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Abtot Logo. Encounter Walking Holidays member number 5357

Ramsey Island

Ramsey Island dominates the Pembrokeshire Coast Path one mile offshore of  St Davids and is reached by a short and exhilarating sea crossing over ‘The Bitches’ tidal flow. With its impressive peaks and wild moorland,  Ramsey is an intimidating place with huge 300ft cliffs protecting much of its west side whilst the Bitches guard the eastern approach.


Visit in the Summer for an idyllic trip, resplendent in a carpet of colour with bluebells, pink thrift and huge tracks of purple heather.  Effectively uninhabited these days, the island was farmed in a few places until the middle of the 20th century, but these days has been returned to its wilderness.


The higher peaks offer you spectacular views back across the causeway to the Pembrokeshire Coast Path and there is little more satisfying than climbing to the heights to gaze back over the trail that brought you here as you spot the mainland locations you passed on the week long walk around St Brides Bay.


The future of this unique place was finally secured in 1992 when it was bought by the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) to protect and support the huge array of birdlife on the island. Peregrine Falcons and rare Choughs breed here along with springtime swarms of nesting Guillemots, Razorbills, Kittiwakes and Shags. 


Away from the skies you will spot roaming herds of Red Deer whilst below the cliffs the remote location provides a habitat for Grey Seal, and this is one of the largest populations in the UK. In late summer hundreds of pups are born here in the coves and caves.


A visit to Ramsey starts from the space like St Justinian's Lifeboat Station on the Pembrokeshire Coast Path around 1.5 miles from St Davids. In season there are minibuses every ½ hour down here from the town or it’s a pleasant hours walk via the ancient fort at Clegyr Boia Rocks. 


Regular boat crossings to the Island run every day in season and once on the Island you will be met by RSPB wardens who will provide the background to Ramsey before you head off on a network of trails to explore it yourself. 


Refreshments are available at the end of your walking adventure at the Island's solitary farmhouse now headquarters for the RSPB staff.


Easily accessible during your time staying at St Davids this makes an excellent final day if you have just completed the West Section of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path or an easy warm up walking day if you are arriving to head off into the tough North Section of the Coast Path to Cardigan.


Take an extra night at St Davids and you can split the “rest” day between a visit to Ramsey Island and time exploring St David's Cathedral and Bishops Palace. Use the following links to read more about the various trips to walk on Ramsey Island run by the main operators Thousand Island Expeditions and Voyages of Discovery.  Both based in St Davids they also run combined trips to Ramsey with Whale and Dolphin spotting in the deeper Western Waters or adrenaline Jet Boat Trips to explore the narrow caves and tidal white waters off Ramsey Sound.

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