Visiting Skomer Island
By Mari Lydford, Walks Co-ordinator The Walking Holiday Company.
Many of our clients booking their holiday with The Walking Holiday Company take a day off from walking the wonderful Pembrokeshire Coastal Path to visit the tiny island of Skomer just over a mile off the coast of South West Wales. Skomer is a nature reserve and a site of special scientific interest. You can either take a trip to the island and spend the day there or join a sea safari expedition or even charter your own boat, there are a few local companies offering these services. If you opt to visit Skomer for the day; you can visit for nine months of the year from the end of March until the end of September, there are no sailings on a Monday. The boats leave Martin’s Haven (the nearest overnight accommodation point would be the village of Marloes two miles away), boats leave at 10am, 11am and noon and places are available on a first come first served basis, there is no pre booking and of course whether the boats run is dependent on the weather conditions. Boats return to Martin’s Haven from 3pm and then every half hour after, seats on the return journey are available on a first on the island, first off basis. There is a boat fee and a landing fee totalling from around £21.00 per person, cash only.
Among the bird life you can expect to see are guillemots, kittiwakes, manx shearwaters, razorbills but most of all...puffins, Skomer is home to the largest breeding colony in the southern UK. The puffins will arrive on the island in April returning to their burrows, the females will lay a single egg each in May and by late August parents and chicks will be gone for another year.
Mammals include grey seals, porpoise, dolphins and the Skomer black rabbit! There is an abundance of wild flowers including pink thrift, red campion and an amazing carpet of bluebells in the spring.
For a day trip to Skomer you will need to consider the following: a reasonable level of fitness is required as there are 87 steep steps up from the boat landing point. You will need to be prepared for unpredictable weather conditions, so suitable clothing and footwear are essential. You can buy water on the island and there are toilet facilities, but no cafe or shops, so a picnic will be needed. There is no shelter on Skomer, so should you be blessed with sunny weather you will need a hat and sun cream. Finally...no dogs on the island.
Should you be considering a walking holiday on The Pembrokeshire Coast Path then contact us at The Walking Holiday Company at www.thewalkingholidaycompany.co.uk either call us or complete the enquiry form on the website and now of course we have our wonderful ‘chat support’ facility which is manned from 10.00am until 5.00pm Monday to Friday for really speedy answers to your queries.