How, when & where

Dolphin & porpoise watching in Pembrokeshire

Bucket list ticked

Dolphin watching in Pembrokeshire

These beautiful animals often make someone’s trip to Pembrokeshire, and families have been coming back for generations just catch up with our watery residents.

And best of all, there are plenty of places to watch for the flip of a tail or the skim of a curved body in the blue, from on land.

What to look for:

  • We have two main types in and around Pembrokeshire- the bottlenose dolphin, and the harbour porpoise.
  • Porpoises are only seen in small groups and are relatively shy – only showing a dorsal fin and a blow of air when surfacing. They’re quite dark with lighter sides and stomach.
  • Bottlenose dolphins are usually in larger familial groups, and will jump and play and are very sociable! They have pale stomachs and are a dark grey.
  • Spotting these creatures can be a trickier business than you might think! With miles of sea to look out over, it’s difficult to spot a fin or tail gently breaking the water.
  • However, if you follow the fish, often you’ll find a pod of dolphins- if there’s a lot of seabirds making a fuss over a particular area, it might be a good idea to keep an eye out: if the birds are feeding- so too the dolphins!

 

©Janet Baxter for Voyages of Discovery

Where to look:

  • Porpoises and Dolphins are often sighted on the stretch of coastal path between Poppit Sands and Strumble – where the Cardigan Bay curves around.
  • Try the walk around Dinas Head for an enjoyable afternoon, or the Ceibwr cliffs near Moylegrove later in the day. Apparently, our pod likes to frolick at sunset!
  • The area around Ramsey Island is also a popular spot, and if you don’t fancy a boat trip out to the island itself, on a clear day a walk along the coastal path from Caerfai bay is definitely worth a go.
  • You can try one of the various boat trips who monitor the movements of our home pod and the migrating groups as they channel through from North to South Pembrokeshire and vice versa.
  • The Sea Trust is a Community Interest Company based in Fishguard that runs occasional tours to monitor porpoises and cetaceans during the summer months. Operating out of Neyland Marina, the trips are either a full day or evening trips and are much more angled towards professional observation. They have a 95% success rate of seeing dolphins and porpoises, so book early to avoid disappointment!

Fingers crossed for a wonderful sighting that will stay with you forever.