Pembrokeshire’s Islands: Skomer, Ramsey & Grassholm

The arrival of spring marks the beginning of another fantastic season of boat trips out to our surrounding islands, and we can’t wait!

For those of you with a passion for wildlife, Pembrokeshire Boat Trips are a must. Take a short venture out from the edge of the coast and you’re guaranteed to be greeted with incredible sights of seabirds, sea animals, flowers, plants and more.

Skomer Island

Think of Skomer and you’ll automatically envision sights of puffins. And it’s no wonder, as Skomer Island is home to the largest colony of breeding puffins in Britain. The island, located just off the Pembrokeshire coast near Dale and Marloes, is one of our county’s top visitor attractions due to its wealth of wildlife.

With an impressively large colony of puffins and the largest Manx Shearwater colony (165,000 pairs!), you can also spot a range of other seabirds such as razorbills, guillemots, peregrine falcons and kittiwakes. The island is full of warrens burrowed by resident rabbits and sealife such as Atlantic grey seals, porpoise and even dolphins can sometimes be seen.

Only 730 acres in size, Skomer Island is managed by The Wildlife Trust and is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). It is Wales’ only marine nature reserve. You can take a trip out to the island from a departure point in Martins Haven however as the trips are so popular, advance bookings are not accepted. It is recommended to arrive at the departure point as early as possible on your chosen date to ensure space on a sailing.


Ramsey Island

Just off the coast of the St Davids peninsula, you’ll find the RSPB island of Ramsey. Also a designated SSSI area, this island is one of the largest seal pupping sites in the area meaning it’s particularly popular around September during pupping season. Much of the beaches and coves are taken over by Atlantic grey seals as they give birth making for a truly spectacular scene.

The island is a Special Protection Area where the RSPB work hard year after year to care for endangered species such as choughs. Other seabirds who occupy the island include ravens, guillemots, peregrines and manx shearwaters. Along with sealife, the island is also home to Welsh mountain ponies and up to 200 Welsh mountain sheep.

A range of trips to Ramsey are available through our Concierge team (click here for details); opt for a jet boat adventure for an exhilarating ride or choose the more peaceful original adventure trip. You can also book a Land on Ramsey Island trip allowing you to explore the island yourself; take part in a guided walk, take a stroll following the delightful nature trails or even call into the island’s visitor centre where you can learn more about the island and the incredible work the RSPB does to care for it.


Grassholm Island

Must smaller than Skomer and Ramsey, Grassholm Island is located much further out into the Irish Sea, approximately 11 miles. Being one of the RSPB’s oldest reserves, this island is best known for one particular species of its inhabitants; gannets. With around 39,000 pairs of these white birds, the colony at Grassholm makes up approximately ten percent of the entire population making it one of the top three most important sites in the world for these birds.

The smaller of the three islands is a great spot for spying sea animals such as porpoise and even dolphins as they often use the area for feeding. You might not be able to land on the island, but a trip around the island is most certainly worth it for the wonderful sights you’ll see.


Make the most of your visit to the coast this summer with a boat trip exploring our local islands and take in magnificent views of the coastline from a different perspective out at sea. Boat trips run between April and October so whenever you’re planning a visit over the next few months, don’t miss out on an unforgettable boat trip!

Images © Crown copyright (2013) Visit Wales

About the Author


Part of Coastal's Concierge team, I'm always on the lookout for new and exciting things Pembrokeshire has to offer, whether that be delicious local produce, new attractions or fun events! I love a walk along the Coastal Path on a crisp winter's day and settling down at the beach with a good book.

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