Skomer is an island off the coast of Pembrokeshire. It is a national nature reserve managed by the wildlife trust of South and West Wales.
Barley Villa Bed and Breakfast makes an ideal base for visiting Skomer Island. We are located just off the B4327 and approximately 7 miles from Martins Haven where you board the boat for Skomer Island.
When you stay with us during the busy puffin season, it will be necessary to have an early breakfast. I offer early breakfast times over this period. You need to bring some refreshments with you over to Skomer, there are none for sale on the Island. I can refrigerate packed lunches overnight if required.
April and May offers visitors the opportunity to see the Island carpeted with bluebells and campions as well as the variety of birdlife …… and the puffins have arrived!
May, June and early July’s main attraction are the puffins and the best place to see the puffins is at the Wick. The puffins are not at all put off by the number of people about, and go about their daily business as if you weren't there. You are asked to keep a certain amount of distance from the birds, but they don't seem to have read the rules and sometimes come within inches of you!
August and September is the turn of grey seal spotting, when the seals start their pupping season. Several of the bays on Skomer are popular places for the seals to have their pups and these bundles of white fur are a beautiful sight as they dot the stony bays. Mum keeps a close eye on them from the sea, coming ashore frequently to feed them. As their fur turns grey they become waterborne. You can also spot seals and their pups from the mainland in the Deer Park, alongside the car parking facility.
Boats sail to Skomer from Martin's Haven every day except Monday (Bank Holiday Mondays excepted) from April to October between 10am and 12 noon (actual times may vary). Return sailings are from 3pm but the boatman will advise on the day. There are limits on the number of people allowed to visit the island (currently 250 per day). Advance booking is not possible and reservations are strictly on a first come, first served basis at Lockley Lodge in Martin's Haven. Long queues can develop early each morning during the ‘puffin season’ of late May, June and July. The boat journey on The Dale Princess is 15 minutes long and very pleasant, it is an open boat which carries a maximum of 50 people, best to take some cover for yourself if the weather is inclement.
There are 87 steps up from the jetty onto the island depending on the tide.
When you land a warden will give you an introductory talk to let you know the highlights – this is really helpful because they will advise you of the best place to view the puffins and any other wildlife you may be interested in seeing. The Island is 1.5 miles wide and takes about 4 hours to wander round comfortably. There is a visitor centre and toilet close to the farmhouse near the centre of the Island.
Some of the birds you may see on Skomer:
Puffins; Manx Shearwaters, Guillemots, Razorbills, Cormorants, Kittiwakes, Storm-petrels, Shags, Oystercatchers and gulls, as well as birds of prey including Short-eared Owls, Kestrels and Peregrine Falcons.