The tiny UK island that is wildlife haven - and 40,000 puffins call it home

Take a day trip
-Credit: (Image: Getty)

Just a stone's throw from the Pembrokeshire mainland, a tiny island is teeming with over 40,000 seabirds. Skomer Island, renowned for its adorable puffin colony, may be small in size but it's a wildlife haven.

In addition to the charming seafaring puffins, Skomer also boasts the world's largest Manx Shearwater colony, housing an impressive 350,000 pairs. Other feathered residents include razorbills, guillemots, peregrine falcons and kittiwakes.

A mere 20-minute boat ride from the mainland, this island makes for an ideal day trip.

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Recognised as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), Skomer is managed by The Wildlife Trust and holds the title of being Wales's only marine nature reserve. During peak holiday season, up to 250 visitors per day are welcomed, allowing the puffins and their companions to freely explore the 2 by 1.5-mile island.

Skomer is home to Britain's largest breeding puffin colony, with a record-breaking 42,513 counted last year. The island's next most endearing inhabitants are the young rabbits that can be seen frolicking through the grassland come springtime.

Wild rabbits Skomar
Wild rabbits can be spotted in the Spring -Credit:Getty

The surrounding waters are abundant with marine life, including a significant population of Atlantic grey seals, porpoises, dolphins, and even the occasional whale sighting.

During certain times of the year, visitors to the island are greeted by a sea of bluebells and a blanket of pink campions that cover most of the island. The Wick, a sheer cliff with ledges perfectly suited for nesting seabirds, is the ideal spot for puffin watching.

In the heart of the island, there's a ruined farm that serves as an education room, interpretation centre, and hostel with accommodation for up to 16 people. The farm has four compost toilets, but no food or drink facilities, so visitors are advised to bring their own refreshments.

A select number of wildlife enthusiasts can spend the night on the island if they manage to secure a spot at the hostel. Staying up late to watch the wildlife return to the island is touted as a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

For those who prefer to stay on the mainland, the village of Marloes boasts the popular pub The Lobster Pot, while Little Haven provides easy access to Martin's Haven, where visitors can catch the boat to the island.

Boat trips are available from now until September. Crossings are priced at £30 per adult and £24 per child (aged 2-11) for trips that land on the island.

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