I feel slightly concrned writing about the Isles of Scilly. It feels like not many people know the islands are even there.
This spot seems to be a secret escape – and I kind of like it that way.
However, it is very selfish of me to keep this paradise which I know about to myself, so I will tell you more.
The Isles of Scilly are located 28 miles South-West off Land’s End in West Cornwall.
They are pretty isolated, and once you are there it feels like you are in a completely different world.
I visited in July last year, and I am already desperate to return.
Take a look at my top recommendations for places to visit and things to do once you’re there.
1. Fly or Sail
There are currently two ways to get to the Isles of Scilly. Flying or sailing.
FLY: You can currently fly from Exeter Airport, Newquay Airport or Land’s End Airport.
It takes approximately an hour from Exeter and 15 minutes from Land’s End.
If you are flying from Land’s End you will be sitting in 8 seater plane and from the other two a 19-seater plane.
I didn’t realize the plane would be so tiny when I travelled – it was an amazing experience.
SAIL: You can also sail from Penzance on the Scillonian III.
The journey takes around two and three-quarter hours and is definitely the most cost effective way to travel to the Scillies.
Just make sure you take some travel sickness pills before you go.
The voyage is notorious for being very rough on the way there.
However, if you go on a nice day you could see some dolphins and lots of other wildlife.
Find some more information on traveling to the Scillies on this website.
2. The Islands
There are five inhabited islands in the Isles of Scilly. They are:
- St Mary’s
- St Agnes
- St Martin’s
St Mary’s is the largest and is home to the most people.
It is home to several pubs, a Co-Op food shop, various cafes and clothes shops.
This is the only island where there are cars too.
The other four islands are known as ‘off-islands.’
They each have their own identity and beauty, and you can easily explore each of them by foot, cycle or golf buggy.
To get to these islands you will need to take a boat – either a ‘Water Taxi’ or one of the scheduled boat trips.
3. Boat Trips
Speaking of boat trips, you need to go on at least one or two boat trips once you are there.
Don’t simply stay on St Mary’s, or you will be missing out.
You can also do sea-safaris, where the experienced crew will take you out on a trip to see some of the fantastic wildlife you can find in the islands.
Expect to see Seals, Puffins, Razorbills, and Guillemots, amongst many other species.
4. Go For a Walk
The best way to really see the islands is to walk.
You don’t need to be really fit to walk around the Scillies, as they are mostly flat and not very big.
Take a picnic and walk to one of the many beaches – you will probably find you have the whole beach to yourself.
The Scillies are known as one of the sunniest places in the UK, so you’re going to need some sunglasses like the lady in the picture above.
Take the Savannah 8121 – Black (Sunglasses).
The style is super easy to wear, and at only £10 you won’t be worried if they drop into the ocean.
5. Go Camping
There are so many different campsites on the Scillies.
This one above is on St Agnes, and has its own beach.
You couldn’t really get much closer to the sea.
What an amazing way to spend your holiday camping under the stars and hear the waves lapping on the beach a few yards from you.
6. Tresco Abbey Gardens
Hi everyone, @porthjess here, taking over the @trescoisland Instagram feed until Sunday! 👋🏻 • I'm a photographer from Bristol who's been in love with Cornwall her whole life… (hence the 'Porth' bit of my username – I live on Bristol Harbour so wanted a Cornish/harbour connection!) – but until now, visiting the Scillies was just one of those bucket list items. Stepping on to Tresco today, I honestly felt like I'd found my paradise! 🌴 • I'm staying at one of the Flying Boat cottages with my husband & daughter, and both have already decided they'd like to stay here forever… The first thing that struck me when arriving on St.Mary's earlier was how friendly everyone here is! The second thing, after disembarking the ferry at Tresco, was the sense of peace. I can't hear anything right now other than lapping waves & the odd seagull or sandpiper. For a city girl who loves the sea, it's sheer bliss. 🌊 • I'll be back again in a short while to show you around the cottage! #mytresco #instatakeover #tresco #islesofscilly
Whilst on the Scillies you should definitely visit the gardens on Tresco.
The Abbey Garden is a sub-tropical paradise, home to plants from over eighty countries including New Zealand, Brazil and South Africa.
The history of the garden is fascinating too – make sure you visit.
Looking for more travel inspo? Take a look at my guide to the Lake District.
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