The “Iced Island” gets its name from the 40,000 pairs of gannets that breed here. Viewed from boats, the swirling birds give the appearance of clouds of smoke or white icing! A key location for the gannet, over 10% of the world's population live here in a huge colony that dominates this small isolated rocky island – the remotest in the Skomer Volcanic Chain sitting 11 miles offshore.
No landing is allowed on Grassholm to protect the Gannets but there are regular sailings by rigid inflatable boats and more sedate crossings by ferry from St Martins Haven close to Marloes on the Pembrokeshire Coast Path West. The journey out and back is an experience in itself with regular sightings of Porpoise, Sunfish and Dolphins en route and for the lucky occasional Minke and Pilot Whales in the deep water. At the island itself intrigued Atlantic Grey Seals will stare back at you from the rocks once you start to circle – to visit add a rest day at Marloes to your itinerary.