The Isles of Scilly

Discover why this enchanting archipelago is a unique destination for a Weekend Escape

With palm trees, crystal-clear waters, fine white sands and an even more temperate climate, the Isles of Scilly feel much further than 28 miles away from the UK mainland.

Also known as the Fortunate Islands or the Sunshine Islands, the archipelago is made up of a hundred or so islands and islets, five of which – St Agnes, Bryher, St Mary’s, St Martin’s and Tresco – are inhabited.

Reached by ferry from Penzance, or plane from Exeter, Newquay or Land’s End, the short crossing will transport you to a soothing and stunning holiday spot quite unlike anywhere else in the UK. Here are our top-rated recommendations for your long weekend exploring the Isles of Scilly.

Things to do

One of the best ways to explore the wonders of the Isles of Scilly is on foot. The archipelago is made for walking, with breathtaking coastal paths waiting to be explored. 

Scillonians are also outstanding seagoers, and no trip to the Isles of Scilly would be complete without a boat trip. Whether you’re island hopping, seal watching or puffin spotting, some of the finest excursions are those to the outlying uninhabited islands.

Explore the islands’ history and traditions with a visit to the Isles of Scilly Museum on St Mary’s, admire the world-renowned Abbey Garden on Tresco, enjoy the rugged beauty of Bryher and relax on the magnificent beaches on St Martin’s. For a taste of total peace, venture to St. Agnes – England’s wonderfully unspoilt final frontier.

However you choose to spend your trip, the Isles of Scilly will enchant you with their uniqueness.

We recommend

Bant's Carn Burial Chamber and Halangy Down Ancient Village, St Mary’s

Cromwell’s Castle, Tresco

Harry’s Wall, St Mary’s

Isles of Scilly Museum, St Mary's

King Charles's Castle, Tresco

Old Blockhouse, Tresco

Places to stay

The islands have an abundance of self-catered options to choose from, along with several welcoming hotels and inns. With campsites and a number of wonderfully quirky places to stay too – including a delightfully converted shepherd’s hut – there’s no shortage of memorable places to rest your head.

We recommend

95 Watermill, St Mary’s

Beach Moorings, St Mary's

Soleil D’or, Bryher

St Martin’s Campsite, St Martin’s

Star Castle Hotel, St Mary’s

The New Inn, Tresco

Troytown Farm Campsite, St Agnes

Where to eat

The Isles of Scilly are a haven for seafood, with the catch of the day being hauled in by local boats. Take a look at our top-rated eateries, featuring prime local produce and world-class views.

Cloudesley Shovell Restaurant, St Martin’s

Hell Bay Hotel, Bryher

Ruin Beach Café, Tresco

Spirit, St Mary’s

The New Inn, Tresco

Discover more weekend escapes