Wander through exotic flora, sink your toes into silky soft sand and swim with seals.
What to Do?
Only on the Isles of Scilly can you wander through gardens bursting with exotic flora, sink your toes into silky-soft sand and swim with seals – all in one weekend.
A myriad of coastal paths and hidden pathways curl across the islands, offering walkers, horse riders and cyclists the perfect day exploring and soaking up the stunning natural landscape on the way.
If you prefer to experience Scilly from a boat, the sheltered waters between the islands provides the perfect playground for yachting, dinghies, windsurfing, kayaking and kitesurfing.
In early May the Islands’ largest annual event takes place – the World Pilot Gig Championships, where 120 plus boats from across the Islands, Cornwall, Devon and from around the world, race against each other across the inter-island waters – a truly wonderful spectacle.
Many people specifically visit to see the basking sharks, seals, dolphins and the rare birds which flock to this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty each year.
For a spot of sightseeing on the water, there are regular trips that head to the uninhabited Islands of Tean, St Helens and the Eastern Isles and Annet, where you can train your binoculars on the likes of puffins, guillemots and storm petrels. A glass-bottomed boat also offers a unique view of life in the crystal-clear Scilly waters.
For those who prefer to keep their feet on dry ground, Scilly offers enchanting gardens, Bronze Age tombs, archaeological sites, monuments and ruins. And there are many cafés, pubs and restaurants to idle away a few relaxing hours.
One of the islands’ jewels is the internationally renowned Tresco Abbey Garden, a botanical paradise created
Isles of Scilly
around the ruins of a Benedictine priory. The garden features exotic plants that cannot survive in other parts of the UK.
The gardens are also home to the Valhalla museum, a display of antique ships’ figureheads that formerly graced ocean-going vessels that floundered upon Scilly’s unforgiving rocks.
For a chance to find your own bit of history, simply roll up your trouser legs and hunt for beads at Beady Pool on St. Agnes – where tiny terracotta and glass beads from a 17th century shipwreck can still be found.
No one fails to be entranced by these magical islands, where even in high summer there is always a deserted beach from where you can watch the tides, sunsets and stars.
Where to Stay? The Inhabited Islands
Bryher - Pounded by Atlantic waves on one side, yet blessed with calm sandy beaches on the other, Bryher is a rugged yet deeply beautiful island – the perfect place to enjoy a taste of wild Scilly.
The island is the smallest of the inhabited islands and has a tiny population of around 80 people, but also has plentiful accommodation, shops and stalls.
Explore its rocky coves, laze on its sandy beaches, snorkel in lovely Rushy Bay or hike up one of its small granite hills for some of the best views on the islands.
St Martin’s - Crystal clear waters, idyllic beaches and a prevailing sense of calm make St Martin’s a delight. Just two miles long, it has some of the finest beaches in the British Isles, if not the world.
The island offers an ideal location for family holidays with secluded beaches, sheltered flower fields and many interesting eateries.
St Agnes - at one mile across, St Agnes is one of the smaller inhabited islands on the southwesterly edge of the Isles of Scilly. Visitors keen to get away from it all find themselves surrounded by clear water and clean air straight off the Atlantic. .
Friday night is ‘gig night’ when visitors and locals can take a trip on the Spirit of St Agnes to watch the island’s six oared pilot gig, Shah, race against St Mary’s and other off island gigs, followed by a hot chocolate and brandy at the Turks Head. ‘Gig night’ can be enjoyed across all the islands!
Tresco - The second largest of the islands, Tresco is a sub-tropical gem. For complete seclusion from the world you would find the white sand of Pentle Bay on Tresco hard to beat.
The island boasts a wide variety of scenery, from dramatic rocky outcrops and romantic castles in the north to secluded sandy beaches, green pasture and the famous Abbey Garden, established by Augustus Smith in the 1830s.
St Mary’s - With air and sea links to the mainland, St Mary’s is the hub of Scillonian life. With dreamy beaches - complete with Scilly’s famous white sand and tranquil waters - interesting archeological sites, the shops, pubs and restaurants of Hugh Town, and over 30 miles of coastline and 9 miles of roads, St Mary’s is a great place to explore on foot, buggy, bike or horse.
St Mary's is an ideal place to stay, offering a true glimpse of Scilly island life and has many varied accommodation options from ‘glamping’ to luxurious hotels. The island is also within easy reach of the Off Islands for island hopping day trips.
The unmistakable twin hills of Samson are the subject of many sunset photographs each year. Samson lies to the north west of St Mary’s and once gave shelter to many families.
Meanwhile the ruins of the oldest Christian building on the islands is on St Helen’s, where the remains of St Elidius, a bishop and son of a English king, are alleged to be buried.
The Western Rocks are renowned for countless shipwrecks through the centuries. Vessels such as Sir Cloudesley Shovell’s flagship HMS Association have all ended tragically amongst these rocks, often with huge loss of life.
From Annet, the bird sanctuary, to the Bishop Rock Lighthouse, the untamed wildness and the cruel granite outcrops
are home to colonies of sea birds and grey Atlantic seals.
The Eastern Isles near St Martin’s have a grassy cover and important discoveries of habitation from around AD69 have been found on Nornour and may be seen in the museum on St Mary’s. Sea birds and seals live there in great numbers.
How to Get There?
Travelling to the Isles of Scilly is simpler than many people think, with direct daily (Monday to Saturday) Skybus flights to the Islands from Exeter Airport during the main season, and all year round from Newquay and Land’s End Airports.
The passenger ferry Scillonian III operates daily (Monday to Saturday) from 16th March to 8th November and Sunday’s from 29th June to 13th September. Contact Isles of Scilly Travel 01736 334220 or visit www.ios-travel.co.uk
for more details.
A shuttle bus is available to and from Penzance train station to Land’s End Airport, and secure car-parking is available at all airports.
There are regular scheduled boat services to all the off-islands every day of the week from St. Mary's.
To find out more visit www.visitislesofscilly.com
or call the Tourist Information Centre on 01720 424031
Isles of Scilly Parking
01736 332727 Mobile 07724 879 482 email@example.com
SECURE ONLINE BOOKING AND PAYMENT SERVICE: www.islesofscillyparking.co.uk
Relax when on holiday in Scilly.
We can park anything, anytime; boats, trailers, campers and bikes. From a Mini Cooper to a coach. Fully insured collection and delivery service. Providing parking for all holiday makers travelling to the Isles of Scilly.
Also available for Skybus customers.
Secure indoor and outdoor parking at competitive rates. Contact us for estimates and bookings. Office hours are Monday – Saturday 10.30am – 5.30pm Cornish Visitor Guide - Spring 2017 23
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