‘Just amazing’: Incredible wildlife island in the UK open for staycations

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Alex and Emma run the travel blog Travel Beans. Last year they converted a campervan, which they have used to travel across the UK during the pandemic with its fluctuating travel news.

The couple has documented these travels on their Youtube channel. They told Express.co.uk Skomer Island in Wales is in the top five wildlife spots they have visited worldwide.

Alex said: “Our country does have travel opportunities, a lot of great places to visit.

“A three or four hour drive can get you some serious distance.”

Emma added: “One of our favourite places to be in a campervan was Skomer Island, in Wales. It’s so good. It’s like a David Attenborough movie.”

Alex explained: “Only so many people can go each day and you can’t book, so just you have to turn up in the morning.

“You go by boat and when you get over there, there’s puffins, dolphins and whales, seals, owls. It’s just amazing.

“Wildlife posts around the world are among our favourite things, and this was easily in the top five. Easily.”

Skomer Island is in Wales, off the coast of Pembrokeshire.

Only 2.92 km squared, it is host to much wildlife. This includes the Skomer vole, a subspecies of vole endemic to Skomer.

The site, a national nature reserve, is also home to the Manx shearwater, a sea bird, and the largest Atlantic puffin colony in southern Britain.

The Atlantic puffin has vulnerable conservation status, as the species has declined in recent years.

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Also living on Skomer are great cormorants and short-eared owls, kestrels and peregrine falcons.

Grey seals live on the island, as do toads.

Visitors can stand on ‘The Wick’ to watch puffins.

It is possible to stay overnight on the island on a ruined farm with accommodation for 16.

Visit Pembrokeshire wrote: “Staying overnight is truly magical.”

It went on: “If you stay overnight, you can witness one of the most remarkable natural events in the UK, the Manx shearwaters returning to their burrows under the cover of darkness.

“Stay up late and take a walk back to the boat embarkation point for a truly once in a lifetime experience. The noise they make is quite something else.”

Alex and Emma recently shared a “brilliant” travel trick to find the best places to camp. 

The couple uses various methods to search for sites, including a very handy app.

Alex said: “There’s a brilliant app called Park4Night we use a lot.

“It brings up a map and then you can search the area. It will give you a list of paid campsites, free spots, nature spots.

“That makes it very easy because people will then review the places they have stayed, say whether they are safe or if they are dodgy.”

Park4night has been downloaded over six million times.

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