Travel: Isles of Scilly

You don’t have to travel thou­sands of miles to find clear blue wa­ters and white, sandy, de­serted beaches – be­cause the Isles of Scilly are a lot closer than you think…



As you ar­rive, you in­stantly feel you’re in an­other world. Only 30 miles off the coast of Corn­wall, this very Bri­tish par­adise, with its tiny pop­u­la­tion of just 2,200, is made up of five in­hab­ited is­lands – St Mary’s, Tresco, St Martin’s, Bry­her and St Agnes – and a num­ber of oth­ers which are de­serted. They host an abun­dance of wildlife and beau­ti­ful, sub­trop­i­cal flora and fauna. All the beaches are clean and eas­ily ri­val the Caribbean in terms of beauty. Ev­ery­where you look, there’s a view to take your breath away.


St Mary’s is the big­gest and most in­hab­ited is­land, with the most go­ing on in terms of pubs and restau­rants, shops, ac­com­mo­da­tion and at­trac­tions. It’s also the main stop for all the fer­ries be­tween the is­lands. For a qui­eter break, head to St Martin’s and the Karma St Martin’s Ho­tel – de­tails on kar­ma­ It has a spa, great food, and a bar equipped with a huge vinyl col­lec­tion that guests can play. Kate and Wil­liam have stayed here! If you don’t fancy walk­ing, hire a bike – pedal or elec­tric – or a golf buggy. Don’t worry about traf­fic, as there’s hardly any.


Have a drink in the Dun­geon Bar at the Star Cas­tle Ho­tel on St Mary’s. At night, the su­per-dark, clear skies make for great star-gazing. Tresco Abbey Gardens should also be on your list – 10 acres of sub-trop­i­cal per­fec­tion in the grounds of the ru­ined 11th-cen­tury abbey.


Sky­bus flights cost from £70 one way, leav­ing from Newquay (40 mins), Ex­eter (60 mins) or Land’s End (15 mins). There’s also a ferry, the Scil­lo­nian, from Pen­zance. Visit isle­sof­s­ GWR trains from Lon­don Padding­ton to Pen­zance in­clude a sleeper, the Night Riviera, from £100.


The At­lantic, in Hugh Town, is open all year, with rooms from £130 a night, at­lanti­cho­ Find guest­houses and B&Bs at visi­tisle­sof­s­, or rent a cot­tage at come2s­


The lob­ster and seafood plat­ter with the best view is at Juliet’s Gar­den, while Pom’s Thai Take­away mo­bile kitchen is to die for! Try the At­lantic pub, St Mary’s, for mus­sels and chips and lob­ster burg­ers, or visit Adam’s Fish & Chips on St Martin’s.

A busy day in St Martin’s – the beau­ti­ful white beaches ri­val the Caribbean Like seafood? You’ll love the Isles of Scilly

The Tresco Abbey Gardens are a lush sub­trop­i­cal de­light not to be missed Rush hour in Hugh Town, St Mary’s

The roy­als found good Karma here Chill out at the At­lantic in Hugh Town Ly­ing off the coast of Corn­wall, th­ese mag­i­cal isles will en­chant you

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