Marloes Peninsula and boats to the islands.
If you are seeking a walk that takes in dramatic scenery and abundant wildlife then take yourself to the stunning peninsula of Marloes and Martins Haven. There are several short walks so you could do all or fit one or two around making a boat trip to the magical islands of Skomer and Skokholm or just make this part of your Pembrokeshire National park coast path route.
Spring is perhaps the best time to visit to enjoy the cascades of wild flowers – bluebells and campion especially , but this area is wonderful all year round. Seabirds of many sorts and seals can often be spotted here – in the autumn pupping season you can hear the seals clearly from above the coves as you walk along the cliff edges.
Geologically this area is fascinating with unique sandstones and volcanic rocks – the Skomer Volcanic Series of Silurian Rocks which include Marloesite and Skomerite Rock.
The Deer Park has no deer, but is an iron age fort and now has a coastguard lookout hut at Wooltack Point. Below is the north-facing cove of Martins Haven, popular with sub-aqua divers and the embarkation point for the island boats. Bookings and wildlife information is to be found at Lockley Lodge just down from the National Trust car park. Run by the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales, this is a great starting point to any visit. There are toilets on the path down to the beach and a little hut with more wildlife, environmental and tourist information – the door is open so the nesting swifts can come to and fro during Spring and summer.
We spent a weekend in the nearby West Hook campsite, which provides excellent facilities just a few minutes walk along the coast path and must surely be one of the sites with the most spectacular location and views you could imagine. There is plenty of room for tents, camper vans and motorhomes and there is a static caravan available to rent too. Run by the same family for generations, this site has its own story set out out in one of the barns – well worth a look.
For subscribers to PembrokeshireLifeOnLine there is a chance to win two nights for the price of one at West Hook Campsite for a tent, camper or motorhome visit. Look out for the draw on 30th June!
Boat trips run dependent on the weather and will take you to see puffins, kittiwakes and auks – there are trips around the islands, some which land for the day and others for volunteers and visitors spending a few days sharing these remote and protected places with the wardens.
This report from West Hook Farm Camping….
Our blogger Rachel Mullett from Pembrokeshire Moments tells her Skomer island adventure here:-
Skomer Island is my most favourite place to be in the summer months when the puffins come back to breed. They arrive sometime in early April and leave from mid July onwards. Outside of these times there’s still a lot to see on the island with seals, passing porpoise and dolphins, passage birds, fulmars, guillemots and razorbills, short-eared and little owls and one of the largest manx shearwaters breeding populations in the world (although you won’t see these in the daytime). In May the bluebells and campion are at their best.
It’s less than a mile offshore so only a short boat ride away. Boats don’t tend to run in northerly winds as it’s too rough to then get across Jack Sound and land safely. To buy tickets head to the National Trust carpark at Martins Haven at about 8am and queue at Lockley Lodge which opens at 8.30am.
On the boat trip you’ll soon start to see the birds on the water and may even see porpoise feeding on the tidal rush in Jack Sound (keep your eyes peeled for diving gannets as they’re often feeding in the same place). There are steep steps to walk up on the island so it’s not suitable for disabled visitors or small children. There is a boat ride around part of the island most days so small children and less agile visitors tend to enjoy this experience without having to do the steep climb.