For us, no visit to Pembrokeshire would be complete without a day on Skomer Island. Arrive early in the day at Martin's Haven to catch the Dale Princess for the short crossing to the Island. Places are limited and there are no facilities to buy food on the Island. Late spring to early summer is the best time to see puffins, most have left by late July. Seals pup all around the coast in the autumn. Further off shore is the spectacular Island of Grassholm which is home to a vast gannet colony. Watch for these birds diving out of the sky for food. To experience the Manx Searwater colony on Skomer, you can arrange to stay overnight. If you prefer to stay on dry land, the coast around Martin's Haven is home to choughs and has fantastic views across to the Islands.
Find out more about Skomer at the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales.
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From St David's by car, follow the signs to St Justinians where there is room to park. Boats leave from here to circle Ramsey Island. (Book in St Davids) The coast paths in either direction from the lifeboat station give superb opportunities to see wildlife. We have seen otters swimming just of the rocks, and plenty of seals pup in autumn on the secluded beaches. Walk further north to Whitesands and beyond to St David's Head if you want a longer route. Alternatively you can park at Whitsands and head north. A challenging scramble over rocks to the tip of the Head will often be rewarded with sightings of dolphins, porpoises and occasionally whales, passing by the headland and feeding in the tidal flow.
Due to its relative inaccesibility and the fact there are fewer sandy beaches, the North coast of Pembrokeshire is a breathtaking location for the wildlife photographer. Sunsets over Strumble Head and from Pwll Deri are magnificent. A stiff climb down from Pwll Deri Youth Hostel brings you to some secluded, inaccesible beaches that are home to seals. Being careful not to disturb them, you can get some amazing shots from the coast path with a good lens, of these beautiful mammals rearing their young.
Further North, and moving out of Pembrokeshire the coast is equally inviting. Between Cardigan and New Quay you have a good chance of seeing dolphins from the coast path and again boat trips are available from Cardigan and New Quay. At Mwnt, just north of Cardigan, there are fantastic walks on the coast path and a good chance of seeing kestrels hunting on the cliffs. If you are lucky you will see them catch lizards and the like!
Keep traveling north and the Ceredigion coast path is a truly unspoilt gem. You will hardly see another person and the scenery and wildlife will captivate you! In spring, visit the Penderi Cliffs north of Llanrhystud or the Penglais Woods above Aberystwyth for a bluebell experience you will never forget!