Skomer, Skokholm & Grassholm Islands

Skomer, Skokholm & Grassholm Islands information

Lonely Planet review

Lying off Wales' best beaches in St Brides Bay, the islands are a marine nature reserve populated by immense sea-bird colonies, grey seals and dolphins. Skomer is home to over 500,000 breeding sea birds and about 150 grey seal pups are born here annually. Skokholm is the habitat for 35,000 Manx shearwaters and puffins and Grassholm has 33,000 gannet pairs.

Skomer is the largest and easiest island to reach. Its breeding bird colonies include puffins, guillemots, razorbills, fulmars, cormorants, shags, and the burrow-breeding Manx shearwater. Together Skomer and Skokholm have the largest colony in the world: 160,000 strong.

To visit Skomer, the Dale Princess cruiser offers daily landing trips and round-island trips. Boats depart from St Martin's Haven near Marloes (Dale Sailing; tel: 01646 601636).

Landing is not permitted on Grassholm, the smallest island lying 18km (11mi) offshore. The fast, exciting Dale Sea Safari, on a rigid inflatable boat (RIB), makes round-island trips, departing from Dale.

A nightly shearwater watch boat-trip, plus dolphin and porpoise watches is organised by Shearwater Safaris (tel: 01437 781569; www.boatrides.co.uk), departing from Neyland Yacht Haven (near the Cleddau Bridge).