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Sussex Scrapbook ~ Wildlife walks throughout the year
Green Man
Friday 4th May - Friday 11th May 2018
Pembrokeshire Coastal Path and Skomer Island

We've been meaning to find a time to walk along this stretch of coastline for years. Normally when we shoot up to Wales it's to take some kids mountaineering or to bag a couple of summits for ourselves. This trip was all about a relaxing saunter along a few stretches of the coast to see what all the fuss was about, to see some of our favourite birds like Chough and Peregrine and to hopefully see a few Puffins, which neither of us has seen before.

Our base for the week - The Hay Loft near Solva.

The cathedral at St David's. This building takes this small village to city status: the smallest city in the UK and possibly the world.

Our first section was from the small harbour of Solva to the beach at St Justinian (about 11 miles) and it is just stunning the whole way. On this day there was fog covering the first and last parts of the hike including Ramsey Island. In between the sun was out and we got some great views of islands and headlands clothed in a thin cloak of mist.

One of the highlights that we will always remember was a Fogbow.

The end of our hike for the day at the lifeboat station at St. Justinian.

Our second section of the coastal path was from Porthgain to Whitesands Bay (10 miles) which also had a section of fogginess as well as rain, sunshine and cold wind. There are high cliffs all along the Pembrokeshire coast and sometimes you are very close to the edge. It's not quite as hairy as the Isle of Man coastal path but it has it's moments. Please be very careful.

Porthgain used to be a major industrial site. Now it is quiet and still and the ruined buildings make the place seem very special.

The industry continued up onto the moors and now seems very natural but this was a cutting for a small railway.

Soon we were in one of the nearby coves, rock pooling in the fog.

There! We have officially walked on the Appalachian Trail.

The famous coasteering spot - The Blue Lagoon at Abereddi

There are many neolithic burial sites strewn all over this peninsula.

The third section we did was from Fishguard to Strumble Head (8 miles) and it is stunning. We can thoroughly recommend walking along this whole area of Welsh coastline, it has everything.

The memorial to the last invasion of Britain by the French in 1787 (unsuccessful)

Strumble Head and lighthouse.

Skomer Island
We did a recce to the boat office the day before and found out that if we wanted to catch the early boat at 10am then we needed to arrive at 8am to beat the queue. After a 4.30am wake-up we were there once again at 7.45am to find ourselves 30th in the queue. The boat squeezed 50 of us on and we were off on a beautiful clear sunny day. The coast was littered with rafts of seabirds and there were 80 Grey Seals on the beach near the landing station. Rossi Dolphins were seen the day before.
The island really is a jewel. It is beautiful everywhere and the birds love it. The air is full of Puffins, Guillemots, Razorbills, Gannets, Fulmar, Raven, Chough, Peregrine and even Short-eared Owls that are not shy in the slightest. The entire island is one large honeycomb of burrows and it is littered with the remains of puffins eaten by predators. This is a sign of an ecosystem that is working perfectly.

A pleasant 15 minute journey out to the island on a perfect sunny day.

The island takes a couple of hours to walk round but you get plenty of time between being dropped off and picked up.

We were just in time for the bluebells too.

Yay! Puffins.

Final night and a romantic evening beach stop.


Take the time to read the countryside code for yourself and please stick to it at all times.