying to buy tickets.

  • Limited places are available for the tour of the iconic landmark on Sunday 15 March and Wednesday 13 May

New owner Morgan Phillips told ITV News West Country last year that he wants to fully open the island in the future, with plans in place for a museum and heritage centre.

He said he chose St Luke's as the beneficiary of the tour after witnessing the staff's "unwavering dedication" during a recent visit.

St Luke's touches the lives of so many in our city and its surrounding areas, including the families of some of my staff, so I was already aware of the very high quality of care it provides. But when I was invited to the hospice building, where they look after patients with the most complex conditions, I saw for myself the unwavering dedication of the team and their kindness and sensitivity, which really make a difference at such a difficult time.

Morgan Phillips, owner of Drake's Island
New owner Morgan Phillips wants to fully open the island in the future.

The history of Drake’s Island

Drake's Island was born out of the sea 400 million years ago.

During its fascinating history it has been a place of pilgrimage, a refuge, a fort, a prison and an observatory. Some may also remember it as an adventure centre in the 1960s and 70s.

The island has been closed to the public since 1989. Credit: ITV News West Country

The site has been out of bounds to the general public since 1989 - so a high demand for limited spaces on the tour is anticipated.

Those that are lucky enough to have a ticket can expect to get the lowdown on the secrets of the island and learn about its past, as the tour will be led by avid historian Bob King.

Tickets for the tour

Tickets for the guided tour are £35 per person, which includes boat transfer.

They’re available from February 26 2020 at www.stlukes-hospice.org.uk/opengardens. Full terms and conditions are available on the website.