by Hannah Craven
Ramsey Island is a beautiful offshore island, just off the coast of St Davids. With cliffs rising up to 120 feet, it’s become a haven for thousands of migratory seabirds.
Visitors can take a boat trip over to the island and enjoy a scenic stroll along its coastal heathland. While the spectacular views of the Irish Sea certainly aren’t be sniffed at, there’s another reason why so many visitors love the island – the cute resident seals who can be found bobbing and lazing around its shores!
Thinking about heading over to Ramsey Island? We’ve put together a quick guide with all you need to plan the perfect day out…
Ramsey is a dramatic off-shore island, a mile off Pembrokeshire’s coast. The island covers approx 600 acres and features 400ft high cliffs, which teem with breeding seabirds. Over the years Ramsey had a succession of owners and caretakers who farmed the island, but it is now owned and managed by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.
Ramsey Island is accessible by a regular boat service from St Justinian’s, which crosses the spectacular Ramsey sound, with its infamous and treacherous reef, known as the Bitches.
The island is home to several thousand seabirds in the season, including razor-bills, kittiwakes, fulmars, chough, guillemot, raven, peregrine and puffin. The caves and beaches around Ramsey are breeding grounds for the largest concentration of grey seals who give birth to over 400 white-coated pups during the Autumn.
Ramsey Island has over 1300 species of birds that either nest there or use it as a migration “stop-over”. The most common are: Chough, Guillemot, Raven, Razorbill.
It is important to realise that there are a limited number of visitors allowed on the island each day.
The boat trip can be booked through the only company with landing rights. The boats depart from the jetty underneath the St Justinian’s lifeboat station. They leave at 10.00am and 1.00pm and return at 1.00pm and 4.00pm.
One of the RSPB wardens will meet you and tell you about the island’s birds and flower population and gives you a map of the various footpaths.
An excerpt from the RSPB’s web site: “There is a main trail of about 3.5 miles, which can be divided into two loops by taking the shortcut (closed March – July). The trail is steep and rugged in places so is not suitable for wheelchairs or pushchairs”.
You can also take boat trips around the Island with Voyages of Discovery, they offer a range of different boat trips from St Justinians during 2014, we took a post summer season staff outing with them. Much fun was had by all of us and we thoroughly recommend at least one trip out with them if you are staying in the area.
From Cross Square in St Davids take Goat Street, Goat street then forks right along Pitt Street. At the end, turn left along Feidr Treginnis. Follow that road for about a mile and a half to St Justinians. (It is signposted)
What makes it special?: You’re just minutes away from all the amenities of St Davids
Greenfields is a detached two-bedroom bungalow, close to the centre of St Davids. Just half a mile away from the scenic coastal path, you can leave the car on the drive and enjoy a week of walks around this beautiful area.
What makes it special?: There’s plenty of space for the whole family
Set down a quiet lane outside of St Davids, Tremynydd Fawr is a traditional four-bedroom farmhouse sleeping up to eight guests. This pet-friendly home is ideal for family holidays – the enclosed garden offers plenty of space for summer BBQs together.
What makes it special?: The abundance of beaches nearby!
Dating all the way back to the 14th century, The Old Farmhouse Kitchen is a charming two-bedroom holiday home close to St Davids and Abereiddy. You’ll find an excellent choice of beaches nearby, as well as the picturesque coastal path which can be reached within easy walking distance of the front door.
Planning a visit to Ramsey Island? Our lovely holiday cottages in Pembrokeshire offer the perfect base for your next break in Wales.
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