Puffins, seals, dolphins, Red Kites, Great Orme Goats and so much more!
Why not combine wild life viewing with walking or sports activities?
This is a suggested tour itinerary for private departures, adjustable to best suit your specific wishes. Price based on how many travelers, your chosen package inclusions and your chosen level of accommodation.
This tour can go from your choice of London (South, Mid & West Wales) or Manchester (North Wales) -- or travel in one direction, beginning in one city and concluding in the other. Discuss your choice of wild life opportunities with us and SGT will suggest the best routing for you.
ITINERARY OPTIONS INCLUDE:
Skomer Island – officially the UK’s favourite nature reserve! It’s true! The wildlife haven just off the beautiful Pembrokeshire coast was the only Welsh nature reserve nominated in this highly competitive category by LandLove Magazine Awards UK. Are we surprised that it won? Not at all – for nature lovers, Skomer Island is a must: although it’s best known for the puffin colony, the reserve is also home to guillemots, razorbills, harbour porpoises and Atlantic grey seals. It also has the world’s largest population of manx shearwaters, but you’ll need to stay overnight to see those.
Skomer is an enchanting island with just about everything an island nature reserve should include. It is the second largest island in Wales, after Anglesey, and one of the most important wildlife sites in Europe. Puffin chicks hatch in May. At that time the island is inundated with flowers and their smell saturates the air. Beginning as a 'bluish mist,' the dense indigo wash of bluebells quickly floods across the slopes of the island, making this one of the most spectacular displays of wild flowers to be found in Britain.
Besides puffins, there are many other sea birds to enjoy. Guillemots, razorbills and puffins soar purposefully up to the cliff, while fulmars slide serenely along the currents of air. Flurries of kittiwakes circle like eddying snowflakes, and the repetition of their urgent cries harmonizes into something almost musical.
Atlantic grey seals can be seen at any time of year, meandering languidly with their noses above the water, or basking on their favourite offshore rocks at the Garland Stone, where their high-pitched wails drift up to the cliff top.
You can either visit Skomer on a daytrip, or for the more adventurous, book an overnight stay in their accredited self-catering accommodation.
It’s pretty easy to spot dolphins, porpoises and seals all along the west coast, from Pembrokeshire up to the Llŷn Peninsula. Just find a picturesque clifftop, and sit and wait. But to increase your chances to a near-certainty, take a dolphin-spotting boat tour from New Quay. If you’re lucky, you may also spot whales, sunfish, basking sharks and turtles.
No matter how many times you see a dolphin – and in Cardigan Bay, it’s a daily summer spectacle – you never get bored. Bottlenose dolphins are so common here, you’d be unlucky not to spot one. You’ll also see seals, and maybe porpoises. And if you’re super-lucky, orcas, basking sharks and whales.
Britain’s biggest resident population of dolphins lives in Cardigan Bay. You can see our bottlenose dolphins all year round, but depending on where and when you go, you can raise your chances of spotting them to a near-certainty. Summer months are best, with New Quay being the hottest spot.
Their smaller cousins, harbour porpoises, can be seen around most of the Welsh coast. You can often see porpoises off the coast of Gower, the Pembrokeshire islands, and in the seas off Anglesey and the Llŷn Peninsula. And if you’re really lucky, the odd orca or humpback whale might just swim by…
Despite the name, puffins are one of the rarer residents of this island off the Anglesey coast. But there are thousands of guillemots, razorbills, cormorants and – no sniggering at the back – shags to enjoy on a cruise round the island, which also has a population of grey seals. On the way home, it turns into a family fishing trip, so you can catch your supper.
It’s one of the grandest sights in Welsh skies: a red kite wheeling overhead, easily identified by its forked tail. These beautiful birds were pushed to near-extinction in Britain but thanks to heroic conservation efforts, they’re now a common sight in Mid Wales. But there’s still nothing like the sight of squadrons of red kites en masse at special feeding stations like Gigrin Farm near Rhayader, where up to 600 birds arrive each afternoon to feast on carrion. Check out the Red Kite webcam at Gigrin Farm o see some in acton.
Kashmiri goats are usually found 4,000 miles away in the Himalayan foothills, but Llandudno’s 150-strong goat population is descended from a herd once owned by Queen Victoria. They roam wild over the limestone lump that is Great Orme, an area also noted for its clouds of butterflies.
We’re including the Royal Welsh Show under ‘wildlife’ because, frankly, some of the species of farm animal you’ll see here are as exotic as anything you’ll see on safari! The same goes for some of the characters who attend (it’s a people-spotting paradise). Held in July every year at Builth Wells, this is the biggest and best agricultural show in Europe, and you don’t have to be Royal, Welsh or a farmer to have a terrific day out.
The Elan Valley reservoirs are only a 40-minute drive from the English border, but they’re as wildly remote as Wales gets. Built to supply water to Birmingham, the vast reservoirs are in our most sparsely-populated area… by humans, anyway. Ten species of birds of prey are regularly seen here (the kite, buzzard, peregrine falcon, goshawk are common) along with visitors like the osprey. What you probably won’t see is other people.
There are several lovely choices for families that want to seek out Wales Wild Life.
Angelsey Sea Zoo There’s a strong conservation message at the Anglesey Sea Zoo – they’ve got both a Seahorse Nursery and Lobster Hatchery – alongside a big selection of critters you’d find in Welsh waters, set out imaginatively in the No Bone Zone, Shark Pool and Kelp Forest. This is a favourite wet-weather option, but on a sunny day kids can enjoy a bouncy castle, the playground and crazy golf.
WWT Llanelli Wetland Centre is a 450-acre mosaic of lakes, streams and lagoons set along salt marshes on the Burry Inlet, which attract thousands of birds, notably in winter. But it’s a lovely spot to visit at any time of year, especially if you cycle there on the Millennium Coastal Park cycle path. Apart from having zillions of ducks to feed, children can amuse themselves in play areas includings the Swan’s Nest Maze and Water Vole City.
RSPB Ynys-hir BBC’s Springwatch chose Ynys-hir as its base for very good reason: it’s one of the best places in Wales to see birds, bugs and butterflies in a gorgeous setting of oak woodland with wet grassland and saltmarshes. There’s a brass-rubbing trail for children, and they can also borrow activity rucksacks.
Please note: All attraction opening times are correct at time of printing this website. While we will do our utmost to include all of the properties mentioned as central visits, we reserve the right to change an attraction should it become impossible to deliver a planned visit due to changes in opening days or times beyond our control.
Please note that your final day to day itinerary may fluctuate to accommodate variable opening times/days for listed attractions, special events and places of interest. Please discuss your needs with us for an individual itinerary with rate quote.
Oft imitated, never duplicated! This is an original SGT itinerary, property of Special Group Tours and to be used only with express permission/in conjunction with SGT.
This is a suggested tour itinerary and can be modified to best you your individual wishes.
Suggested tour package includes: # of touring days with vehicle & exclusive services of your driver/guide/companion, your accommodation for # nights while on the tour including full breakfasts, all taxes and tips other than those you may wish to give your guide. Your price also can include dinners and/or entrance fees to attractions or these items can be left out of the up front package/to be paid directly for maximum flexibility. Airport transfers, accommodation pre and post tour, scheduled city day tours/attraction passes/transport passes or theatre/event tickets can be added to your package as you wish, subject to availability.
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The SGT Small Group Touring Concept is traveling with just 4 - 14 guests per departure. It is our aim to introduce you to the 'real' country and its people, not just ticking the boxes of a standardized route and treating you as an individual and not a number. Our concept allows for a leisurely touring pace and flexibility to get off the beaten track to discover hidden gems. Of course you'll see the major sites but so much more too!
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