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Puffin ‘el! Observer newspaper suggests tourists stay on Anglesey to see puffins in Pembrokeshire

30 Jun 2022 2 minute read
Skomer Island Puffin picture by Charles J. Sharp (CC BY-SA 4.0).

Well, they’re both islands – and they’re both in Wales.

The Observer newspaper caused much mirth online by suggesting that visitors to Skomer Island in Pembrokeshire stay the night at Beaumaris, on the Isle of Anglesey.

In an article entitled Go wild in the country: 10 of the best UK wildlife holidays the newspaper advised that “Skomer Island, off the coast of Pembrokeshire, is the perfect place to spot the Atlantic Puffins – they arrive in April to nest and are here until the end of July when their pufflings are independent”.

Advising a place to stay, they added that “the Bull in Beaumaris is a classic coaching inn with chic rooms from £121 B&B.”

Skomer Island and Beaumaris are 117 miles away from each other, as the puffin flies.

However, due to Wales’ torturous north-south roads, travellers would face a journey closer to 170 miles to get from one to the other – a four-and-a-half-hour drive. And that’s after making it back to the mainland.

The error was spotted by Meinir Pierce Jones who noted that in this case, the Observer was “not quite observant enough”.

“It’s a little far to go see the birds,” she wrote in Welsh. “Puffin ‘el!”

Timothy Boyle responded: “Because of the excellent N-S transport infrastructure in Cymru, this is definitely doable.”

Roger H Edwards noted that the article seemed to have chosen a location to stay “about as far apart from the birds’ location as could be found in Wales”.

The article was also published online, and remains unchanged despite the error being noted in the comments.

“The G travel team should actually visit Wales sometimes, they’d have a great time and write much better,” one user said.

“Yeah, someone needs to look at a map,” another said. “The cruise is round Anglesey, don’t know what Skomer has to do with anything.”

Scottish readers were also unimpressed with the article, which advised visiting the Beinn Eighe National Nature Reserve in the Cairngorms. They are 75 miles apart.

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2 years ago

The wonderful seaside town of Whitby is a real gem. From world-beating fish and chips to the gorgeous, ancient Abbey, Whitby is a must-visit destination in the North of England. Just make sure you’re prepared to walk; the Abbey can be accessed by ascending the famous ‘199 steps’. You may be a little out of puff but, trust us, it’s worth it! The Continental Hotel in downtown Tbilisi, Georgia is a wonderful, well-appointed hotel with comfortable rooms from £90 a night…

Stuart Cane
Stuart Cane
2 years ago

If you don’t fancy the drive you take a bus, two trains (via Crewe) and another bus and be there in under 11 hours!

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
2 years ago

Once a upon a time (say 1900) a paddle steamer like the Waverley sailing from Biwmares to Skomer would have got there sooner…

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
2 years ago

Observer, I think not! The people Ynys Mon must have really good eyesight to see Pembrokeshire let alone the Puffins of Skomer island.

I myself often pull back the curtains to see Sherpas & mountaineers descending Everest to basecamp.

Last edited 2 years ago by Y Cymro

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