Isles of Scilly brief outlook

Sources: (may2007)

St. Mary's, Tresco, St. Martin's, Bryher and St. Agnes, otherwise known as the Scilly Isles, enjoy the best climate in the UK and so make a great holiday destination. There are five inhabited islands where life moves at a very relaxed pace. Easily accessible from the mainland with regular flights & crossings and if you make the journey by sea, you stand a good chance of seeing the dolphins, porpoises & seals that inhabit the waters. TH: By sea the Scillonian makes the trip from Penzance for 90 pounds, whereas is is only 120 pounds by helicopter to Tresco!

3 Aug 06 Posted by a TotalTraveller from UK St. Martin's St Martins Best hotel on the Scillies, with the best food I've had ever! There is a vineyard worth a visit for a tour and tasting (the dry white...)
Suburbs and towns covered by this travel guide to Scilly Isles (Cornwall) include Isles of Scilly, and more. (???)

TH: The big thing in Scilly is the gig races: this is really the local sport, and most kids do practice before joining their island team. Women race is Wednesday evening, while men races is Friday evening in summer. The course depends on the weather, but most arrivals seem close to StMary's. On these days, it is worth planning to spend the evening at the Mermaid pub where most gig racers will end up after the race.

Bryer is the most untamed of the inhabited Scilly Isles. Its surface is covered in the most part by wild flora and fauna. It has a tiny population of around seventy people who are largely situated around the eastern quay.
Despite this, it does have a fair amount of accommodation, pubs and shops. There is also plenty to do here; in the summer the place is animated by colour as the numerous flowerbeds come to life, in the autumn many migratory birds use Bryer as their resting place and during the winter Hell Bay is lashed by the Atlantic Ocean, producing some magnificent scenes.
Water sports of all types are available for the visitor including: reef and wreck diving, launch hire for shark fishing or maybe just snorkelling in the lovely Rushy Bay, one of the safest and prettiest beaches on the island. Samson has been deserted since 1855. Most of the notorious gig races begin here at Nut Rock and end at St Mary's quay.
TH: maybe our preferred island, especilly the mooring behind Hangman rock, in front of the Fraggle Rock pub, a very nice and tiny place with dining room upstairs and outdoor terrace, excellent fish and chips on Fridays, and internet connection (15 minutes for a pound) upstairs. The walk to the north of the island brings you towards nesting birds in green cliffs.
Things to do & see:
* Relax outside one of the pubs and watch the world go by
* Go snorkelling in Rushy Bay
* Brave a spot of shark fishing from a hired launch
* Visit any of the other Scilly Isles with a boat trips available all year round
* Take a walk on one of the designated rambling paths
Facilities: food available at the small store; the Vine Cafe, a restaurant where you can never eat since it is always closed or reserved; the pub Fraggle Rock; also a pub at the hotel.

St. Agnes is the southernmost Scilly Island and is a mere one mile across. It is relatively free of traffic and has a small community that has built up around flower farming. It is as idyllic as it is quiet and is perfect for those interested in getting away from it all.
St. Agnes really has managed to develop free from the influence of large commercial companies. As such the majority of things to do on the island revolve around natural wonders and the odd historical curiosity.
Attractions include: the Old Lighthouse - one of the oldest in Britain, Periglis Cove, St Warna's Cove - featuring a holy well dedicated to the patron saint of shipwrecks, Troy Town Maze, the terrifying rocks of Horse Point and Covean.
TH: have a walk towards the campsite and Troytown Farm, that produces delicious ice creams (strawberry!) and also meat and dairy. On the other side of the sandy narrow bridge, Gugh is a fantastic place for bird watching.
Things to do & see
* Take a cliff walk and marvel at the scenery
* Visit the Old Lighthouse, built in 1680
* Discover the miniature Troy Town Maze
* Walk from Covean to Gugh at low tide and see the unattended Bronze Age remains
* Take a boat tour around Western Rock for a spot of bird watching

ST MARTIN'S St. Martin's
St Martin's is the third largest of all the Scilly Isles and the first one you come to when approaching from the mainland. It shares the rest of the islands' balmy climate and boasts the best beaches. As the other islands' it has sheltered coves, and picturesque walks.
The island is small so don't expect a buzzing nightlife, however they are all the amenities necessary to complement a quiet holiday. It has: a pub, a post office, a handful of shops, a tearoom, a bakery and a hotel.
The two main towns on the island are Higher Town and Lower Town. Higher Town's south promontory is where you will alight onto dry land and is next to Par Beach, which is said to be the best on the island. The town also houses a diving centre for those with a taste for adventure; there are many wrecks around the islands that make for great dives.
Lower Town is a tiny collection of houses that offer a great vantage point to view the uninhabited Tešn and St Helen's. St Helen's was once populated by people carrying the plague, thankfully that time has passed.
TH: Best pub maybe, Seven Stones for Sunday Roast and a marvelous view from the large outside terrace! Plus a very nice bakery (same owner I think) with original spicy cakes recipes and french sticks. There also a store inclunding the post office in Middle Town.
St Martin's Bay Things to do & see:
* Relax on one of the beautiful beaches
* Visit Higher Town and brave the waters in a dive of a wreck
* Walk to Lower Town and look over Tešn and St. Helen's
* Discover the vast cave Underland Girt
* Go puffin and seal watching at Perpitch

3 Aug 06 User Review: Best hotel on the Scillies, with the best food I've had ever! There is a vineyard worth a visit for a tour and tasting( the dry white is good). Boats can be hired from the campsite beach (sailing and motor).
TH: There is also a very nice restaurant on top of the Bistro and Bar, for 45 pounds the 3 courses, that seemed incredibly attracting.

ST MARY'S St Mary's
The largest of the Scilly Isles, St Mary's is still a tiny 2.5 miles x 1.75 miles. Hugh Town is where you will find the majority of the island's accommodation, shops and services and is also the capital city of all the islands.
Historically St Mary's has a few ancient sites: the Iron Age village at Halangy Down and the barrows at Bant's Carn and Porth Hellick. In Hugh Town, the Isles of Scilly Museum explores the islands' history further. To the east of Hugh Town is Old Town, at one time the main harbour on the island, now houses a tiny church, a lovely beach and all the necessary amenities.
Although it is a small island it houses clubs, bars, restaurants and cafes and even a campsite to lay your head for the weary traveller. All these are secondary though, to the miles of unspoilt beaches, secluded bays, stunning coastline and numerous picturesque walking trails.
St Mary's Bay Things to do & see:
* Catch a ferry from the mainland to St Mary's and explore the capital 'city' of Hugo Town
* Visit the Isles of Scilly Museum and discover the area's rich history
* Take a trip to Old Town and attend a candlelit church service
* Embark on one of the many beautiful walks and experience the woodlands, heaths or even marshland
* Locate the sub-tropical Carrag Dhu (pronounced Crake Dew) Gardens in the centre of Hugh Town
* TH: rent a bike on the beachfront for half a day (4.5 pound) and do the whole island for ancient burrials, superb view points, small bays and heads.

  • TH: Pubs - Mermaid bar, a must on St Mary's harbour! but also the Atlantic Inn and Bishop and Wolf (we have not tried Porthcressa this time).

    Tresco aerial view TRESCO Tresco
    Tresco is the second largest island after St Mary's. It was once owned by Tavistock Abbey and is now leased by the Dorrien-Smith family.
    The island is extremely picturesque and varies greatly from being very wild in the north, having lush sandy beaches in the south to the oasis of Abbey Garden, arguably the highlight of the island.
    The site of the Abbey was first established in the 10th century in the form of a Benedictine Abbey, the current Gardens were founded in 1834 and now house more than 5000 species of subtropical flora and fauna from all over the world.
    Things to do & see
    * Take a stroll around the island and enjoy the panoramic views
    * Visit the unforgetable Abbey Gardens and inspire the green fingered
    * Stay in the luxurious Island Hotel and basque on the private beach
    * Take a wildlife cruise to look for seals and sea birds
    * Book an art, archaeological or birdwatching holiday on the island
    * Walk through the old castles and then towards the north-eastern head to look for the tiny entrance of PipersHole among rocky boulders (bring along a headlamp, candles and matches)
    Flower Gardens on Tresco TH: Pubs - The New Inn confortable armchairs, and pictures form the old times wreks. Good food at the superette store: meat pies, muffins, and cookies (all pretty expensive though).

    St Helen and Tean Islands
    TH: You will need your own (or rental) boat to get here, in the heart of the archipelago. Quiet place well protected from all winds and seas, you may look for shrimps on the half sandy-half rocky beaches. Nice walk around StHelen, a former quarantine and hospital island.

    Scilly Isles Photos

    * A Scilly man

    * Abbey Gardens

    * Cromwells castle Tresco

    * Flower garden in Tresco

    * Hugh town

    * New Grimsby

    * St Agnes

    * St Martins Bay

    * Star Castle Hotel at St Marys

    * The Bay at St Marys

    * The gardens at Tresco Abbey

    * Towards Cromwells castle

    * Tresco Abbey gardens

    * Valhalla ship figurehead

    * Western Rocks Sanctuary

    updated 03aug2007 after 3 weeks of vacations onboard our 8.5m sailing boat, an Armagnac named Prydwen
    Sam Walter onboard 40ft motor boat Trusty Blue, diver