Isles of Scilly

The Isles of Scilly, situated 28 miles southwest of Land’s End in England, are known for their uniquely warm climate and pristine beaches. Visitors flock here annually to take in the rich landscapes and unique wildlife, as well as the islands’ slower pace. The convenience of this sub tropic environment make the Isles of Scilly a very popular British destination.

Transportation

Isles of Scilly Skybus offers the fastest way to reach the islands from the mainland of Great Britain via fixed-wing aircraft. These flights transport passengers to St. Mary’s Airport from multiple mainland locations. For nearly half a decade, the British International Helicopters offered transportation to the Tresco Heliport, however that service is to be terminated in late 2012. A more relaxed mode of transportation to the Isles of Scilly is by sea on the Scillonian III passenger ferry. This vessel carries riders from Penzance to St. Mary’s, while smaller ferries and boats can transport travelers between islands.

Islands

Islands
Islands

While the archipelago of the Isles of Scilly form approximately 140 islands, only five of them are inhabited. The most frequented island is St. Mary’s, home to Hugh Town, the largest and most populated town on the islands. Hugh Town offers a convenient concentration of tourism options, including shopping, banking, lodging, several pubs, and a hospital. The ferry from Penzance also alights in Hugh Town’s main quay. Nearby Tresco is another of the most popular tourism Isles of Scilly, offering shopping, an art gallery, lodging options, a post office, and a pub. The island also boasts strategically placed houses and cottages available as timeshares.

The island of St. Martin’s is much quieter, offering three small towns amidst widespread residential farms and cottages. The island’s population of 142 provide one hotel, one guesthouse, one pub, and a bakery. Even more unspoiled, however, is the island of Bryher, claiming both the smallest size and population. Known especially for its well-preserved beaches and bays, Bryher offers only one hotel.

Isles of Scilly Beaches

Isles of Scilly Beaches
Isles of Scilly Beaches

The Isles of Scilly are known for their mild Oceanic climate and white sand beaches that curve around stunning turquoise waters. Porthcressa Beach on St. Mary’s is one of the most popular, incorporating a promenade along the sand. Its cove also provides safety for many water sports such as swimming, windsurfing, and snorkeling. Tresco’s Pentle Bay, excellent for swimming, is popular for its proximity to the Great Pool and a proliferation of seashells. The remote white sands of St. Martin’s Great Bay, voted one of the United Kingdom’s best beaches by Visit Britain, offer excellent unspoiled beach relaxation and solitude.

Attractions

Attractions
Attractions

The Isles of Scilly offer more than beachcombing. St. Mary’s Isles of Scilly Museum offers an in depth look at these fascinating islands, including Romano-British artifacts found on the island of Nornour in 1962. The island of Tresco is home to Cromwell’s Castle, one of Britain’s only remaining towers from the time of Oliver Cromwell in the seventeeth century. Tresco Abbey Gardens, situated at the south end of Tresco, offers a fascinating escape into the world of sub-tropical horticulture, and includes a display of figureheads from Scilly’s many shipwrecks.

Isles of Scilly Hotels & Lodging

Isles of Scilly Hotels & Lodging
Isles of Scilly Hotels & Lodging

Lodging options on the Isles of Scilly might be limited, but they offer something for everyone. St. Mary’s boasts the hotel in Star Castle. Tresco has plentiful timeshare options, as well as the Island Hotel on Tresco. St. Martin’s offers a hotel, St. Martin’s on the Isle, as well as the Polreath Guesthouse bed and breakfast, and a campsite located between Lower Town and Middle Town. Bryher offers Hell Bay Hotel (pictured).

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