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Visit Flat Holm

- our own "Island of Adventure"

Click to enlarge - "Back" to returnLocated just five miles off the coast of Barry and Cardiff, Flat Holm is a tiny island with a wealth of history and wildlife (especially Gulls!). Having been used and abused throughout its history by Vikings, Anglo-Saxons, silver miners, smugglers and cholera victims, the island is now a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Local Nature Reserve. The Flat Holm Project is now part of Cardiff County Council, and operates to conserve the history and wildlife of Flat Holm.

Click to enlarge - "Back" to returnAccess to the island is via the Lewis Alexander (also known as "Brownie's Bus") which runs between Channel View in Cardiff and Flat Holm, weather permitting! The boat carries up to 45 passengers plus essential supplies to the island.

There are a variety of buildings on Flat Holm, including the Farmhouse, now modernised and providing dormitory accommodation for up to 24 people. This is usually on a self catering basis. The farmhouse also hosts the small "shop", which sells a small range of sweets and souvenirs, plus tea and coffee.

Classroom facilities are available in the old Barrack building. The lighthouse is still operational (and normally closed to visitors), and the old foghorn has recently been restored to working condition by the work of the Flat Holm Society, with grant aid from Prince's Trust Cymru, and the huge diaphone machinery is now able to be sounded on special occasions.

Click to enlarge - "Back" to returnThe old Cholera isolation hospital is still derelict, and there are no current plans to restore this.

There are also a variety of gun emplacements and ammunition storage tunnels to explore - take a torch!

A day trip to Flat Holm normally gives you three hours on the island, where guided tours are provided. Scheduled visits run from April to October and booking in advance is usually required. Trips depart from Channel View in Cardiff, and car parking is available here.

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Nearly half the island is devoted to the wildlife - many of which are gulls! Big Gulls, little gulls, walking gulls, flying gulls, nesting gulls, baby gulls, grumpy mother gulls... there are a LOT of gulls! The noise is amazing, and if you wake one up at night, you've woken them all! There are also rabbits, two goats (used as heavy duty lawnmowers), a small flock of sheep (light duty mowers), slow worms, and apparently a wild tortoise called George.

Larger groups (20 or more) may wish to book their own visit, possibly staying for a night (or two) at the Farmhouse on the island. For working groups there are always a variety of practical conservation tasks to be performed, and much of the restoration on the island has been done with the valued assistance of school and youth groups.

All visits are dependent on weather and sea conditions and may be cancelled, sometimes at short notice. The boat trip is unsuitable for toddlers under the age of five. If you have special requirements, the Project will be happy to discuss them with you.

The Flat Holm Society is a voluntary group that assists the project in many aspects of its work. The Project Office can provide more information about the Society.

Bookings and Information

To find out more about what flat holm has to offer, or to organise a visit, please contact:

    Cardiff Harbour Authority
    Queen Alexandra House
    Cargo Road
    Cardiff Bay
    CF10 4LY

Tel: 029 20 877912
Fax: 029 20877901

email: flatholmproject@cardiff.gov.uk

Website: www.flatholmisland.com

    2010 Prices: Adults £16.50, Children £8.00 (4-17 years), Family Ticket (2 Adults 2 Children) £41.50

All photographs (above and below) may be viewed full size by clicking on them - use the "Back" button on your browser to return.

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Trips are dependent on suitable weather and sea conditions!

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The old barracks (now a classroom) and the light house

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Lunch at the farmhouse for a group of Scouts undertaking project work.

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Pictured left, on the horizon are the Old Barracks and the light house, and nearer this side of the island, the Farmhouse and the derelict isolation hospital

Note that these photographs were taken during two (magic) trips a number of years ago. I suspect a few things have changed by now - although probably not the gulls!

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