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Taking a boat trip to some of the offshore islands in Wales in the United Kingdom is the best way to discover the rugged coastline, ample wildlife, and serenity of this country. Each island has diverse wildlife and diverse sights to offer, each has its charm, and you can choose from different types of boats as well.
Kids would love to explore the islands as they get the opportunity to spot diverse wildlife like fish, birds, seals, dolphins, cattle, toads, glow worms and even more and they also want to enjoy a boat trip across the islands for more adventure. Even adults will get many surprises too.
Islands in Wales are not just for children and bird watchers. Romantic travelers and beach lovers will also get a relaxing ambiance here. There are many chances for a calm stroll along the stunning coastlines and sandy shores and many activities according to the island.
You can explore plenty of offshore islands, and we have listed some of the most popular islands here. Whether you are visiting for a week or a short break, you can find many options here to enjoy the journey. There are lots of other activities and sights for a romantic and relaxing getaway.
How many islands in Wales?
There are a total of 50 islands in Wales, which attract travelers to explore unique wildlife, scenery, and heritage. If you are an avid traveler, these islands are more exciting than going beyond solid land. These islands have a lot of opportunities to delight your mood and get escape from mundane life.
What is the name of the peninsula in North West Wales?
Stretching 30 miles in the Irish Sea, the Llŷn Peninsula is located in the North West Wales, towards the southwest of Isle of Anglesey. It belongs to the historic Gwynedd region and Modern County.
How big is the Isle of Anglesey?
It is stretched over 714 sq. Km, the Isle of Anglesey is the 52nd most significant island in Europe. It is positioned on the north of Wales.
Is Cairnholm Wales a real place?
Featured in “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children,” Cairnholm is a fictional island in Esles. In the story, there are two settings in Cairnholm, one is the Cairnholm Loop/Past, and another is Cairnholm of the current day. It is supposed to belong to the realistic images of Riggs and is fictional. It is known as ‘gloomy and bleak,’ has extensive ranges of green land, and is located in Wales.
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Table of Contents
Top 10 Pretty Islands in Wales to Visit
Skokholm Island is located off the southern coast of Pembrokeshire and the fifth largest island in Wales and is covered under Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. The island is located in the marine reserve and has plenty of different varieties of wildlife and birds with a range of beautiful scenery and plants.
The island also has world’s third-largest Manx Shearwater colony, but they also have more than 2000 razorbills, 4000 puffins, and Guillemots, apart from 25% of the population of storm petrels in Europe. Well, there is something more to it.
There are three different varieties of coughs, gulls, skylarks, wheaters and plenty of migratory birds. Reefs surround the island, waters are full of fish, and it is a high feeding ground for seals, dolphins, and porpoises. You can catch the boats to the island from Martin’s Haven.
You can take a trip across two islands of Skomer and Skokholm to make the most of it.
You should visit an excellent island if you are on your trip to Pembrokeshire. It is more than just a beautiful island with the sandy beach, but it also houses the serene operating monastery. It is also known for having many species of birds and rare flowers, which are popular, especially in summer months.
You can also meet around 40 Cistercian monks who work and live at the monastery, and they make many things like chocolate, cheese, perfume, shortbread, and various toiletries, and they are available in the village shop. You can find a lot to see and do on the island, such as the museum, the abbey church, the Old Priory, the lighthouse, and the historic churches of St. David.
You can also avail free guided tour here. You can also chill out at a large sandy beach and enjoy the picnic. You can also visit tea gardens on a cold day and enjoy the snack and hot drink to warm up.
The ferry leaves from Tenby, a well-known resort town, which is just 2 to 3 miles from Caldey Island. The boat is available every half hour in the summer and spring and departs from Tenby Harbor on high tide and from Castle beach in case of low tide.
Holy Island, Anglesey
Bask in the sun at Trearddur and Rhoscolyn beaches on Holy Island and climb the South Stack lighthouse with the guided tour. At the end of Menai Strait, Puffin Island is located between North Wales and Anglesey. You must have a day trip from Beaumaris to explore the wildlife, fish in the rich waters across the island, and enjoy the views of the strait.
Anglesey is also a county and the largest island in Wales. It offers many experiences to the visitors in North Wales. The industrial history and dramatic cliffs are famous in the north of the island. You can also marvel at silhouettes of Snowdonia Mountains from the flatter southwestern part across the steep Menai Strait with which island is separated from the mainland.
You can enjoy a lot of exciting adventure activities like half and full-day courses of sea kayaking, coasteering, rock climbing, gorge scrambling, abseiling, and raft building.
On the other side, you can also make your way in the causeway to serene Llanddwyn Island, which is separated at high tide from Anglesey, or takes a boat to the nearest Puffin Island or even explores Holy Island by crossing the bridge.
Ramsey Island is located off St. David’s Peninsula and is ranked 3rd largest island in Wales and has different types of wildlife and has got the Protection of Birds by the Royal Society.
The island is also one of the prominent breeding colonies for grey seal in Britain. There are also plenty of bird varieties which visit the island. You may even spot some of the birds like gulls, Choughs, razorbills, guillemots, buzzards, ravens, Manx shearwaters, northern wheatears, and peregrines.
There are also different photographic opportunities here. According to weather, the boat trip sails across the island and departs from St. Justinian’s lifeboat station and is available every day from April to October.
St. Catherine’s Island
Linked to Tenby in Pembrokeshire, Wales at low tide by Castle Beach, St. Catherine’s Island is a little tidal island, which is colloquially known as St. Catherine’s Rock, which also houses St. Catherine’s Fort. Formed from the limestone, on 25m high on average, the island is pierced by tidal caves.
The island is around 200m long and 60m wide. The Earl of Pembroke was the owner of St. Catherine’s Island until the reign of Elizabeth I. Later on; the ownership was given to the Corporation of Tenby, who owned many crown lands. In 1856, a few sheep were recorded on the island.
They are described as ‘half-wild footed creatures which turn, run and look, leap from crag to crag, and run again with the agility of Alpine Chamois.” The island was opened to the public in April 2014 for the first time since the year 1979. The fort used to conduct tours for people to visit there. Sadly, it was closed in August 2016.
Gateholm is a curve of rock, like sheltering breakwater, which marks the northern side of Marloes Sands, and it sticks like the rudimentary arm of Broad Sound, which separates islands of Skomer and Skokholm, which are famous for bird sanctuaries. It is a high tidal island.
It is easy to access on Marloes side on low tide, where it is quite tricky up over its grassy surface. It is an uninhabited island except by nesting seabirds like gulls, fulmars, shags, and cormorants. But it hasn’t been inhabited by humans.
There is evidence found by archeologists about rectangular huts which are arranged from three sides of the rectangular courtyard, which is supposed to be the previous monastic Christian settlement of over 6th century.
One of several local saints might have been here or visited settlement before in the distant and dark past.
Sully Island is the Site of Special Scientific Interest and a small Welsh tidal island at Swanbridge hamlet at Vale of Glamorgan. It is around 400 yards off the north of Bristol Channel, between the towns of Barry and Penarth and 7 miles south of Cardiff, the capital city of Wales. At low tide, you can access the island on foot from the car park of the public house of Captain’s Wife.
It is located around 14 and a half acres in extent and among the 43 tidal islands that can be easily accessed on foot from the mainland of Wales, Scotland or England. A Norman pirate, Alfredo De Marisco, aka The Night Hawk lived in the island during the 13th century. The island was allegedly involved in smuggling in the Middle Ages.
Located just opposite Holy Island on the northwest of Anglesey, South Stack Island is well known for having one of the most serene lighthouses in Wales. The South Stack Lighthouse stands proudly over 41m tall and is stretched only 7 acres of landscapes.
An iron suspension bridge was built in 1828, until then, the only basket suspended on hemp cable was the only means to cross the deep-water channel. In 1964, the suspension bridge was replaced. The bridge was closed to the public for safety issues by 1983.
In 1997, the lighthouse was reopened for the public, and a new aluminum bridge was built. Every year, thousands of people flock to this island thanks to smooth public transport from the town center of Holyhead.
The small island located off the Ceredigion coastline and is well known for its stunning scenery, but it is usually for the small colony of Grey seals which are spotted frequently which nest in the caves underneath, along with Cardigan Bay dolphins. You can find a lot of birds which visit and nest on this island, such as common shags, razorbills, fulmars, guillemots, cormorants, as well as a lot of seagull varieties.
Now, the island is managed and operated by the Wildlife Trust and the amounts of visitors are also limited to the island by them to preserve its wildlife and beauty. You can also get here along with Cardigan Island Farm Park, which is only 200 yards off the Gwbert shore and has wildlife species like ponies, llama, sheep, goats, different types of cattle and pigs, along with wallabies and emus.
So, you can enjoy with the whole family here. You can also keep your children engaged with indoor games, indoor adventure ground, and a sandpit. The farm park is also worth to visit in unfavorable weather if you want to travel to the island by boat, you can catch beautiful views of the island and caves to catch a glimpse of grey seals.
You can take a chartered boat from either Gwbert or Cardigan when the weather is calm. It is the only way to visit the island. But you need to seek permission from the Wildlife Trust to visit the island. So, you need to call their office to arrange for the permit.
Flat Holm can be spotted midway from the barrage of Cardiff Bay in South Wales, usually at the heart of Bristol Channel. The English tower of Steep Holm cliffs is located on the lower plateau of Flat Holm, which is owned by Wales. You may opt for a guided tour, visit the working lighthouse, and learn about its dark past of smuggling trade.
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Founder of Pretty Wild World and one of the leading experts in Europe travel, the Nordics, and Scandinavia Destinations.
Evan Kristine has been mentioned in big publications such as The Huffington Post and the Thought Catalog has been sharing her useful travel tips and hacks to the world for more than five years now.
Nowadays, she is a full-time traveler exploring and documenting her journey around the world providing you the next best travel idea for your great next adventure.