Last updated: 17th Dec 2014
There's something to do all year round on the Isles of Scilly with its unique light, beautiful fine white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters, bird watching opportunities (including puffins which nest on Annet annually), underwater diving, and scenic coastal walking. Romantic retreats are plentiful - you'll find an selection of luxury hotels, B&Bs and idyllic self catering cottages across the islands. Travel routes in to the Isles of Scilly include Skybus flights from Land's End, Exeter and Newquay Airports, or boat trips from Penzance harbour.
With so many beautiful beaches on the Isles of Scilly it's easy to find your own secluded spot! The pleasant winds make the islands perfect for bathing and sunbathing. Find beautiful sea shells across the beaches of the Scilly Isles, and a wide choice of activities including golf, cycling and walking, luxury spa experiences, horse riding or simply touring magical tropical gardens like Tresco Abbey Gardens. The crystal clear waters around the Isles of Scilly offer excellent visibility for diving and snorkelling, and other popular water based activities around the islands include fishing, scenic boat trips, gig rowing and windsurfing. See seals and old shipwrecks on diving excursions or head off on a birdwatching or wildlife watching cycle, walk or boat trip. The Scilly Isles are renowned as a stopoff point for migratory birds.
An abundance of rare and tropical flora and fauna thrive in the warm climate here on the Isles of Scilly, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty featuring a mixed landscape of crystal clear seas flanked by spectacular beach bays with fine white sands and rocky outcrops with perched lighthouses, woodland, farmland and ancient archaeological sites. Coastal paths run around the edge of the largest islands offering spectacular views from great vantage points like the Garrison on St Mary's.
Beach studios and craft centres are plentiful, particularly around St Mary's capital Hugh Town where boat trips to the Scilly Isles alight. A great choice of photography, painting, craft courses and workshops also run through the year. Boat trips hop from one island to another in mere minutes and are popular for day trips. The St Mary's Boatmen's Association offer a good choice of boat trips between islands as well as themed sunset cruises, wildlife tours around the beautiful eastern and western isles and excursions around Britain's largest lighthouse - a camera is highly recommended!
St Mary's is the largest of the Scilly Isles (two and a half miles across at the widest point), and the island that most visitors arrive at first. The bustling port of Hugh Town, St Mary's is the Scilly Isles' capital and a good base for exploring the other islands, with easy access to beautiful beaches, a range of accommodation, pubs and restaurants and boat trips to other islands.
Explore the Isles of Scilly Museum in Hugh Town, St Mary's to find out more about the ancient sites across the islands as well as the many shipwrecks and maritime history of the Isles. Around 700 shipwrecks sit below the water around the Isles of Scilly! Numerous Romano-British finds are on show, thrown up during a 1962 storm! The museum also offers an insight into prehistoric sites on St Mary's, including an ancient village dating back to 2000 BC located north of Halangy Down golf course.