5 must see Welsh islands
What do you associate with Wales? Beautiful beaches, rugged mountains, green fields dotted with sheep? But what about islands? Scattered all along the 750 miles of Welsh coastline are a number of wonderful little islands.
These islands are mainly inhabited by wildlife and are often special nature reserves but this doesn’t mean you can’t visit them on your holiday. Throughout the summer months boat trips cruise around the islands, some islands allow visitor access so you can explore them on foot too or if you’re looking for the ultimate ‘get away from it’ holiday, why not stay on the islands that offer accommodation?
5 of the best Welsh islands to visit
Bardsey Island lies about 2 miles off the coast of the Llŷn Peninsula in North Wales. It has long been associated with religious pilgrimage and a reported 20,000 Saints are buried on the island giving it the nick name of “Island of 20,000 Saints”. Toady’s visitors can take a boat trip across during the summer months and you can even holiday on Bardsey Island in one of the 8 self catering cottages belonging to the Bardsely Island Trust.
Off the coast of St Davids in Pembrokeshire, this dramatic island is home to a large number of birds. Take a boat trip across and spend the day exploring. From May to September, the nature trail is bright with wild flowers and visitors can expect to see Choughs flying along the cliffs, breeding Guillemots and Peregrines scanning the cliff face for food.
No holiday to Tenby is complete without a trip to Caldey Island, famous for it’s monastery where the monks of the Cistercian Order live. The island is full of things to do, you can attend a chanted service in the Abbey Church, join a free guided walk to discover the the Old Priory and medieval St David’s Church. Relax on the beautiful sandy beach or take a walk to the lighthouse where you will have spectacular views of Pembrokeshire.
This uninhabited island is a Special Protection Area on account of its large Cormorant population but you won’t just see these. Large colonies of noisy Guillemots and Razorbills squabble for space on the cliffs as well as the islands name sake Puffins. Look out for Grey Seals, Bottlenose Dolphins and Harbour Porpoises too. Boat tours depart Beaumaris Pier from May – August and last for one and a half hours.
If you are looking for a wildlife experience, Skomer Island is the place to visit. As a National Nature Reserve it’s home to over 120,000 pairs of Manx Shearwaters, 6,000 pairs of Puffins and 10,000 pairs of Guillemots. Take one of the island cruises during spring and look out for the puffin chicks and the colourful display of Bluebells covering the island’s floor.
Or for the ultimate wildlife experience stay over night in the 3 Star Hostel and watch as the Manx Shearwaters return nosily to their burrows under the cover of darkness. Some people find the sound is quite spooky.
Image credits: Puffin Island by Alexbrn, Bardsey Island by zabdiel, Ramsey Island by Scrignari, Caldey Island by informationtakesover, Puffin Island by Sarahgb(theorginal) and Skomer Island by David.Ian.Roberts.This entry was posted on Tuesday, March 27th, 2012 at 3:05 pm and is filed under Days Out, Wildlife. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.