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We booked online and were sent a map and a postcode for our satnav which made it really easy to find the meeting place for our trip. Our guide for the morning was Mike, who was really patient and knowledgable about he area. After getting changed we were given a safety breif before taking to the water in sea kayaks. Mike gave us some tips on how to paddle and steer the kayaks, but more importantly how to avoid falling in! Before too long we were paddling out of the harbour and along the beautiful coastline. we found some caves and one that went all the way through. Mike was very good at pointing out the birds nesting on the cliffs as we made our way towards Dinas Head. We had plenty of time to explore around the rocks before landing on a beach at the other end. We had been given dry bags to keep a change of clothes in and had time to change before we caught the bus back to our start point. This was all included in the cost for the trip and gave us chance to talk about our trip on see the photos that Mike had taken. We were then able to view and download these photos from facebook when we arrived home.
Written Jan 20, 2012
Address: Lower Fishguard Harbour
Phone: 01348 874699
Grassholm was christened by the Vikings (Norse men). It means ‘Green or Grass Island’. It is approximately 10 miles from the mainland and is made up of basaltic, igneous rock and is thought to be a continuation of Skomer Island.
At one time Puffins inhabited the island in 10’s of 1000’s but now there are none.
The Gannets have now colonised the island but there is still a lot of evidence from the Puffin era.
The first mention of Gannets on Grassholm was in 1860. In 1872 12 pairs were recorded as breeding.
By the 1890’s 200 or more were seen to be there, then the Cardiff Naturalists Society Robert Drane and the leassee of Skomer, J J Neale recorded seeing 300 breeding pairs in 1905.
The birds may have relocated to Grassholm after being disturbed on the neighbouring (in Gannet terms) island of Lundy. Mr Harman, who owned both Lundy and Grassholm handed Grassholm over to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds in 1947 to preserve the Gannetry.
In 1964 the population was estimated at 15,500, which increased to 30,000 by 1988. This makes Grassholm the second largest Gannetry in the Northern Hemisphere after St Kilda and the third largest in the world.
Grassholm is only 22 acres and there are at least 60,000 Gannets plus their chicks and some small colonies of Guillemots, Razorbills, Kittiwakes and Shags.
The noise, and yes, smell!! As you approach the island is phenomenal, once seen it is never forgotten. The brilliant white seen from the shore is not the colour of the rock but the birds themselves. They live within pecking distance of each other and have evolved a series of vocal and postural messages. They do not spend all their time on their nests; there are always 1000’s in the air above the island. Gannets fish by diving headfirst into the sea from all angles and from great heights.
Information from Dale Sea Safari-Adventure Boat Trips.
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Phone: FREEPHONE 0800 0284090
Fishguard Fort was built after a raid on Fishguard in 1779 by the privateer ship the Black Prince which demanded £1,000 to return a captured local ship and as a ransom for the town.
When the local people refused it bombarded the town damaging the Church (St. Marys) and some houses.
At this time Fishguard was a prosperous port and so its protection was vital and the fort was constructed being completed in 1781.
It was armed with eight 9=pounder guns and was manned by three navy gunners that had been invalided from Woolwich, It became the headquarters of the Fishguard Fencibles.
When on the 22nd of February 1797 an invading French force appeared off the coast alarm guns were fired from the fort but the Fencibles were then withdrawn from the fort and it played no further part.
Following the end of the Peninsula war the fort fell into disrepair and it is now owned and maintained by the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park and it is just a short walk from a car park to visit this great site
Entrance is Free
Written Feb 16, 2010
Fishguard, Pembrokeshire, Wales is situated in the perfect location for the coastal walking path. The path goes along the coast and allows you to enjoy the stunning views of the Irish Sea and Welsh countryside. Walking up and down the rugged coast and at the same time in and out of the most enchanting coastal villages.
I would recommend it for professional or amateur hikers.
Updated Jan 23, 2010
Address: Fishguard, Pembrokeshire, Wales
Best place for this is Precelli Venture near Mathry. You can either go for a weekend break or just buy an activity for the morning or afternoon. Go see seals dolphins whales and the great North Pembrokeshire coastline.
Written Nov 13, 2006
Address: Precelli Venture, Mathry, Fishguard, Pembrokeshire
Probably the finest sea-watching site in Wales. The best times of year to visit are from Mid August to November to watch the southward migration of skuas , shearwaters and terns.
On good days, there can be great, pomarine, arctic and long tailed skuas. Great, sooty and Balearic shearwaters. Also, thousands of the manx shearwaters which nest on nearby islands are seen at daybreak each day heading away to their feeding grounds. Always good numbers of gannets, fulmars and kittiwakes. Hundreds of common scoter can pass by each day.
Other species seen are all three species of diver arriving to winter offshore, guillemots, razorbills, puffins and little auks. Sabine, little and Mediterranean gulls can be seen on passage.
The cliffs and lighthouse area can also yield good sightings of rare pipits and warblers and arrivals of spring wheatear, redstart, ring ouzel etc, sand martin and swallow etc.
Its always best to arrive by dawn to catch the best movements offshore, the best weather conditions being north westerly winds following a period of south westerlies. These help blow the birds closer inland.
Information from WelshFalcon
Updated Jan 6, 2005
Address: Along the coast from Fishguard
Pembrokeshire is an absolute delight for birdwatchers and wildlife enthusiasts alike. It is spectacularly beautiful and sparsely populated, almost surrounded by the ocean and providing a perfect refuge for wildlife. The National Trust protects much of the coastline and there are several island bird sanctuaries.
Fishguard Harbour is a good place to see Great Northern Divers and some of the less usual gulls. Mediterranean Gulls regularly winter and other species pop up from time to time, like Ring-billed and Glaucous Gulls. Rarities have included Forster’s Tern and Ross’s Gull.
Skomer Island and Grassholm are also RSPB reserves with thriving seabird colonies. The 60,000 strong Gannet colony on Grassholm is especially impressive. Visit Skomer in June to see puffins. More detailed information on boat trips and places of interest for birdwatching is available at www.visitpembrokeshire.co.uk.
This information is from the Seaview Hotel web-site.
Updated Jan 6, 2005
This dramatic offshore island has 400 feet/120 m seabird cliffs and fine examples of coastal heathland. The seabird cliffs are occupied between April and July. Choughs and wheatears breed on the island. In the autumn, a colony of breeding grey seals can also be seen.
Ramsey Island, off St Davids peninsula is owned and managed by the RSPB. Boat safaris, landing boats and fast jet-boat trips all leave from St Justinian’s. Thousand Island Expeditions are the only boat operator allowed to land on Ramsey and there is a limit on the number of people permitted on to the island each day.
Britain’s first Indigo Bunting was seen here, so it is well worth a visit. The island has fine colonies of Guillemots, Razorbills and Kittiwakes as well as nesting Shags, Lapwings, Peregrines and Choughs.
Check with Thousand Islands Expeditions, Cross Square, St. Davids (tel 01437 721721) for boat ticket availability.
Written Nov 9, 2004
Address: Offshore from St David's, Pembrokeshire
Phone: Tel: 07836 535733 (mobile phone)