As Britain’s only coastal National Park, millions of visitors flock to Pembrokeshire each year to walk the spectacular 186 miles of coastal path stretching from St Dogmaels to Amroth. But the coast path is not the only way to see this sea-sculpted westerly wonder. Come and enjoy Pembrokeshire from the water with one of the best boat trips you’ll ever take! Here are our favourite four.
Boat trips to Ramsey Island
We start with the most popular boat trip destination in Pembrokeshire – Ramsey Island. Head to St Justinians, a beautiful heather-dotted peninsula just south of Whitesands beach and boasting the oldest coastal rock formations in mainland Britain. Here you’ll find the 100-year-old lifeboat station next to its updated counterpart – lifeboats have been launched from this area since 1862. You’ll also find the best boat companies ready to take you around or on to the island.
If you’re looking for an informative, fun and memorable trip around the island, we recommend Falcon Boats. Ffion is an experienced skipper with a fantastic, knowledgable crew, all adding up to a fabulous experience. The round Ramsey Island trips are suitable for all ages, and the hour-long trips take in sea caves, the notorious Bitches reef, as well as unique geology, tales of infamous shipwrecks and, if you’re lucky, the occasional inquisitive grey seal or porpoise! This is one of the best boat trips for seeing cliff-nesting birds such as choughs, kittiwakes, and fulmar petrels.
If you’d like to land on Ramsey, you’ll head to Thousand Islands Expeditions. Their office is nestled on the way down to the Cathedral in St Davids, so pop in to book!
Boat trips to Grassholm
Grassholm is the smallest of the Pembrokeshire islands visited by boat trips, and is the most westerly point in Wales. It’s also an exceptionally special place, and home to a very special bird: the gannet. Owned by the RSPB, Grassholm is the third most important site for gannets in the world. You can see why – this uninhabited island is 8 miles off the coast of Pembrokeshire, giving the roughly 40,000 breeding pairs of gannets some peace and quiet!
You can access Grassholm via St Justinians with the same boat operators as Ramsey Island, or take a day trip south to the pretty coastal village of Dale, where Pembrokeshire Islands will take you on a Gannetry Experience. Leaving from here is a great excuse to stop for dinner at The Griffin Inn while you’re there – yum!
Boat trips to Skomer Island
Skomer is the largest of the Pembrokeshire islands, and home to its most famous seabird, the Atlantic Puffins. Thousands of people flock to the island every year to see these fantastic, colourful birds, as well as the beauty of the island itself, covered in pink thrifts and gorse, with the famous Pembrokeshire Vole hiding in the twisted coastal hedges. The treacherous waters around Skomer make it an island free of predators, allowing the 6,000 pairs of puffins to live in peace.
The island is open from Good Friday until September, so make sure you book your trip with Dale Sailing in plenty of time. This is a once-in-a-lifetime trip, so don’t miss the boat!
Boat trips to Cardigan Island and Cemaes Head
The Pembrokeshire Coast path begins in St Dogmaels, an ancient boat-building port village at the bottom of Cardigan bay. Straddling these two counties, A Bay to Remember can show you the best that both counties have to offer. Take a tour around Cardigan Island, famous for its large colony of grey seals, before heading south towards Pembrokeshire’s highest sea cliffs at Cemaes Head. A Bay to Remember is known for a high volume of bottlenosed dolphin views – just check out their Instagram! Surely that’s worth a trip?