Skomer Island Nature Preserve
Duration: 5 3/4 hours
Tour Code: mlh-001
Cruise to pristine, isolated Skomer Island to explore its National Nature Reserve, a breeding ground for thousands of seabirds.
Depart from the pier and drive west through the lovely Pembrokeshire countryside, a land of fertile farms, quaint villages and immense natural beauty. The sea borders Pembrokeshire County on three sides, and the unspoiled coastline offers up some marvelous scenery. You'll see it from an altogether different perspective after embarking an open-air boat in Martin's Haven for the 20-minutet cruise to Skomer Island.
After climbing the 80 stairs built into the island's rocky cliff, you'll meet the Warden at the top and begin an enlightening walking tour of the island's nature reserve. Wildlife abounds on Skomer Island, especially seabirds. There's a good chance you'll see kittiwakes circling above, short-eared owls feeding their young, and orange-beaked puffins popping out of their burrows. The experience becomes even more memorable as the air is constantly punctuated by the seabirds' squawks and the high-pitched wails of the Atlantic grey seals basking on the rocks below.
As you wander about, accompanied by wildlife experts, you'll notice that the ground is honeycombed with holes. These holes are where many of the seabirds incubate their eggs and also the homes of an estimated 12,000 rabbits that inhabit the island. The island is devoid of predatory cats and foxes, so the thousands of eggs usually hatch undisturbed and the rabbits live without threat, making Skomar Island a vital breeding area. Dependent upon the season, grasses and colorful wildflowers hardy enough to survive in the salt-laden air, blanket the treeless terrain providing a picturesque background. After enjoying this natural paradise for nearly 3 hours, you'll retrace your route and return to the pier in Milford Haven.
Please note: This tour includes extensive moderate to strenuous walking that includes natural surfaces, steep steps and uneven inclines. There are also numerous steps to negotiate in order to enter and exit the ferry. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests or those with mobility concerns. Participants should be in good physical condition. Casual, weather appropriate clothing to include water-proof outerwear; sun cap; sunglasses; and flat, sturdy walking shoes are recommended. The restroom facilities on Skomer Island are very limited and the only refreshments available for purchase are bottles of water.