24 Hours on Skomer
A visit to Skomer Island by day is only half the experience.
Book a bed on the island's 3-star hostel and enjoy a night to remember with 300,000 breeding Manx Shearwaters.
Puffins and porpoise make up the daylight story, while at night it’s a glimpse of the short-eared owl and a shower of shearwaters will make your heart sing.
Your adventure begins before you even board the boat, as you watch the crew row out to the ‘Dale Princess’ – your ride to Skomer Island. Standing in a line, passengers pass bags down to the boat before boarding and then it’s off to sea.
Crossing the waters between Martin’s Haven and Skomer only takes 15-minutes and as you approach the island you’ll get your first glimpse of a seal or a puffin, the first of many!
You’ll be the first boat to the island that morning and last night’s residents will be standing on shore, ready to take your luggage. Then it’s your turn to get their luggage on. It’s a brilliant system, so be sure to get stuck in!
3* Hostel Accommodation
Island wardens Bee and Ed meet you at the boat and walk you to the hostel for a quick tour of the accommodation, followed by a wildlife talk. Here they share the latest sightings and the best place to see wildlife before you’re free to head out and explore for the day.
Must-see on the island:
When you land off the boat look out for the colony of grey seals on the beach, just below the island office. You’re first taste of island wildlife!
Keep your eyes on the skies as you walk North through the island, you’ll see curlews, gulls and maybe the short-eared owl if you’re lucky.
At Garland Stone look for porpoise in the surf and as you walk round the Western edge you might see peregrine and chough on the wing.
Skomer Head is the Westerly point, another great spot for porpoise and seal spotting, and then you will be walking onto the Wick, where the only thing on your mind will be puffins!
At night there’s a gathering at the Island office to record the birds, porpoise and seals everyone has spotted that day – a great place to meet the islands team of wardens and volunteers and find out more about this extraordinary place.
After dark make the effort to go outside and experience for the Manx Shearwater’s arrival – you won’t be disappointed.
You will be sharing an island with 50% of the world’s population of Manx Shearwaters, who have flown all the way from Argentina to raise their young here.
Manx’s are designed for flying and they are pretty clumsy on land, which makes them vulnerable to predators and black-backed gulls. However, the darkness saves them and their numbers thrive on this island nursery.
Remember to bring:
The 3 star hostel is extremely comfortable and well equipped with cooking utensils, hot and cold running water, a gas hob and guest fridge. Rooms have pillows and duvets; you’ll just need to bring linen.
Packing light is the key: camera, sturdy footwear, binoculars, water bottle, warm clothing, torch, food and bed linen.
Most of all enjoy – this will be one Pembrokeshire experience you will remember long after the shearwaters have returned to Argentina.
Inspired by your visit to Skomer and would like to do more?
Read our story - A summer of shearwaters - when we spent a day behind the scenes with the Manx shearwater researchers on Skomer Island.
For the latest news from the island check out the Skomer Island Blog and to book your overnight trip contact The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales