Isles of Scilly




Isles of Scilly Guide 

The Isles of Scilly consist of 140 small islands some thirty miles out from the Cornish coast in the Atlantic Ocean. Most of these islands are uninhabited except by sea birds and seals but you can stay on any of the five main islands, which offer a warm welcome to visitors.

                                                       St Marys    St Mary's                                  

For details of Isles of Scilly Hotels and Holidays,  Guest Houses, Cottages  and to visit Attractions.  Go to Isles of Scilly Hotels Guest Houses and Cottages

The main five islands are, St Mary's, Tresco, St Martin's, St Agnes and Bryher; around 2,200 people are resident within the Scilly Isles. St Mary's is the largest island at 2 miles by 2.5 miles and has the largest population at around 1600 people. Hugh Town is the main town on the island and is also where the boat from the mainland docks. Tresco has around 180 residents and is followed by St Martin's with around 140; Bryher with 90, and St Agnes with 70. 

Most visitors to the islands stay on St Mary's as it has the most accommodation but it is also possible to stay on Tresco, St Martin's and Bryher which all have hotels. Only St Agnes has no hotel or visitor accommodation. The whole of the island group has been designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the unspoilt natural environment is one of the main reasons that tourists visit the islands. All of the five main islands have white sand beaches but the best ones are on Tresco and St Martin's. 

As well as the beaches people come to the islands for walking around the rugged coastline, diving to see marine life and on wrecks, sailing and windsurfing and bird watching. Fishing is also popular around the islands including shark fishing. There are also several visitor attractions within the islands - St Mary's has the Isle of Scilly Museum which charts the history of the islands. On Tresco there is the Abbey Gardens which displays around 5000 sub tropical plants along hillside terraces. A notable event in the islands calendar is the World Pilot Gig Championship which is held over the May bank holiday each year. (Pilot gigs are long rowing boats crewed by a team of six people, - they are traditional boats within the islands and in Cornwall) 

             Tresco beach                           Isles of Scilly 

                                   Tresco beach                                                                                      Scilly Isles

The Isles of Scilly can be reached by air from Newquay, Penzance, Exeter and Bristol and by sea from Penzance on the Scillonian. There are boat trips from each of the main islands to the others  on a daily basis. There are also trips to some of the uninhabited islands to see the sea birds and seals. Regrettably the helicopter service from Penzance to the islands finished in September 2012. 


As you can imagine the islands are a popular stop over for yachtsmen but if you are sailing in this area care is needed in navigating the local waters around the islands and this applies equally to windsurfers and divers; this is the Atlantic Ocean after all. Seek local advice before venturing out to sea. 

Places to visit in the Scilly Isles

Boat Trips - Several companies on different islands offer trips around the islands for transport and sight seeing.

Fishing - Several companies offer fishing trips including shark fishing. 

Bird Watching - Will Wagstaff, Island Wildlife Tours Tel: 01720 422212 

Cycling - Bikes can be hired at the time of writing on St Mary's and Tresco. 

Golf - the is a nine hole golf course on St Mary's. 

For more information see - 


Scilly Isles Map

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Cliff and coast walkingWhether your idea of an ideal activity is sunbathing or you prefer something more strenuous, the  chances are that you will be able to pursue this at the coast. There is a wide selection of activities that can be found on our coastline - these range from a gentle stroll to the next bay, to swimming and snorkelling, to more energetic activities such as sailing, surfing, windsurfing and kite sailing. See Activities section.


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