Skomer Island offers an otherworldly experience for all who choose to visit. Although the last of the puffins will soon be setting off on their travels, the island offers the perfect opportunity to see beautiful birds, adorable rabbits and of course the white fluff of seal pups!
Here is everything you need to know when planning your day trip to Skomer
- Catch the boat from Martin’s Haven in Pembrokeshire to Skomer Island everyday of the week except for Monday. All people wishing to visit Skomer must purchase a landing ticket from Lockley Lodge Visitor Centre.
- We allow a maximum of 250 people with landing tickets onto the island on any one day; this helps us to keep path erosion in check and also helps to manage the movement and behaviour of visitors when in close proximity to the seabirds.
- Skomer day visits are oversubscribed during May to mid-July, and unfortunately not bookable during the season, but the best time to go (and avoid the largest crowds at the ticket office) would be early to mid-July.
- Ring the ticket office on 01646 636800 the afternoon before you wish to travel for queuing and sea condition updates as the queues can form from very early in the morning.
- Landing fee is £11 for non-members. Members to the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales benefit free landings on Skomer Island. These are limited to 2 free landings between May-July and unlimited in April, August and September.
- There is an additional fee payable to the Skipper of the boat, £11 for adults, £7 for children in cash.
- Weather will affect day-visits throughout the season. Skomer’s landing point faces the north-east so any northerly or easterly wind will affect our ability to land safely. Any strong wind from any other direction can also affect safe landing. The boat Skipper will make the decision on the viability of day trips at 8am in the morning. When making this decision the Skipper will also be considering sailing conditions in the afternoon. These need to be considered as the return journeys form the island need to be made in safe conditions.
- The decision to sail is Tweeted on @skomer_boatinfo shortly after 8am. We do appreciate that news of a cancelled sailing can be upsetting, particularly if you have been queuing since before 6 in the morning, however, the decision to not sail is taken to protect you. We do make every effort to get visitors across but we will not compromise their safety.
- If you can only visit during May or June we recommend that you avoid Tuesdays and Saturdays as they are the busiest days; we are also busy any day after a wind affected ‘no sail day’.
- Please be prepared to queue from very early in the morning for the weeks around and including the Whitsun period.
- We recommend taking advantage of a round island cruise if you are unable to secure a landing ticket; you will see volumes of razorbill, guillemot and puffin ‘rafting’ on the water. The Skipper provides an informative commentary.
- Please ensure to take water and snacks as there is no shop on the island.
- Dress appropriately for the weather including sturdy shoes and warm layers if necessary.
- ALWAYS stick to the paths, Skomer is home to thousands of ground nesting birds therefore it vital that you never deter from the paths.
- Lastly, have fun!
When should you visit?
Skomer offers a wildlife paradise year around, but if there is a particular species you would like to see here's when you should visit:
Puffins - March to July
Razorbills - March to July
Guillemots - March to July
Manx Shearwaters - May - September (please note, these can only be seen at night)
Grey Seals - March to April and then August to November for Seal pups
Bluebells - late April to early June
Red Campion - May to late June
Please note, May and June are our busiest months and tickets sell out extremely quickly. Ensure to use our handy tips above for the best chance of getting on the island.
No matter when you visit, expect incredible vistas across the sea towards mainland and neighbouring island Skokholm.
We would love to hear your wonderful stories from Skomer, share them with us via social media.
For more information about visiting Skomer, click here