Have you ever dreamt of escaping to a place that feels untouched by modern life’s busy schedules, where aquamarine waters meet white sand, and where each corner unveils something totally unique? Welcome to the Isles of Scilly off the coast of Cornwall.


Where are the Isles of Scilly

Positioned at the most south westerly point of the UK, this archipelago of about 140 islands has a landscape and climate that is completely different to anywhere else in Britain. Palm trees, tropical vegetation, and Caribbean-esque waters are all thanks to the effect of warming winds off the Gulf Stream so, even though its just a short distance from the mainland, it feels worlds away.

Unspoiled natural beauty and an incredibly peaceful atmosphere (which is strangely devoid of the typical tourist hub bub) create a truly magical atmosphere, which together with azure waters, powdery white-sand beaches, and wildlife, make it a must-visit attraction for your Cornish getaway.


How do I get to the Isles of Scilly

Now you may be wondering how to get to this dreamy destination and thankfully, it couldn’t be easier. You could sail to St Mary’s (the largest of the isles) on board Scillonian III from Penzance in less than 3 hours, fly on board Skybus from Land’s End (15 minutes), or make the best of both worlds with a Fly+Sail ticket to give you extra time to explore.

And the best part is that with prices starting from just £35 per person for a return ticket on the Scillonian III, this incredible adventure could cosy you no more than the average entrance fee for a theme park, zoo or similar attraction.


What can you do on the Isles of Scilly

If you take the Scillonian III  

The adventure begins when you leave the dock at Penzance, and St Michaels Mount disappears into the distance behind you. The vast blue of the horizon widens ahead, and you can grab a refreshment from the onboard Western Rocks Coffee Co, sink into your deep, comfy seat for a nap, or dolphin-spot in the fresh sea air from the upper deck.

Once in St Mary’s you’ll be able to stroll through Hugh Town with its old-worldy atmosphere, and perhaps sample some of Scilly’s locally produced ice cream or fudge along the way. You’ll soon reach the soft sands and aqua waters of Porthcressa Beach which is stupefyingly picturesque, where you can swim, picnic, or simply laze in the sunshine.

From here the coast path meanders to Town Beach, another lovely sandy stretch with crystal clear waters and beautiful sea views. The scenery along the way is phenomenal and you’ll see an amazing array of flora and fauna as well as island-dotted sea panoramas that stretch in every direction. Walk, cycle or hire a golf cart if you fancy a more laid-back mode of transport.

There are historic sites to visit, chocolate box villages to explore, and restaurants selling wonderful local produce to sample. Dogs are welcome on board the Scillonian III and Skybus too which is great news for those with four-legged companions, and the warm hospitality and friendliness of the island’s locals means you, your family, and your canines will be welcomed with open arms.


If you fly on the Skybus or choose to ‘sail and fly’

There are a host of fantastic activities to discover. We love the idea of hiring a bike from St Mary’s Bike Hire to explore the gardens, coast paths, honesty kiosks (with local produce on offer), sights and scenery of the islands. St Agnes Boating operate daily scheduled services to the other islands so it’s easy to get hop from one to another. St Agnes Boating meets the Scillonian III every day to take passengers from St. Mary’s to St. Agnes and also connect with Skybus flight for peace-of-mind transfers to St. Agnes.


  • Experience the botanical wonders of Tresco Abbey Gardens on Tresco Island, often likened to Kew Gardens but without the confines of glass. Housing a diverse collection of over 20,000 plants sourced from over 80 countries, it’s a botanical paradise waiting to be explored.


  • Embark on a captivating journey through Scilly’s rock pools with the Scilly Rockpool Adventure on St Mary’s Island. Led by knowledgeable guides, delve into the hidden world of enchanting sea creatures that only reveal themselves during low tide.


  • Discover the rich marine life of the Isles of Scilly with Wildlife Safaris offered by St Agnes Boating every Wednesday. Partnering with the Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust, these safaris offer a chance to observe seabirds, seals, and puffins in their natural habitat.


  • Peer into the underwater realm with Seaquest, Scilly’s exclusive glass-bottom boat safari on St Mary’s Island. Witness the bustling marine ecosystem teeming with seals, seabirds, and vibrant underwater flora and fauna through the unique perspective of a glass-bottom boat.


  • Uncover the secrets of winemaking on Scilly with Vineyard Tours on St Martin’s Island. Indulge in island wines while learning about the history and craft of winemaking in one of the UK’s most southwestern vineyards.


  • Craft your own gin recipe and take home a personalized bottle with a Gin Making and Distillery Tour at Scilly Spirit Distillery on St Mary’s Island. Join the Gin School experience and unleash your creativity under the guidance of skilled distillers.


Cottages close to the Isles of Scilly ferry

Our collection of  Penzance cottages, Newlyn cottages, Marazion cottages and Mousehole cottages are all within easy reach of the Scillonion ferry, offering you a selection of wonderful bases from which to explore the Scilly Isles and all that this stunning part of the UK has to offer.

ocean 1, newquay

Let's stay in touch...

Sign up to the Luxury Coastal newsletter to find out about our latest properties, competitions and holiday inspiration.