Simply Scilly Blog

About the Isles of Scilly … everything from events to news to pictures to how to get here and have a great holiday!

Beaches on the Isles of Scilly

Breathtaking Beaches

The beaches around Scilly offer great beachcombing with sun-bleached white sand, perfect for secluded sunbathing and stunning vistas. There are turquoise shallows enticing you into the sea and fascinating snorkelling spots. The chance to escape the stresses of modern life and find a perfect beach all to oneself is why holidaymakers are drawn back time and again, in an almost spiritual way. Whatever kind of beach you seek, you’re sure to find it on Scilly.

We’ve made a short list of some of the best spots:

Pelistry (St. Mary’s):  Ask anyone who lives on St. Mary’s why they love Pelistry and the same reasons pop up. Pelistry Bay is almost always deserted, the Eastern Isles hover in the distance, and an excellent café is only a five-minute walk away. Lastly, as if that wasn’t enough, Toll’s Island is perfect to explore at low water. (Please note that swimming is not safe when the Bar is covered).

 Porthcressa (St. Mary’s): Porthcressa Beach combines a sandy promenade with a range of nearby visitor facilities.  Porthcressa is a safe cove for mooring, windsurfing, swimming, paddling and playing in dinghies. There are even rocky outcrops for some interesting snorkelling.

 Town Beach (St. Mary’s): Not many people would think of swimming in St. Mary’s Harbour; however just under the lifeboat slip in the far corner is an invitingly secluded spot where children can mess around in the shallows and enjoy watching the hustle and bustle of boats in the harbour. This corner is quiet, safe, inviting and close to shops and services.

 Rushy Porth (Tresco): Rushy Porth is framed by the amazing 16th Blockhouse and Lizard Point. The shoreline shelves into dunes supporting tufty marram grass. Panoramic views take in St. Helens and Tean.

 Appletree Bay (Tresco): Appletree Bay is one of the prettiest beaches on Scilly. The sea sparkles like a blue mosaic across the Tresco flats between Bryher and Samson; the sand is clean and sifts through fingers like sugar. The famous Abbey Garden is also close by, should you fancy exploring inland. If it’s blowing a southerly, Appletree Bay is a windsurfer’s paradise!

 Pentle Bay (Tresco): Pentle is a shell collector’s heaven. It is a safe beach for swimming and the views are only interrupted by the Eastern Isles. The beach is ¾ mile long and shelves gently up into dunes protecting the lush sub-tropical landscape and Tresco Great Pool.

 Green Bay (Bryher): an idyllic spot, where you can launch a kayak or rowing boat from ripple-free waters.

 Rushy Bay (Bryher): Bryher is an island of contrasts – with the menace of Hell Bay in the north and welcoming unfussy Rushy Bay in the south. Rushy Bay isn’t merely a lovely beach but is also the place for very low water dinghy landings on Bryher. Well worth an afternoon’s visit.

 Lawrence’s Bay (St. Martin’s): This beach is a family haven. There are rock pools at low tide towards Old Quay, gently shelving sand that gives way to tepid shallows over St. Martin’s Flats and soft dunes to protect that all-important picnic from the wind. The beach stretches from Lower Town all the way to Higher Town. At low tide, imagine the old causeway that used to link St. Mary’s and St. Martin’s in the Bronze Age.

 Par Beach (St. Martin’s): This white sand crescent will instantly impress, as it is the first beach you see when you land at Higher Town. A great family beach with safe swimming, fabulous views, relaxing walks and long grasses to hide out and have a picnic! This beach is so wonderful that you will have to tear yourself away to explore St. Martin’s other beaches.

 Great Bay (St. Martin’s): There is a raw beauty and remoteness to this gorgeous beach nestled on the north side of St. Martin’s. Great Bay is a vast expanse of creamy sand and was recently voted Best Beach in the UK; not to be missed!

 The Bar (St. Agnes): This beach separates St. Agnes from the Island of Gugh. Both sides are sheltered. The Cove and Porth Conger offer splendid clear shallows, perfect for messing around in a dingy or for watching the tripper boats come in. If it’s been a hard day on the beach, then head up the path and within a couple of minutes there is either a café or the pub. (Please note that swimming is not safe when the Bar is covered).

 Covean (St. Agnes): Covean is a secret gem at the end of a tiny green path. The tiny cove is perfect for snorkelling, as it is hemmed by rocky outcrops teaming with marine life. For the more adventurous swimmer you can also follow the coast around to The Bar (not for a drink!) where Porth Conger and The Cove meet. 

 Periglis (St. Agnes): It’s hard to imagine that much has changed in the last 100 years at Periglis. The fishermen still land their catch there, the vista is broken by Annet, the Western rocks and the Bishop Rock lighthouse stands proudly as the last beckon of the UK. Periglis is framed by the old lifeboat slip (once the longest in the UK) and Ginamoney Carn a shell collector’s paradise. There are rock pools, beach, shells, birds and probably mermaids all waiting to be found!

 Best Beach for romantic walks:  Pentle Bay, Tresco

 Best Beach for rock pooling:  Porthlow, St. Mary’s

 Best beach for beachcombing: Town Beach, St. Mary’s

 Best beach for swimming: Great Bay, St. Martin’s

 Best family beach: Great Par, Bryher – the Official Tourist Board website

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