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Skomer Island

Dale Sailing Company The Quay at Martin’s Haven Pembrokeshire SA62 3BJ 01646 603 110

We say

Like Ramsey Island, off St David’s, Skomer is a wildlife reserve with huge numbers of seabirds, including guillemots, razorbills, fulmars and Manx shearwaters, as well as seals and occasional sightings of dolphins. But it is the puffins for which it is most famous. As many as 6000 pairs breed and nest here in late Spring, arriving in mid-April (when the island is carpeted in bluebells) and leaving at the tail end of July. You can land on the island for a 2-3 hour walk around, or just take a tour from the sea – either by day, or in summer towards dusk to watch the tens of thousands of shearwaters return home. If you book ahead, you can also stay the night (Aug–Oct; £25 adults; £12.50 kids), at the old farmhouse. Alternatively, there are ‘Sea Safari’ trips in summer on high speed rigid inflatables, leaving from Dale or Milford Haven, some of which go out to the more distant guano-peaked island of Grassholm, with its gannet colony. Call ahead for times and details of boats. You can’t book the regular Skomer boars, so turn up early to be sure of a place and to buy landing tickets for the island at the Wildlife Trust building (by the carpark at Martins Haven). Find out more at the Welsh Wildlife Trust website.

You say Average Rating ★★★★★

So many ways to enjoy this gem ★★★★★

I have visited this island for five years and enjoyed every minute. Not only can you go as a day visitor you can also, and this is the best way, stay over night. There are highlights at all times. Puffins from April to July, seals, porpoises and dolphins throughout the year. But more spectacular and something unique to this island is the number of Manx shearwaters. Half a million birds live in burrows all over this island, and you never see them during the day on land. From April to October the sound of birds calling to partners from burrows is haunting, cacophonous and one of the worlds great wildlife spectaculars. In September/October when the chicks are fledging, go out at night, sit on the ground and the chicks climb you and use your head as a launch pad on their solo journey to South America, their parents long since departed and leaving them to it! Of course this is Pembrokeshire and the island is part of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, and offers stunning views north to Ramsay and St Brides Bay and south to St Anne's Head. Add to that the Marine Nature Reserve that surrounds it you have a cool place, special in many, many ways.

Skomer Island reviewed by on June 19th, 2013

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How much?

Adult £10 plus £7 landing fee, child £7

When?

April–Oct, trips landing on Skomer Tues–Sun at 10am, 11am and 12 noon, other trips daily plus Tues–Wed & Fri 7pm

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