While the Lagoan Isles themselves are simply three tiny uninhabited islands on a pond and a wacky self declared micronation, there is plenty to see and do in the area for the eager backpacker. You might have read that I headed to check out this odd and wacky self declared country. It’s no more than a hat-trick of tiny islands in a pond, bordering England! Or is it? In fact, it’s quite a beautiful little place and while you head there, there are some cool other things to check out, so here’s a backpackers top 8 on your journey out to the Grand Duchy of the Lagoan Isles.
1.The Lagoan Isles
The three tiny islands themselves are of course the centrepiece of the country and you need to check them out. From an aeriel view, here you can see where the three islands are, all situated in Baffin’s Pond, surrounded by Portsmouth in England.
Unless you bring a mini boat with you and are a tad even more eccentric than myself, then you will be able to view all three islands but not land on them. The islands are not really liveable and have no permanent buildings or residents. The largest island and therefore the country’s capital is bang in the middle, it’s known as Beeney St. Georges. Your best bet is to walk right up to the border and scale the entire perimeter of the pond like I did.
2.Wildlife on Baffin’s Pond
Bird watchers will love the wildlife on Baffin’s Pond. The Lagoan Isles is a nature reserve and there is a noticeboard with information on it.
All sorts of ducks, swans and wild birds hang out here.
3.Baffin’s Pond Border with England
The border crossing with England is basically a land to sea border (or path to pond). There is no public transport provided by either England or the Grand Duchy of the Lagoan Isles, therefore your only real option like I said is to bring your own boat with you! I don’t carry a boat in my backpack and the government of the Lagoan Isles didn’t reply to my e-mails, so I had to make do with checking out the border myself and crossing it merely by placing my feet and body across the border without falling in. I dipped my shoe into the water just to say I’ve touched Baffin’s Pond and the territory claimed by the Grand Duchy of the Lagoan Isles.
No matter what happens, there is no departure stamp from England and no arrival stamp or even passport office in the Grand Duchy of the Lagoan Isles. If you don’t have a big backpack or clothes/cameras etc. like me, perhaps you could jump in and swim across to the Lagoan Isles. I managed to get my backpack across the border as well. But only for a few seconds, as I was worried it might fall in!
4.Currency of the Lagoan Isles
Despite the fact that the country has no liveable land, shops or even a bank, they still have their own currency, the Lagoan Edney Dollars. These are rare and there is no shop or anything to buy the currency or exchange it.
5.Beeney St. Georges
The country’s capital is Beeney St. George’s and it’s also the largest island in the nation. This is the prominent island in the middle of Baffin’s Pond.
6. Weeping Willow
The National tree of the Lagoan Isles is the Weeping Willow and you see plenty of these near the border with England. Some of them overhang the border and the tree appears in both countries.
7. Milton War Cemetery, Portsmouth, England
As well as checking out Baffin’s Pond and the Lagoan Isles, there is some cool sightseeing on the England side of the border here in Portsmouth. The Milton Cemetary has War graves in it and is open to the public.
8. Fratton Park, home of Portsmouth FC, Portsmouth
The Lagoan Isles are too small a nation to house a football pitch or stadium, but there is a mightily impressive stadium, across the border in neighbouring England. I’ve been a couple of times to the stadium now.
Fratton Park has hosted a match in all four English leagues in the last 5 calendar years and the local team Portsmouth FC (Pompey) won the FA Cup in 2008.
The Lagoan Isles are definitely country worth checking out and you can get to see some more of Portsmouth when you are there, including the Spinnaker Tower as well.
Here are some videos from my trip to the Lagoan Isles: