Cornwall LivingIssue #97

Day dream

What better way to spend a day than a trip to the Isles of Scilly?

Lying just 28 miles off the Cornish coast you’ll find a group of sand-fringed islands like nowhere else in the UK. Basking in a warmer climate, these utterly unspoilt islands have a natural wildness that is completely relaxing.

surrounded by clear turquoise waters warmed by the Gulf Stream, just waiting for you to explore”

The Isles of Scilly may feel like another world, but getting there is simpler than you think, and they’re easily close enough to visit for the day if you’re in Cornwall. You’ll have ample time to enjoy the islands while you’re there, and it certainly makes for a day trip to remember.

In all there are five inhabited islands; St Mary’s, Tresco, St Martin’s, Bryher and St Agnes, along with many more uninhabited isles and rocky outcrops, all surrounded by clear turquoise waters warmed by the Gulf Stream, just waiting for you to explore.

On your arrival to Scilly, you’ll have a choice: do you stay on St Mary’s for the day or head off immediately to one of the islands? If you decide to go on a tripper boat, just make sure you can get back in time for your departure to the mainland.

If you go to Tresco, a visit to the world-famous Tresco Abbey Garden is a must! Described as ‘Kew without the glass’, this 19th century garden is home to some 20,000 sub-tropical plants and with its network of pathways and sculptures, there’s a surprise around every corner.

The whole of Scilly is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and with miles of coastal path to stroll along at your leisure, exploring one of the islands by foot comes highly recommended. And whether it’s a day trip for two, or a family adventure, you simply must pay a visit to one of Scilly’s white sandy beaches or hidden coves. Rarely more than a ten-minute walk away, these hidden gems are sure to take your breath away.

Alternatively, if you’d prefer to go further afield, why not hire a bike and spend the afternoon exploring St Mary’s under pedal power? St Mary’s is perfect for cycling, with its countryside paths and largely traffic-free roads. Head up to Halangy Down and Bar Point for panoramic viewpoints of the other islands.

For the more adventurous day tripper, there’s plenty of water activities to keep you entertained, from paddle boarding to kayaking to swimming with Atlantic grey seals, all with the most magnificent island backdrop.

Before heading back home, be sure to stop for a bite to eat. Just about anywhere you go on Scilly, you’ll find yourself just moments from a family friendly café, a pub oozing with character, a restaurant with a beautiful outdoor terrace, or a simple honesty stall selling tasty fresh local produce, and with some of the freshest seafood available from the natural ocean larder, dinner on Scilly is the perfect way to round off a magical day’s exploration.

So, how to get there? Isles of Scilly Travel can connect you to the islands by air or sea, offering you a truly memorable start to your Scilly adventure. Sailing on Scillonian III takes approximately three hours; you’ll enjoy a leisurely sail past some of Cornwall’s most famous coastline and get the chance to look for dolphins and basking sharks on your way, before arriving on St Mary’s in time for lunch.

If you’d like more time on the islands, flying by Skybus from Land’s End or Cornwall Airport Newquay is the quickest way there and back. Or, why not choose Isles of Scilly Travel’s unique ‘Round Trip’ ticket? Simply park in Penzance and hop on the shuttle bus to Land’s End for your morning flight, then spend the day on Scilly before sailing back to the mainland on Scillonian III. Dogs are welcome to travel with you too, so your furry friend needn’t miss out on your day’s adventure.

However you choose to make the crossing, the journey promises to form a unique part of your unforgettable Scilly day trip. You’ll be treated to incredible views of the Cornish coastline, before seeing the beautiful archipelago that is the Isles of Scilly rise up from the horizon. To book your day trip and make unforgettable holiday memories on this beautiful cluster of islands, be sure to visit the Isles of Scilly Travel website.


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For special 2020 day trip offers, be sure to keep an eye on the Isles of Scilly Travel website.


Isles of Scilly Travel

01736 334220

"surrounded by clear turquoise waters warmed by the Gulf Stream, just waiting for you to explore"