Isles of Scilly
Sitting just 30 miles off the Cornish coast is a tiny archipelago of emerald islands fringed with white sands and surrounded by clear turquoise seas: The Isles of Scilly.
Truly like nowhere else in England, you’ll quickly find your favourite of the five inhabited islands. Each has its own unique charms, but all share a slower, gentler pace of life and a sense of freedom long forgotten on the mainland.
In this natural adventure playground, brightly coloured tripper boats ply sparkling waters between the islands, undiscovered shores await, and winding sandy lanes lead to cosy island inns.
The island of luxurious relaxation, Tresco is known for its glorious beaches, restaurants, spa and the enchanting Abbey Garden, where Mediterranean plants bloom just 30 miles from the Cornish coast.
Cared for by the Dorrien-Smith family since 1834, Tresco has a diverse landscape ranging from secluded white sand beaches to the rugged and spectacular North end, dotted with the remains of two Civil War-era castles.
With award-winning accommodation ranging from the nautically-themed New Inn to cosy traditional cottages and stunning beach-front houses, there’s somewhere for everyone to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life.Find out more
The largest island in the archipelago, St Mary’s, is undoubtedly the hub of Scillonian life.
Explore Hugh Town’s cluster of shops, cafés, galleries, restaurants and inns, or stroll through charming Old Town with its beautiful bay overlooked by the tranquil churchyard where former Prime Minister Harold Wilson was laid to rest.
Watch the brightly coloured flotilla of tripper boats plying their trade to the off-islands from the quay, or explore miles of dramatic coastline, picturesque bays, nature trails and archaeological sites “up country”. Tee off at the UK’s most South-westerly golf course or take a moment to watch the sun dip into the ocean from the historic coastal defences of the Garrison.Find out more
Think of St Martin’s and you’ll likely think of stunning, white sand beaches or the famous red and white striped Daymark crowning its Eastern flank – the first marker of Scilly as you approach by sea or air.
On St Martin’s there’s a different view around every corner: sweeping sparkling beaches lead to rocky coves and dramatic cliffs. The island’s idyllic beaches captivate visitors and call out for you to take a daring dip in the crystal clear waters.
The island is home to a thriving flower industry and an inventive and enterprising community: there’s a vineyard; dive school offering seal snorkelling trips; a silversmith; glass bottom boat; gallery; and bakery.Find out more
The smallest of the inhabited islands, Bryher is at once beautifully tranquil and ruggedly wild: a vibrant and spectacular island of contrasts. It’s easy to see why children’s author Michael Morpurgo set many novels on this inspiring little island.
To the North, Atlantic rollers pitch at towering granite cliffs at Hell Bay and Badplace Hill whilst to the South, the rugged landscape gives way to peaceful pastures and marram-lined dunes crowning gently-shelving white sand beaches.
The island is home to a traditional and creative community: with a thriving fishing industry; boatyards; a beachfront artist’s studio; potter’s workshop; working farm; and a famous fudge kitchen.Find out more
An untamed and wild beauty, St Agnes has an air of peace and tranquillity all of its own. Capped by its iconic lighthouse, the island has a definite sense of being on the very edge of the world.
A patchwork of fields provides grazing pasture for the island’s dairy herd, while sheltered coves and rocky outcrops dot the fringes of the island. At low tide, the island’s size is bolstered by its nearest neighbour, Gugh, joined to the main island by a narrow sandbar for just a few hours each day.
While away a day searching for the famed maze, discover the fruits of the craft workshops at the island’s community hall, comb for treasures at Beady Pool, or simply sit and admire the view from the waterfront terrace at the Turk’s Head pub.Find out more