An explorer's guide to the islands of Britain

51.866062, -5.340954
Distance: 7.4 km
Difficulty: Easy
Method: Walking
Wow Factor: 8 out of 10

Key Facts

  • Location: Near St David's, Pembrokeshire
  • Size: 259 hectares
  • Terrain: Easy grass paths rugged in places; three hills
  • Access: Ferry
  • Height gain: 362 metres
  • Map: OS Explorer OL35
  • Starting point: Ramsey’s ferry jetty. Lat/Long51.864925, -5.331951. GR SM 70693 23733
  • Accommodation/food:

    Teas, coffees and snacks at the farmhouse. Nearest accommodation in St David’s.

  • Island Summary:

    Ramsey Island is almost a mile off St David’s Head across the notorious Ramsey Sound in Pembrokeshire and a short distance from St David’s itself, Britain’s smallest city. Owned by the RSPB the island is famed for its wildlife and what it lacks in puffins it certainly makes up for in its huge seal colonies and other characterful species. The island is full of colour from May to September with bluebells, pink thrift and purple heather bringing a heady scent of honey to the whole island.

  • Look out for:
    • Experience the notorious rapids of The Bitches on the crossing
    • Watch the porpoises in Ramsey Sound
    • See the seal pups get their first swimming lesson
    • Climb the three peaks of Ramsey for stunning views
  • Route description:

    The anti-clockwise walk is a coastal circuit on grass and rock paths that ascend the three ‘peaks’ of Ramsey including Carn Llundain, the island’s high point at 136 metres. The island has a very varied habitat that is farmed in the north, heathland in the south and some of the highest cliffs in Wales to the west. The views from every section of the walk are spectacular.

  • Getting there:

    Boats leave from St Justinians Life Boat Station for the short crossing to Ramsey at 10 am and 12 pm, returning at 4 pm (between 1st April or Easter, whichever is earlier, to 31st October) via Thousand Island Expeditions ( tel. 01437 721721; http://thousandislands.co.uk).

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