A Day Out on Skomer Isand in Pembrokeshire

By Kathryn Slade

Set off the South West coast of Pembrokeshire is the beautiful island of Skomer.

The island is about a mile off the main land and just 23 miles from Bluestone National Park Resort. It is worth a visit during your stay as we were lucky enough to find out this week when we went exploring!

Sometimes as a resident of Pembrokeshire you can easily take for granted the short drive to a beach, or the chance to see beautiful scenery and amazing wildlife. Having lived in Pembrokeshire for my whole life I am actually quite ashamed to say that this was my first visit to Skomer Island!

Skomer from the headland

The trips are organised by Pembrokeshire Islands Boat Trips who have been operating boat trips for over 40 years. The boats operate out of Martin’s Haven which is also where you need to go to buy your tickets. Due to the island being a national nature reserve they are restricted to the amount of visitors that can land on the island every day, so it is first come first served until all the places are filled. The ticket office opens at 8am and we arrived shortly after this time ready for our day of exploring. There is a car park in Martin’s Haven which is operated by the National Trust, it was £5 for the day or free if you have a National Trust Membership.  

The Dale Princess 

The first boat was scheduled to leave at 10am, but there was already quite a queue building when we arrived. You could tell first thing in the morning that it was going to be a beautiful day so this is probably why! I would definitely recommend getting there as early as you can if you want to be on one of the first boats. We managed to get on the second boat of the day so we had an hour or so to wait, but there is some fantastic scenery to take in on the coast path around this area! The booking office has souvenirs, drinks, and some snacks; this will be your last chance to buy any bits and pieces during your trip as there isn’t a shop or cafe on the island itself.

The D 

It’s only a 15 minute journey by boat on the Dale Princess to Skomer and there are some great photo opportunities as the island comes in to sight. Between mid-April and July the island is home to the Atlantic Puffin, as we got closer we got our first glimpses of them flying around overhead and bobbing around on the sea! Once the boat had docked it was up the steps to higher ground where we were met by the Assistant Warden who gave us a talk on what we should look out for on the island. This year 22,000 individual puffins have made the island their home as well as 300,000 Manx Shearwaters which make up half of the world’s entire population!

 pUFFIN

From here we were free to explore as long as we stuck to the designated pathways. I have seen the island from the mainland on numerous occasions but I had never realised just how large it is! We had just under 5 hours on the island and we managed to walk around the majority of it in this time. On our walk we managed to spot some of the amazing wildlife that lives on the island, including puffins, Manx Shearwaters, gannets, peregrine falcons, Atlantic grey seals, kittiwakes, choughs and a pod of porpoises too! I'll let the pictures we took do the rest of the talking about this beautiful island...

Puffin on Skomer

 Seal Swimming

View   Guillemot

Flying Puffin

Flowers

 Seal

Our Key Tips for a Great Day out on Skomer

  • There isn’t a cafe on Skomer so you have to bring a picnic but that is part of the fun! 
  • Get to the ticket office at Martin’s Haven in plenty of time, we recommend being there for when they open at 8am.
  • Bring your camera as there are lots of amazing things to take photos of!
  • Pack a waterproof coat even if the weather is fine as it can get quite windy on the island.
Use Bluestone National Park Resort as your exploring base there's room for all the family, find your perfect break and start planning your summer holiday in Pembrokeshire today!

For more information about the boat trips visit http://www.pembrokeshire-islands.co.uk/boat-trips/land-on-skomer/

 Bluestone Lake


 

 

 

Categories:Pembrokeshire, Blog, Events and Whats On, Activities

Tags:Wales, Skomer

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