There are plenty of fabulous opportunities to see a huge variety of spectacular wildlife which call Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire home, some all year round and others just for a season or two.
Please to be sure to check current operating times and procedures to avoid disappointment.
Wildlife watching boat trips are a popular family activity and they depart from many locations along Ceredigion’s coastline including New Quay and along Pembrokeshire’s shores from places such as Tenby and St Justinians.
You can book to watch dolphin play in Cardigan Bay (home to Britain’s biggest resident population) or head out on a safari to spot Atlantic Grey Seal.
Skomer Island is also a must for nature lovers as you’ll be able to see gorgeous Puffin, Manx Shearwater, Skomer Vole and a spectacular display of wildflowers.
You can also enjoy a tour around Ramsey Island or Grassholm Island (both RSPB reserves) with a boat trip from St Justinians. Grassholm is home to 39,000 pairs of breeding gannets, the only gannet colony in Wales and has a strict ‘no landing’ policy but you can enjoy Ramsey which is home to a huge array of birds.
Skokholm Island is owned by the Welsh Wildlife Trust and, although landing is not permitted on the island apart from organised day trips, you can see it from the sea. Find out more on The Wildlife Trust website.
Skokholm is home to puffin, Manx shearwater, storm petrels and offers a stop off for migratory birds. If you’re lucky you might catch a glimpse of Risso’s dolphins and harbour porpoise as you cruise around these spectacular islands.
If boat trips aren’t for you then you can rest assured, there will still be plenty of other chances to get up close to wildlife.
There are 15 nature reserves within Pembrokeshire alone and lots of educational centres which offer experience days.
The Darwin Centre along with Dale Fort and Orielton Field Studies Centres host interactive educational events all year round, as do Pembrokeshire National Park Authority and The National Trust. You and your family could get involved with mammal and moth trapping, seal pup walks, foraging, snorkel safaris and much, much more.
Denmark Farm Conservation Centre near Lampeter has nature trails and offers conservation and land management courses (some of which are run in partnership with Aberystwyth University) as well as craft courses.
The Dyfi National Nature Reserve and Ynyslas Visitor Centre, near Aberystwyth will enable you to learn lots about land and habitat management, as will the Welsh Wildlife Wetlands Centre near Llanelli, RSPB Gwenffrwd-Dinas, near Llandovery and the Welsh Wildlife Centre and Teifi Marshes Nature Reserve near Cardigan. Home to all manner of flora and fauna, these reserves offer some glorious walks too.
The National Botanic Garden of Wales has a tropical butterfly house, seasonal features, a huge glasshouse and is home to the British Bird of Prey Centre. It hosts lots of events and exhibitions throughout the year and is perfect for a family day out.
The Magic of Life Butterfly House in the Rheidol Valley exhibits a variety of exotic butterflies and plants and the Red Kite Feeding Station at, Bwlch Nant yr Arian, near Aberystwyth are fantastic places to spot winged wildlife.
Manor Wildlife Park and Folly Farm Adventure Park and Zoo are also full of beautiful creatures for you to discover and learn about. Expect to see exotics, reptiles, small furries and everything in between!