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Skomer Island

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

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.

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