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HOLIDAYS ON THE ISLES OF SCILLY

Welcome to the Isles of Scilly

one of the most stunning places in the world and the perfect choice for your next family holiday.

Our island paradise is situated 28 miles south-west of Lands End, Cornwall, an archipelago of five inhabited islands together with over 100 uninhabited islands and rocks. 2,000 inhabitants are lucky enough to call the Scilly Isles their home, spread between the largest island, St Mary's, and the four “off-islands” of TrescoBryher, St Martin's and St Agnes.

The Isles of Scilly is a place of striking contrasts, from the rugged beauty of Hell Bay on Bryher, exposed to the full force of the Atlantic Ocean, to the clear waters, white sand and tranquillity of Pentle Bay on Tresco.

The islands make a perfect holiday haven, a place where you can’t help but unwind, relax and recharge. As one of our regular visitors says “for relaxation, a day on the Scilly’s is worth three days anywhere else”.

If you're in search of a little more however, in addition to the stunning environment, clear seas and fresh air, you will find a thriving arts and crafts scene, fine dining and a wide range of activities – so you can relax as hard as you like! Sailing, windsurfing, kayaking, snorkelling & diving with seals, R.I.B safaris, walking, horse riding, golf and bowls are just a selection of the activities available.

The islands also host a number of sporting events, such as the annual World Pilot Gig Championships in held in May.

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Above all, the islands have all the ingredients for a perfect holiday; the preferred location for A-List celebrities and 30-year veterans alike.

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Explore the Isles of Scilly
Holiday Attractions & Activites

Isles of Scilly Holiday Attractions and Activities

Water Sports

The Sailing Centre on Porthmellon beach, St Marys, and Ravens Porth, Tresco, is an RYA Training Centre offering windsurfing, sailing and kayaking for beginners and experts alike. Hut62 on Bryher offers boat and kayak hire, and St Martins Watersports offer SUP and kayak hire on St Martins.

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Gig Racing

The local sport is gig racing, and races are held each week on Wednesdays and Fridays throughout the season. St. Mary's Boatmen's Association provide organised spectator boat for each race: www.scillyboating.co.uk.

For more information about Cornish pilot gigs see: www.cpga.co.ukwww.pilotgigs.com or www.gigrower.co.uk

Guided Tours

Island Bus and Walking Tours are available. Contact St. Mary's Tourist Information for details: (01720) 422536 or visit www.islandrover.co.uk.

Cycling

Bicycles (including electric bikes)can be hired from: St Mary's Bike Hire, The Strand, St Mary's.

Golf Karts
Scilly Cart Company hire 2, 4 and 6-seater road legal electric carts to explore St Marys.

Boat Trips

Fishing and sailing trips are available and most boat trips are advertised on notice boards on St. Mary's Quay.

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Workshops & Studios

Abundant Art Galleries and Studios are located on the islands, several of which offer tuition. From stained glass to felt making, paintings to pottery, ther is something for everyone.

See https://www.theislandmakers.com/about for details.

Souvenirs and Shopping

There is a wide choice on St. Mary's including crafts, food stuff. For clothing try 49 Degrees or Sandpiper for local designs. Also, several farms offer local flowers grown in the open air, handpicked to order and shipped 28 miles to the mainland - for delivery direct to your door.

Diving and Snorkelling

Scilly is a world-renowned dive destination, as a result of its clear waters, abundant wildlife and numerous shipwrecks.

For a taste of the underwater life, contact Seal Snorkelling Adventures for the chance to swim with these enchanting creatures.

Relaxation

Why not enjoy a pampered experience? Tresco Spa massage, facials, sauna and more.

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Weather, Climate and Tides

Weather and Climate

The Islands boast amongst the mildest and warmest climate in the UK. Often referred to as the sunshine isles, they benefit from more hours of sunshine than other regions - averaging 7.6 hours a day in July.

The UV index in Scilly is generally higher than the mainland as there is little air pollution and this makes the air clarity high. High factor sun protection is essential as you may find you burn more quickly and more easily.

Scilly has an early spring which means the flowers bloom early. It is very rare to have a frost in Scilly, and it has snowed only a handful of times in the last 25 years. Inclement weather in Scilly generally comes in the form of gale force winds in the winter months as the islands are unprotected in their isolated position in the Atlantic Ocean.

Scilly is particularly pleasant between May and September and the majority of visitors choose this period for their holiday. However, the Easter holidays and October half term on Scilly can be lovely – the perfect destination for an early or late break.

 

For weather forecasts, try the following:

The sea temperature ranges between 8°c and 16°c throughout the year.

Tides around the Islands

Tides have a huge impact on island life, particularly for travel between the islands. Every island will be accessible every day, but boat times may be affected, as well as where you get dropped off – at the main quay or on the beach! Full information will be provided by the boatmen prior to travel.

 

A favourite activity during big “Spring” Tides (which don’t just occur in the Spring) is to walk between the islands at low water. The channel between Tresco, Bryher and Samson is the most popular“Low Tide Events” are organised each year by Tresco Estate although on the largest tides it is also possible to walk between Tresco and St Martins as well. Just remember to check the boat time for your return unless you fancy a swim!

 

At low water you can also walk across the sand bars between Pelistry Beach and Tolls Island on St Marys, St Agnes and Gugh, or across the rocky bar between St Martins and White Island. Again, be aware of the tide times to make sure you get back before they are covered by the sea!

Check tide times online at Mobile Geographics, or pick up tide tables at many stores throughout the islands.

Weather, Tides & Climate

Travelling to the Isles of Scilly

Scilly can be reached from the mainland by air or by sea
 

Skybus operates Flights from Land's End which take 15 minutes, Newquay 30 minutes and Exeter is an hour. 
 

The Scillonian III ferry departs Penzance quay at 9.15 am (Please check times as they can vary at different times of the year and on spring tides). It sails directly to St Mary's quay and takes just over 2 & 1/2 hours. 

The new helicopter service from Penzance Helicopters which operates from Penzance flies into Tresco & St Mary's.

Travelling to the Islands

For more information on the Isles of Scilly, getting here and things to do click the icon below to visit the official Isles of Scilly tourist board website

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