A protected haven for wildlife

120m high cliffs with hidden coves, perfect for seals in autumn

An RSPB reserve

Ramsey Island, Pembrokeshire, Wales

A Royal Society for the Protection of Birds or RSPB reserve, Ramsey is just off the end of the St Davids peninsula.

There’s a 3½ mile trail around the island, which can be rugged in places but it’s the best way to see the island. The summits of Carn Ysgubor and Carn Llundain give splendid views east to the mainland, south to Skomer Island and on the clearest of days, west to Ireland.

At nearly 120m (400 ft) in places, the western cliffs on the island are among the highest in Wales. They are home to ravens, peregrines and buzzards. In spring, guillemots, razorbills, fulmars, kittiwakes and shags come to nest too. Choughs also breed on these cliffs, seeking out deep fissures and caves in which to build their nests.

From mid-July, however, the cliffs quieten as the auk chicks head out to the open sea then all the action turns to the beaches and caves as several hundred seal pups are born each autumn on Ramsey.

The southern heathlands are a special combination of heather, gorse and coastal plants. This habitat is the haunt of stonechats, meadow pipits, linnets and skylarks.

There is a small shop on the island and refreshments are available.

A round-island boat trip is a great way to explore the island including those huge western cliffs and white fluffy seal pups hauled up on the beaches and caves during autumn.

How to get there

Boats leave from St Justinians for the short crossing to Ramsey at 10 am and 12 pm, returning at 4 pm (between 1st April or Easter, whichever is earlier, to 31st October). Book your ticket through Thousand Island Expeditions.

Read an interview with the Ramsey Island wardens, Lisa and Greg, and hear about life on their island home!