A different world: meet the puffins on Skomer Island

My family have been in the area for hundreds of years and this place is in my bones, it’s a part of me. It is incredibly special. The people in the village hold Skomer Island really dear to their hearts.

I remember coming to Skomer for the first time, on a beautiful summer day when I was maybe five or six years old. Puffins, razorbills and guillemots surrounded the boat.

You may be just 15 minutes away from the mainland but it feels like a million miles away. I’ve been coming here ever since – the short boat trip takes you to a different world. I’ve travelled quite a lot, and the relationship that you’ve got with the wildlife here is unlike anywhere in the world. You can get so close to the puffins and seabirds.

Skomer Island

Skomer Island 

If you stay overnight, the Manx shearwaters fly past your head as they go to their burrows. It’s an unforgettable experience. The scale you have here, with the sheer number of creatures around you, is just incredible.

One of the most amazing things is to just sit and let them come to you. The puffins are cheeky and very quirky. The shearwaters are quite clumsy creatures on land, they’re best suited out at sea fishing. The razorbills are kind of cool and quite laidback. The guillemots are quite refined and elegant.

You’ll see the seal pups being born on the cliffs around the island. In August the shearwater chicks start to fledge. In early spring you’ve got the birds coming back and the wildflowers and the puffins. It’s great whatever time of year.

Puffin on Skomer Island

Puffin on Skomer Island

There are loads of lovely little coves and fishing villages with nice pubs to explore. The beaches are probably the number one for me, though. There are some just stunning ones around here that rival anywhere in the world. And you can always find a little corner just to yourself.

Marloes Sands is an incredible beach. There’s also a lovely little bay on the Dale Peninsula called Watwick Bay. It’s a little bit of a walk but it is just incredible, like you’re in the Caribbean.

In Dale, there’s a lovely pub called The Griffin where you can sit on the wall with a pint looking over the harbour. You’ve got The Swan in Little Haven – great food and another lovely little fishing harbour. There’s something nice about them being well-kept secrets.

There is a real mix in Pembrokeshire – really close-knit, small communities. It’s such a lovely thing to be part of. Just scratch that surface and people are really warm and welcoming.