Martin's Haven and Marine Nature Reserve

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The Marloes Peninsula and nearby islands are noted for their wildlife, flora and coastal scenery. Skomer Island is home to internationally important seabird colonies, including the largest population of Manx shearwaters in the world. The smaller Skokholm Island is about three kilometres south of Skomer. Grassholm can also be seen on a clear day. It lies about eleven kilometres west of Skomer and has one of the four largest colonies of North Atlantic gannets in the world.

A range of interests are catered for at different times of the year. The wildflowers, including sea pinks and sea campion, are at their best in spring, whilst the National Park Authority organises summer 'Seabird Spectacular' boat trips from May onwards. Dolphins, porpoises and Atlantic grey seals are often seen crossing to and from Skomer Island in the autumn.

The walk lies within the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. The islands, sea and coast around the peninsula form the Skomer Marine Nature Reserve, which is one of only two in Britain. The route follows a clockwise circuit around the tip of the Marloes Peninsula and offers ready access to coastal scenery. Shortly after leaving the National Trust car park, you pass through a kissing-gate in a high stone wall. This takes you into the deer-park, which was built by Lord Kensington in the 1800s, although deer were probably never kept there. The deer-park is owned by the National Trust. It is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and an Ancient Monument, with the remains of an Iron Age settlement still visible.

Various bays, caves and rocky beaches are visible as you walk around the peninsula, including Deadman's Bay at Waymark 3 and the natural arch at Waymark 4. Skomer Island and Skokholm Island lie offshore and Grassholm may be seen further out to sea. From Wooltack Point, it is possible to look east and north along the Pembrokeshire coast. The old hut at Waymark 6 was used as a coastguard lookout. Jack Sound, which separates Skomer Island from the mainland, has especially strong currents and divers can often be seen visiting nearby wrecks.

You may be lucky enough to catch sight of grey seals, either swimming in the sea or coming ashore to breed and feed their pups on rocky shores. Grey seals (Halichoerus grypus) are one of the least common species of seal. Half the world population is found on or around British coasts, with about 4% of the UK population living amongst the islands and coast of Pembrokeshire. This grey seal colony is considered to be one of the best in the UK. Seal cows come ashore to give birth to their pups in caves and on rocky shores during September to December. Pups are born with a white coat and spend the first three weeks of their life on shore. According to the National Trust, about forty seal pups are born around the Marloes Peninsula each year.

Wales - South Wales - Pembrokeshire - Coast

Features

Ancient Monument, Birds, Flowers, Gift Shop, Great Views, Mostly Flat, National Trust, Public Transport, Sea, Toilets, Wildlife