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Stop 13: (700 m) Vomit Point: a view of the islands – SM 801 034
Vomit Point is the next headland around the coast from St. Ann’s Head. On a clear day you can get a good view of the nearby islands from the tip of the Point, or from any of the headlands along this west coast of the peninsula.
The two largest islands are Skokholm and Skomer, both managed by the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales.
As you look out to sea the island to the left (i.e. furthest south) and about 5 kilometres distant is Skokholm. It is about a kilometre in length and half a kilometre in width. A Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), it is home to 45 000 pairs of Manx shearwaters and 2000 pairs of puffins, as well as several other bird species, including guillemots, razorbills, storm petrels and choughs. Landing on the island is not permitted, apart from pre-arranged trips from Martin’s Haven on the mainland.
The island to the right, about 4 kilometres north of Skokholm, is Skomer. It is a little larger than Skokholm, with an area of about 3 square kilometres. Despite this relatively small size, it is one of the most important wildlife locations in Europe. As well as being an SSSI, a Special Protection Area, and a National Nature Reserve, it is surrounded by a Marine Nature Reserve.
Skomer has the world’s largest breeding colony of Manx shearwaters (150 000 pairs), as well as 6000 pairs of puffins, and large colonies of guillemots, lesser black-backed gulls, kittiwakes, razorbills, fulmars and other species.
Skomer is home to a unique mammal species, the Skomer vole, which is preyed upon by short-eared owls. Around the coast of the island grey seals are usually seen basking on the rocks. Much of the island is also a designated Ancient Monument, with remains such as a Neolithic stone circle.
Boats sail to Skomer from Martin’s Haven from April through to October. Probably the best time to visit is April or May, when the island is covered by a profusion of bluebells and red campions.
Continue your walk along the Coast Path, which follows the cliff edge around a bay called Frenchman’s Bay.