Skomer Island


Skomer Island is situated off the Pembrokeshire coastline and has some of the most spectacular sea bird colonies in the UK.

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Last updated: 06 April 2011

The Skomer Marine Reserve is one of only three marine nature reserves in the whole of Britain.

Although best know for its seabirds and seal populations, Skomer also has a stone circle, standing stone and remains of prehistoric houses and was once permanently inhabitated by the Codd family who farmed here but left the island in 1958.

The island trail is only a few kilometres long and can be walked in a few hours but there is a wealth of wildlife to see and stop you in your tracks so you'll find it takes longer than you think.

To begin with there over 10,000 breeding pairs of Puffins on Skomer and Skokholm Islands, making them one of the most important Puffin colonies in Britain.

The puffins arrive here in the late March/April and will raise their young before heading off out to sea once more in the Autumn.

Different species of gulls, puffins, guillemots, razorbills and manx shearwaters live and nest on the island's cliffs and grassland.

There is also one mammal unique to the island known as the Skomer vole, which thrives here due to a lack of predators. Short-eared owls however do hunt the voles and the island is an excellent place to watch these owls hunting during the daylight hours.

Around the islands sheltered bays and landing areas such as North Bay you'll find grey seal lying on the rocky shores but be warned - they are easily spooked so keep your distance if you're after a photograph.

Further out and you might spot dolphins and porpoises.

In the plant kingdom, the island is well known for its red campion and springtime carpeting of bluebells which rivals any woodland display.

It is also a Site of Special Scientific Interest and recently marked it's 20th anniversary which you can read about in the nature blog.

Under the water can be equally if not more fascinating and the island boasts some of the best diving in the UK with some incredibly rare species of sea coral, sea slugs and other marine life that are all protected here.

You can visit Skomer MNR's exhibition at Martin's Haven to see the beauty of the underwater world.

The boat, (The Dale Princess) sails to the island six days a week (Tuesday to Sundays) and on Bank Holiday Mondays between Good Friday or 1 April to 31 October each year, but sailings are weather dependent.

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