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Our Guide To The Isles of Scilly

Our Guide To The Isles of Scilly

Sparkling turquoise waters & laid-back island vibe. No, this isn't the Caribbean nor the Mediterranean. Introducing the subtropical Isles of Scilly, this summer’s coolest beach destination.
Sebastian Schoellgen
Jun 22, 2021

Sparkling turquoise waters & laid-back island vibe. No, this isn't the Caribbean nor the Mediterranean. Introducing the subtropical Isles of Scilly, famed for some of the world’s most beautiful beaches and turquoise waters.

From the mild climate to the sustainable food, here are enough reasons why the Isles of Scilly vacation are a post-pandemic must-do.

The Cornish Peninsula

The Isles of Scilly is an archipelago of five main inhabited islands set amongst hundreds of smaller islands and rocky islets, located less than 30 miles off the south western tip of the Cornish peninsula, making it the most westerly in England and the southernmost location of the UK.

Getting there

There are 3 ways to reach the Cornish Caribbean:

  • By Helicopter from Penzance, 15 min
  • By the island’s airline Skybus, 20-40 min
  • Or by ferry, 2 ½ - 3h
Helicopter

Penzance Helicopters provides the only direct flights to St Mary's and the neighbouring island of Tresco.

Plane

Skybus is the fastest year-round service flying to and from the Isles of Scilly. The journey takes just 20 minutes from Land’s End Airport to St. Mary’s, 30 minutes from Newquay Airport, and from Exeter it’s an hour. You’ll be flying in a 19-seater plane, where you'll meet your pilot and watch them at work; it’s ‘Real Flying’, as one passenger put it.

Ferry

The crossing from Penzance to St. Mary’s takes around 2hrs and 45 minutes, giving you a unique perspective of some of Cornwall’s most iconic coastline.

The inter-island boat service offers island-hopping day trips, wildlife and scenic tours, private hire and transfers.

St Mary’s

St Mary’s is the biggest of the five isles, though it still very much holds the slow tempo of a tiny island dictated by tidal temperament.

Stay

Star Castle hotel.

Tresco Island

Subtropical Tresco is the second largest island. Privately owned by the Dorrien-Smith family and managed by the Tresco Estate, it rightly has a suggestit’s It is no wonder the rich and famous retreat there.

Pentle Bay and Appletree Bay can be considered among some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, with fine white sand blending into vivid turquoise hues. But it’s not only the photogenic beaches that give Tresco its paradise island status, it’s the famed Abbey Garden, too.

A must visit

You're guaranteed to fall in love with this impressive Botanical Garden. Home of thousands of exotic plant species from all over the world, which are able to flourish thanks to the combination of warm gulf stream water and tall evergreen wind-breaks. The resulting microclimate allows tender plants, from small ferns to mighty trees to thrive here.

Stay

The New Inn is situated at New Grimsby harbour, the ideal base from which to explore Tresco’s varied landscape. Just a short walk away, you can discover coastal paths to the rugged north of the island.

Bryher Island

Bryher has a bit of everything: a rugged, Atlantic side with dramatic coastline and, occasionally, waves to match. But its sheltered, eastern shores, looking across to Tresco, are sandy and calm. On some tides, you can even make the crossing on foot. You’ll also find sweeping views, a wide choice of accommodation, a well-known artist’s studio, some of the islands’ most sought-after eating experiences… and, who knows, perhaps some inspiration.

Stay

Hell Bay Hotel. Offering the best sunsets on the island and excellent seafood.

St Martin’s & St Agnes islands

You’ll be struck by the all-encompassing sense of calm on the island of St. Martin’s. Two miles in length, St. Martin’s nonetheless offers visitors an outstanding wealth of experiences you won’t find anywhere else in England including idyllic beaches, crystal clear waters, verdant flora and a fresh approach to dining and local produce.

Stay

Karma St. Martin's This luxury beachside retreat provides utter tranquility in a subtropical haven, with its own private quay and superb views of the neighbouring islands. Enjoy laid-back luxury to a backdrop of white sands, turquoise waters and an abundance of wildlife.

Sustainable food

Isles of Scilly holidays mean feasting on the freshest and most local of local produce! There are local farmers and fishermen around every corner, with fudge makers, bakers, brewers and winemakers part of the foodie mix on the islands.

Climate

The Isles of Scilly is lucky to have the mildest climate in the UK, making it the best place to make the most of the great outdoors, especially if you're looking to hit the beaches.

If you like your getaways with sparkling turquoise waters, a laid-back island vibe and natural beauty all around, there's no need to hop on a plane to the Indian Ocean or the Caribbean as we have the outstanding Isles of Scilly right here.

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