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!

Archive for Holidays

Travel to the Isles of Scilly for an Amazing Holiday in Cornwall

A Visit to the Isles of Scilly is an Unforgettable Experience ..  why you should come and how to get here …  The Isles of Scilly are a small archipelago, 28 miles off the southwest tip of Cornwall (England, UK).   Boasting turquoise seas, almost deserted beaches, and a wealth of amazing discoveries, Scilly  has something for everyone.  Look on any map and you can see why our location provides: over 25 stunning white sandy beaches, sub-tropical weather, unique flora and fauna, a time-less quintessential English holiday experience.   Indeed the whole of Scilly is a reminder of a slower, kinder and more genteel England.   You can arrive by boat, airplane, or helicopter … however you travel here your journey will leave an indelible impression.  Accommodation here ranges from 5 star self-catering to Green bed & breakfasts to luxury hotels that leave you wanting for nothing.  Activities and events range from walking festivals to amazing art galleries; from great pubs to quaint restaurants; from swimming with seals to fishing for sharks; from relaxing on a beach to unwinding with local wine and a fabulous view.    With some of the best beaches, accommodation, events, and activities available in the southwest, the Isles of Scilly are truly spectacular.  Like Cornwall? Love Scilly!

About the Isles:    At16km2 the Isles of Scilly are the smallest AONB designation in the UK and possess a diversity of scenery that belies their small scale. Panoramas of sea and sky are punctuated by lenses of low-lying land. The archipelago combines rugged granite cliffs and headlands, sparkling sandy bays, hidden coves, shifting dunes and saline lagoons. The sea surrounding Scilly is remarkably clear with translucent azure and turquoise shallows and darker blue and green hues in deep offshore waters.

Getting here:   Whether you arrive by helicopter, fixed-wing aircraft, or passenger ship, getting here is simple… and just the start of a truly distinctive holiday experience. You could be overlooking an island panorama by lunchtime!   Flying to the Isles of Scilly starts from either the UK (Land’s End, Penzance, Newquay, Southampton, Exeter, Aberdeen, Alderney, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Guernsey, Inverness, Jersey, Isle of Man, Leeds-Bradford, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Norwich, Plymouth ), continental Europe (Germany, France, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland) or the USA (New York).  Each of these airports features a connecting or direct flight to the Isles of Scilly, leading to St. Mary’s or Tresco.    You can also drive or take the train to any of the connecting air or sea departure points in the Southwest of England. All departure points are easily accessible by rail or road, each airport offers parking facilities, pets are welcome on Land’s End flights, and there are many convenient train connections from the Midlands, London, and the

Where to stay:   The perfect holiday starts with the perfect place.  Waking up on Scilly – when you look out onto the sea for the first time that day, your horizons broaden, vistas open up, and the sky is huge.    You will find that our range of accommodation offerings make the most of our architectural heritage.  From converted barns to castles, from 4-star hotels to 2-star self catering, we offer a range of options to suit everyone.  Hotels:  Four of the Isles of Scilly offer hotels that are truly individual.  St. Mary’s, Tresco, St. Martin’s and Bryher all offer full-service hotel options.  You will find a variety of hotels ranging in architectural style, star rating, and breadth of services on offer.  And you will always find a welcoming smile, local knowledge, and comfortable accommodation.  Guest Houses:  Guest houses abound across the Isles of Scilly, offering an array of accommodation and services.   You can stay close to the quay or in the heart of the countryside.  You can stay in a traditional cottage or a converted barn.  Some offer the best sea views imaginable and others offer wonderful home-cooked evening meals.  B & B:  Bed and Breakfast accommodation is available on four of the Islands, and offer a huge array of architectural styles and services.   If you are interested in Green accredited accommodation, we have welcoming and unique options.  If you love a chat with a native Scillonian across the breakfast table, in a small B&B facing the beach, we have options for you too.   If you love a lush modern bathroom, or a Laura Ashley style bedroom, you will find something that suits.   Self-Catering:  Self-Catering options are widely available across all of the Islands.  From 2 people to 10, from a romantic short-break to a relaxing three week holiday, you can find the ideal accommodation to suit you.   From modern to traditional, from 4 star to 2 star, your tastes and budget will be satisfied!    Camping:   Camping is a unique and fun way to experience the Isles of Scilly.  Our 4 campsites (one on each island, except Tresco) boast a range of amenities as standard, making your outdoor experience quite a comfortable one.  You will find the following as standard, across all the sites:  showers, toilets, wash-handbasins, hot & cold water, washing up facilities, freezer packs, washing machines, tumble dryers, hair dryers, transport of equipment, gas exchange.  As regards to food, all our campsites either have a food shop or are within a few minutes walk of one, and are also very close to warm and inviting pubs and eateries.  For more on where to stay, see

“There are fresh delights around every corner: a deserted cove; a windy headland; a hedgerow speckled with wild flowers; a necklace of other islands shimmering in the distance”  The Telegraph, Max Davidson

94% of our visitors* say they are going to return again.  Why?  Lying just 28 miles off the southwest tip of Cornwall, the Isles of Scilly is an island paradise, providing stunning white sand beaches, azure waters and a wonderful climate where subtropical plants thrive in a truly unique environment.   Warmed by the Gulf Stream, the islands enjoy a microclimate that attracts rare birds amongst the colourful hedgerows where exotic plants thrive. Such is there importance that the islands are protected by various environmental designations and is recognised as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.   Quite simply – the Isles of Scilly are a stunning and unique area of the UK.

Some of the great reasons to come and explore the Islands include:

Golfing: on the UK’s most south-westerly golf course

Sailing and Boating: on our translucent seas, around secluded islets and coves

Diving: over 900 wrecks lie beneath the waves, challenging all abilities

Kayaking: tranquil explorations around headlands and beaches

Windsurfing: getting between the Islands has never been so much fun

Fishing: anglers have never had it so good

Bird watching and wildlife: unique species and special migrants

Walking: enjoy our annual walking festival or roam alone at your own pace

Cycling: from easy lanes to more testing trails

Horse-riding: trek vivid purple heathlands or along a beach

Special Interest: everything from Line Dancing to Bowls

You can find more information about the Isles of Scilly, find a place to stay, search for activities, and more online at :

For more about why the Isles of Scilly are an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

The Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust, which manages much of the Island environment, can be found at:

More on ArtScilly 2010 at

WalkScilly is at:

ArtScilly 2010

The Isles of Scilly are launching a new Arts Festival, highlighting a diverse and talented range of artists active across this unique Island community, 28 miles off the coast of Cornwall.

 ArtScilly 2010, May 8th to 15th 2010, is a new festival to celebrate the unique environment of the Isles of Scilly that vitally contributes to making some of the highest quality and most distinctive art in Cornwall and the South.   The festival is designed to engage and educate the senses, stimulate the imagination, fuse culture and interpretation … all within the incomparable context of the islands.  In its inaugural year, the Festival is a partnership between the Council of the Isles of Scilly and the local community of artists, galleries, community organisations and craftspeople … presenting the best, exciting and most intriguing elements that local Arts have to offer.

The glorious landscapes and seascapes of the Isles of Scilly offer incredible settings for artists and visitors alike to respond to and be inspired by.  The Isles of Scilly are the smallest AONB designation in the UK and possess a diversity of scenery that belies their small scale. Panoramas of sea and sky are punctuated by lenses of low-lying land. The archipelago combines rugged granite cliffs and headlands, sparkling sandy bays, hidden coves, shifting dunes and saline lagoons. The sea surrounding Scilly is remarkably clear with translucent azure and turquoise shallows and darker blue and green hues in deep offshore waters.  The quality of air in Scilly is exceptionally high and the resulting quality of light enhances colour and clarity, providing an artistic backdrop like no other location in the UK.  The local Arts community has drawn on the details and history of this environment for many years.    There is an abundance of local artisans, authors, historians, photographers and performers who have captured, and continue to portray, the many moods and aspects of the Isles.  Each Island boasts its own arts community, with their own unique passions and experiences.

The timetable of events and exhibitions is tailored around a wide range of demonstrations, displays, exhibitions, events, talks, walks and workshops bringing a greater understanding and appreciation of the talent on the islands.   The event will be a tool for making art not only consumable but most importantly accessible: leading to the expression of ideas, creativity, fostering new talent, personal development, and greater understanding of the Islands, Island history, and the unique environment of the Isles of Scilly.   

ArtScilly 2010 draws on the strengths of the Islands’ Arts sector, its quality and originality, to offer a high quality, unique experience to new and existing visitors as well as the local population.

The festival will encompass exhibitions, events, and workshops across all of the Islands.  Activities will cover a wide ranging spectrum across the arts, including:  fine arts, arts and crafts, literature and creative writing, performing arts such as drama and music, photography, film and more.

Experience the Arts in a place which seems from a bygone era, yet is so close to home.

For more see or

Spring on The Isles of Scilly

A beautiful walk into work today, along the coastal path and Porthcressa Beach, with some magnificent cherry trees in full blossom.  Spring has truly sprung across the Islands, with wonderful birdsong, amazing blossoms, and the hotels and shops coming to life for the start of the season.     Tresco Abbey Garden looks truly amazing, with a vast number of species in bloom!  Next week, the Scillonian III (the passenger ferry that sails from Penzance, Cornwall)  has her first sailing of the year.  Though most of next week is freight only, she accepts her first passengers of the season on March 27th under the command of her new Captain, just in time for the start of WalkScilly2010 – which runs until easter weekend and also co-incides with the Isles of Scilly Folk Festival.  (You can follow the WalkScilly 2010 blog at: )  We are also full tilt into the planning of ArtScilly 2010, in this inaugural year, for this all encompassing arts festival with venues, events, and exhibitions across all of the Islands (more on  The festival will showcase the diverse and exciting range of talent from music to fine art to photography!

Do keep in touch for more online news and information about the Isles of Scilly or checkout (for information about all types of accommodation from self-catering to bed and breakfast, travel by boat or helicopter or airplane, day trips, short breaks, activities and more).