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Old 1st May 2008
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Flatholm Island, off Penarth, South Wales

I am taking a few days out from work and having a nice well deserved long weekend bank holiday break. So, I made some enquiries and tomorrow I plan on going to either Skomer Island (2 1/2 hours drive from me) or to Flatholm Island (25 mins drive from me). I am wondering if anyone here has done the Flatholm trip before and if so, was it worth it...?

I have been to Skomer Island several times before and it is a birdwatchers paradise to be honest, but have never been to Flatholm.

There is a sailing from Cardiff bay at 12:45, returning at 18:15 so all is looking good.

Anyone here been there before...?

I have asked the lady if I could go off on my own to do my own thing and she said certainly yes, though she would like me to spend 15 minutes with the guide so I can be aware of where to go and perhaps more importantly, where not to go!

So, anyone been there before...? What can I expect to see...?

Will be equipped with the E-3, E-510, 70-300mm plus 1.4x, so hopefully if the light is kind to me, I can get some nice seascape and cliff bird shots.
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Old 1st May 2008
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Re: Flatholm Island, off Penarth, South Wales

Hi John,

I've never been to Flatholm but I know a man who has... I could put you in touch with him if it helps (he's not a forum member). I recall him saying it was very interesting, but I'm not sure that there's a lot of seabird interest (the clue is in the name!)

On the other hand, Steepholm is a great place to go. Bags of historical interest, great views, and seabirds. We have a camera club outing there on Saturday 24th May. It's a full day trip from Weston-super-Mare. Let me know if you are interested - it's on a public boat trip so obviously anyone can come along.
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Re: Flatholm Island, off Penarth, South Wales

Thanks Steve - do they do daily trips to Steepholm then...? If so, where do I enquire?
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Re: Flatholm Island, off Penarth, South Wales

Hi John,

Trips are definitely NOT daily - they run about 4 trips a month during the summer. This is because of the tides - it can be tricky to land and there are not many days when the tide is right and at a sensible time to enable a day trip. Obviously, some of them are during the working week - there aren't many weekend trips. You have to book and pay in advance and get a refund if the boat doesn't run (only due to bad weather AFAIK and you really wouldn't want to go then )

The only website I can find is very out of date. I will be able to get some more details this evening and can post them tomorrow.

It is quite an adventure really - I've been a couple of times before and it's a great day out.
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Old 1st May 2008
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Re: Flatholm Island, off Penarth, South Wales

Quote:
Originally Posted by theMusicMan View Post
I am wondering if anyone here has done the Flatholm trip before and if so, was it worth it...?
Yes - quite a few times and Yes ... !

The landing is on the Eastern side of the Island and you then normally take the trip up to the farmhouse where the warden will give you the current spiel on where you can and can't go. The reasons are for breeding and conservation reasons to develop certain species.

Talking of Breeding - if the birds have their chicks (and it is that time of year) then you need a Hat and I would also recommend an umbrella - if you get too close they will dive bomb and C**p and vomit on you (nice !). Your weatherproofed E-3 should be OK.

However if you are calm you can get some great closeups (mine are all slides).

Geologically you can see "mega-ripples" in the limestones indicating that it was a deep water deposit on the Northern side of the Island.

Of course most people go there for the fortifications and the birds, but whatever you go for it's a great place

I would however phone ahead because if there has been a school group on the Island for the week then it's possible that the boat is fully booked ahead of time.

Have Fun !

Regards
Andy
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