Bell Island is a small island community in Conception Bay with a population of about 2000 residents and accessible only by means of a 20 minute ferry ride from Portugal Cove across “The Tickle”.
The magnificent cliffs and the rural ambience of Bell Island create a huge “leap back in time” sensation and help make a trip to Bell Island a memorable experience.
Historically, the island was an active defense during WW11. The remains of 4 ships that were torpedoed and sunk by German U-boats in 1942 are still visible today at low tide.
Initially settled by farmers in the 1700’s, Bell Island, in its prime, was a fertile farming and fishing community. Between the years 1895 and 1966, it had a thriving iron ore mining industry. However, since the closing of the iron ore mines in 1966, the population has declined abruptly.
Today, large murals can be seen on various landmarks in the community commemorating the area’s culture and heritage. The lighthouse still stands tall and proud against the silhouette of our northern horizon. Guided underground tours of one of the mines are offered in summer season and, for the nature enthusiast, walking trails along the coastline offer fantastic views and offer opportunity for birdwatchers to view a large selection of sea and wild land birds (ranging from Black Guillemot, starlings, black-backs, sandpipers, snipe, kestrels, merlins, sparrows, robins, grosbeaks, woodpeckers, and more).
Come to Bell Island and learn first hand why she is labelled the “Bell of the Isle”.