Exploring the Isles of Scilly - 5th to 9th June 2015

St Martin's

The summer crowds haven't yet arrived so June is a great time to visit these delightfully unspoilt islands. We stay for four nights at the Hell Bay Hotel on the remote island of Bryher overlooking Great Pool. Hell Bay Hotel is the highest-rated luxury hotel in the Isles of Scilly and has become an exclusive destination for discerning travellers with its quality accommodation and 3 AA Rosette restaurant.

We have planned a programme of gentle walking and exploration on Bryher itself and on the nearby islands of Tresco and St. Martin's. One of the highlights of our day on Tresco is a visit to the world-famous Abbey Gardens. Here we discover a lush green maze of paths meandering between palms, tree ferns, camellias and lilies. Also of interest are the medieval ruins, delightful sculptures, and a fascinating collection of shipwrecked figureheads.

Highlights include:

  • Enjoying the Isles of Scilly’s tranquillity and beauty
  • Visiting Tresco’s world famous Abbey Gardens
  • Exploring Bryher, Tresco & St. Martins
  • Sensational sea views, spectacular flowers and rare birds
  • Dining in Hell Bay’s 3 AA Rosette restaurant

The island of Bryher measures just two kilometres in length and about one kilometre at its widest point. It lies just to the west of Tresco and to the north of Samson. The centre of Bryher is mainly low-lying with arable fields, pasture land and houses and is where most of the population (about 80 people) live. There are lots of shell-strewn sandy beaches to enjoy on all sides.

The island is virtually traffic-free, and is criss-crossed by footpaths and tracks. There is a small shop with a post office, a tea room, church and the most westerly (and probably the smallest) bar at the Fraggle Rock. Some of the locals put out small stalls in front of their houses selling all sorts of local produce, from fudge to Bryher crabs, adding greatly to the character of the place. The island has been designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty because of its rare plant life and has three sites of Special Scientific Interest.

To get to the island we fly by Skybus from Land's End to the island of St Mary's and from there take a boat to Bryher. Thereafter the emphasis is on enjoying the tranquillity and beauty of the island, with a walking programme that is leisurely and non-challenging.


Thursday 4th June - Penzance (AVAILABLE AS A SUPPLEMENT)

It is recommended that you arrive the day before departure and stay overnight in or near Penzance in order to be in good time to take the flight from Land's End to St Mary's Island the following day. We will be pleased to arrange accommodation for you, on request, staying at The Old Coastguard, Mousehole.

Day 1 - Friday 5th June - Bryher (D)

Check in at Land's End Airport for the flight to St Mary's. On arrival, we transfer from the airport to the harbour for the boat that takes us to Bryher. We are met on the quayside and take a short drive to Hell Bay Hotel. Welcome to Bryher! Free time to settle in and enjoy our surroundings before a welcome reception at 7:30pm, followed by dinner at 8:00pm.

Day 2 - Saturday 6th June - Exploring Bryher (BD)

After breakfast in the Hotel, we meet for a walk around the island, going north via Kitchen Porth, passing Hangman's Island to Badplace Hill and Shipman Head. We continue via Hell Bay along the coastal path for an optional lunch at Fraggle Rock. In the afternoon we walk along Great Porth Beach and Rushy Bay towards Anneka's Quay before returning to the hotel. Dinner is in the hotel's award winning restaurant.

Walk Grade Easy - 4 miles, 3 hours.

Day 3 - Sunday 7th June - Tresco and Abbey Gardens (BD)

Today we walk from the hotel to catch the boat service to Tresco and then on to the Abbey Gardens, famous for their magnificent sub-tropical plants, trees and shrubs from all over the world. The walk to the Gardens takes about 20 minutes and the visit is followed by an optional lunch at the New Inn.

In the afternoon we enjoy a walk around the cliffs of Tresco, during which we plan to visit Cromwell's Castle and the ruins of King Charles' Castle - the scene of the last battle of the English Civil War. There is also time to stroll along beautiful beaches and cliff paths.

We return to Bryher by boat in time for dinner in the hotel.

Walk Grade Easy - 4 miles, 2-3 hours.


Day 4 - Monday 8th June - Exploring St Martin's (BD)

After breakfast we leave the hotel and walk the short distance to the harbour for our boat to St Martin's, where we spend the day exploring this lovely island. We disembark at the Lower Town jetty before setting off to discover the island on foot. There are several choices for the walk today with probably the best option being to walk around the island along a good cliff footpath in a clockwise direction via White Island, Great Bay and St Martin's Head to Higher Town, passing beautiful sandy beaches and secluded coves. Optional lunch at Higher Town.

An easier option is to walk the self-built roadway via the small community of houses and galleries at Higher Town and on to New Quay to re-embark on the boat service to Bryher.

Walk Grade Easy - 2 or 6 miles (your choice), 3 hours.

Return to Bryher by boat. Dinner in the hotel.

Day 5 - Tuesday 9th June - Return Flight to Land's End (B)

It's time to go home. After breakfast in the hotel, we transfer to the jetty for the boat trip to St Mary's and return via the Skybus flight to Land's End.

B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner

Hell Bay Hotel

Hotel room

Our accommodation for the visit, Hell Bay Hotel, is situated on the west side of the island, overlooking Great Pool. Exceptionally located on the smallest inhabited island, Hell Bay Hotel is the highest rated luxury hotel in the Isles of Scilly. The hotel has 25 suites that vary in size. All are beautifully appointed with Lloyd Loom furniture and sumptuous Malabar fabrics; some have balconies and most have stunning sea views.

Breakfast and dinner is taken in the hotel's retaurant. With its three AA Rosettes, we can look forward to a fine dining experience.

Outbound - Friday 5th June 2015
Depart Land's End
Arrive St Mary's
Inbound - Tuesday 9th June 2015
Depart St Mary's
Arrive Land's End

It is recommended that you arrive on the 4th June and stay overnight in or near Penzance in order to be in good time to take the flight from Land's End to St Mary's Island the following day. We have secured accommodation at The Old Coastguard, Mousehole. Information and pricing is available on request.

By Road

We fly from Land's End. If you are driving, the M5/A30 road link is very good. You can leave your car in the Airport's secure car park for the duration of the holiday.

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By Rail

There is a good rail service to Penzance and from there by taxi to Land's End Airport.




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