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Isles of Scilly Tourist Information

Isles of Scilly Guide and History

St Mary's

Where do you start when trying to describe the Isles of Scilly? An archipelago of five inhabited islands set amongst countless tiny outcroppings and other islands. Despite being twenty-eight miles from the tip of Land’s End, these islans have a shockingly mild climate making them a haven of peace and wildlife.

It was at least 4,000 years ago when the first Cornish settlers arrived, leaving monuments that still exist today. Nornour, an uninhabited island, has evidence of Roman occupation, a presence that lasted for three centuries. But it was not until the middle ages that real interest in the islands brought fortifications to protect them and the mainland from invasion by the various sea-faring enemies of Britain.

The Islands

St. Mary’s is the largest island and the centre of the isles’ community, but even though its capital, Hugh Town, caters for all the important amenities, it is barely larger than a village. The second largest island, Tresco ranges from the barren north to the world renowned Abbey Garden, and then to the wonderful beaches in the south. Likewise, Bryher has its rugged side facing the Atlantic, and sheltered side protected by the channel between it and Tresco. The furthest south-west of the five islands is St. Agnes, extremely peaceful and traditional.

The Isles of Scilly's Heritage

There is a museum on St. Agnes that contains many of the artefacts found on the other islands such as some of the Roman coins and brooches. The extensive maritime history of the islands is also well documented. Galleries and workshops are plentiful across the islands. Arts and crafts abound, with even a perfumery workshop.

The Isles of Scilly Events

There are currently no events listed for this area, let us know if you are planning one.

Isles of Scilly Accommodation

I have stayed on the islands a few times, and have found accommodation on the Isles of Scilly to be good, in summer and winter. It suits all budgets, and has the advantage of never being more than a couple of minutes walk to the sea.

Entertainment and Eating Out Guide

Entertainment on the Isles of Scilly is very good; surrounded by water, the activities available on or in it are endless. Fishing and diving are great pursuits to indulge in, especially in these wonderfully clear sheltered waters. Bryher particularly favours snorkeling and diving. Boat hire and trips are in abundance, with over 100 islands to explore.

Windsurfing, kayaking and rowing are all easy to get started on, and the spectator sport of Gig Racing. Golf and many other sports are supported on the islands.

Night Life and Eating Out on The Isles of Scilly

Theatre and music are here, providing anything from opera to live bands, plus a night club. Many of the performers visit from the mainland. There is also a great deal in the way of places for eating out on the Isles of Scilly; restaurants, cafes, hotels and public houses.

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Shopping Guide

Being only a small community, do not expect a bustling series of town centres. You will be pleasantly surprised at the variety of shops on the Isles of Scilly though, covering all your and the locals’ needs.

As tourism is the primary industry here, ahead of flower farming, you will be well supported with regard to interesting gifts to bring home. Shopping on the Isles of Scilly may be a little more limited than the mainland, but there is a flourishing community here, and thus your requirements are catered for.

Isles of Scilly Webcams

St. Martins

Webcam placed at Highertown, St. Martins.
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Isles of Scilly Beach and Surf Guide

Although far more rugged than the prime spots in Cornwall, the Isles of Scilly offers many little gems. Well worth searching them out.

There are a great many beaches with no surf at all, great for swimming. They are totally undeveloped and untouched, the water shallow and clear. All are worth visiting, but some of the best are the Great Bay and Lawrence's Beach on St. Martin's, Pentle Bay and Appletree Bay on Tresco, Rushy Bay and Great Porth on Bryher, Pelistry Bay on St. Mary's, The Bar on St. Agnes, Bar Point on St. Mary's, and Landing Beach on Samson.

Travel Information

Transport is well catered for once you are on the islands, your main concern will be getting from one to the next, and that is covered by the year round boat trips. To get there in the first place requires either a flight in a helicopter or light aircraft, or the more traditional route through the waves.

Newquay Airport, right beside St. Mawgan village, offers flights that take in the spectacular scenery of the North Coast (travelling back as the lights come on along the mainland is amazing). Penzance has a range of connections to the islands.

The Wheelhouse Guesthouse

Isles of Scilly
Penwith/Lands End
St Agnes
St Austell
St Ives

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