Tresco and the Isles of Scilly - 23rd to 28th April 2017

Cromwell's Castle, Tresco

The summer crowds haven’t yet arrived so late spring is the perfect time to visit these delightfully unspoilt islands, where the carpets of flowers will be at their best and the air perfumed with their scent.

We will be staying in luxurious accommodation on the beautiful island of Tresco and island-hopping by boat to St Mary’s, Bryher and St Agnes to experience beautiful beaches, rocky headlands and cliff paths.

  • Unique holiday on tranquil islands
  • Luxurious accommodation
  • Exploring Tresco, Bryher and St Agnes
  • Visiting Tresco’s world famous Abbey Gardens
  • Sensational sea views, spectacular flowers and rare birds

Our first night is at Mount Haven Hotel, Marazion, a delightful boutique hotel, close to Penzance in a unique location overlooking Cornwall’s famous landmark, St Michael’s Mount.

Low tide on Bryher

The next morning, we fly by Skybus from Land's End to the island of St Mary's and from there take a private minibus to the harbour for the jet boat to Tresco where we hop on the tractor and trailer for the final part of our journey to Sea Garden Cottages.

We have planned a programme of gentle walking and exploration on Tresco, the beautiful nearby islands of Bryher and St. Agnes combining to provide an á la carte holiday experience. 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.

The emphasis on this holiday is to enjoy the tranquillity and beauty of the islands, with a walking programme that is leisurely and non-challenging.


Tresco has become an exclusive destination for discerning visitors who appreciate luxury. It has a small thriving community of islanders; the population is just 150. With everyday life revolving around the movements of boats and tides. The pace of life is slow, and our visit should provide an opportunity to enjoy a welcome break from the stress and noise of the mainland. The island is owned by the Dorrien-Smith family, who live on the island, and forms part of the Duchy of Cornwall’s estate.

Beautiful windy walk on Tresco

Day 1: Sunday 23rd April – Travel to Marazion, Cornwall

Arrive at your convenience at Mount Haven Hotel, Marazion. If you arrive by rail the hotel is a short taxi journey to the hotel from Penzance railway station. We recommend you allow time to explore the area and visit St Michael’s Mount close to the hotel.

An optional dinner has been booked for 7pm - we’ll be in the bar from 6:30pm. Please let us know if you would like to join us for dinner.

Day 2: Monday 24th April – Tresco (BD)

We’ll drive our own cars to Land's End Airport and check-in for the Skybus flight to St Mary's. Secure parking is available at the airport. A taxi from the hotel to the airport will be provided for those who arrived by rail.

Depart hotel for the airport 10:00
Check in 11:00
Depart Land’s End 12:00
Arrive St Mary’s 12:15

A private taxi will transfer us from St. Mary’s airport to the jetty for the boat to Tresco (journey time approx. 30 mins).

On arrival we’ll be met by the hotel staff and take a tractor ride to our accommodation, Sea Garden Cottages. Luggage will be collected from the airport and delivered to the cottages.

After settling in there’s time for an optional lunch at the Ruin Beach Cafe, before our afternoon walk.

Our first walk of the holiday takes us on an exploration of some of the local beaches abundant with flora and fauna.

Walking: easy – mainly flat, distance: 1- 2 miles, time: 2 hours.

Welcome reception at 7pm followed by dinner in the Ruin Beach Cafe.

Overnight Sea Garden Cottages

Protea Flowers, Abbey Garden, Tresco

Day 3: Tuesday 25th April – Exploring Tresco and Abbey Gardens (BD)

After breakfast we’ll meet up to explore the island of Tresco, with its quiet lanes, beautiful beaches, cliff paths as well as Cromwell’s Castle and the ruins of King Charles’ Castle - scene of the last battle of the English Civil War. We’ll end our morning walk at the New Inn for an optional lunch.

In the afternoon there’s a visit to the famous Abbey Gardens to see the magnificent collection of rare and exotic plants from around the world, returning to Sea View Cottages for some free time before dinner.

Walking: easy, mostly flat along well defined paths, some elevation towards the castles, distance: 4 miles, time: 3 hours.

Dinner at the Ruin Beach Cafe.

Our guide Chris pointing out Bishops Rock Lighthouse eight miles away

Day 4: Wednesday 26th April – Guided Tour of Bryher (BD)

After breakfast we’ll walk to New Grimsby Harbour (depending on tides) for the boat to the neighbouring island of Bryher. Meeting up with local guide, Chris Potterton, for a guided walk around the island’s spectacular cliff paths.

Bryher is the smallest inhabited island, our visit here takes us to the more rugged northwest part of the island via Kitchen Porth, Hangman’s Island and Shipman Head. We'll call in at Hell Bay Hotel for an optional lunch and take a stroll around the peaceful bays to the south with their profusion of wild flowers, before making our way to Anneka’s Quay for the return boat to Tresco.

Walking: easy, some elevation in the northwest of the island, gently undulating, on beaches and grass, distance: 2-3 miles, time: 3 hours

Dinner at the Ruin Beach Cafe.

Beach, Bryher

Day 5: Thursday 27th April – St Agnes Coastal Walk (BD)

After breakfast we walk to New Grimsby Harbour (depending on tides) for the boat to St Agnes, the most south-westerly community in the British Isles. This lovely island of contrasts is just a mile wide with rocky outcrops, fields of flowers, sheltered coves and quaint cottages. Halfway into our morning’s walk is a most conveniently placed cafe perfect for morning coffee and home-made cakes.

We may be tempted to call at the Turks Head for optional lunch, and depending on the tides, we plan to cross the sand bar to the neighbouring island of Gugh. We continue back to the jetty for the boat back to Tresco.

Walking easy, mostly flat except for Gugh where there is a gentle hill, distance: 2-3 miles, time 3 hours.

Dinner at the Ruin Beach Cafe.

Day 6: Friday 28th April – Boat to St Mary’s - Return Flight to Land’s End (B)

It's time to go home. After breakfast we transfer by tractor to the jetty for the boat to St Mary's and return on the Skybus to Land's End. There is a shuttle bus from the airport to Penzance railway station for anyone travelling by rail.

Depart Tresco by boat for St Mary’s Harbour 09:30
Depart St Mary’s 11:00
Arrive Land’s End 11:15

B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner

Mount Haven Hotel, Marazion, 3*

A delightful boutique hotel, chosen for its closeness to Penzance and unique location overlooking Cornwall’s most famous landmark, St Michael’s Mount. The hotel enjoys a reputation for its relaxed and informal atmosphere with touches of luxury. Rooms are all different and furnished with sumptuous fabrics, fine Italian linen, luxury beds and ensuite bathrooms. It is one of only a small number of Cornwall’s hotels to have gained 2 AA Rosettes for its food. It’s one of Alex Polizzi's favourite hotels, and was named 'One of the World's Top 9 Secret Hotels' by CNN.

Sea Garden Cottages, Tresco, 5*

Guaranteed to exceed your expectations, these beautiful cottages provide luxurious accommodation with breathtaking sea views. Each cottage consists of a ground floor, with lounge, satellite TV, fully equipped kitchen and a delightful private patio garden and sitting out area. A staircase leads to the bedroom with a double/twin bed, ensuite bathroom and balcony with patio furniture and far reaching sea views including St Martin’s, Round Island and the Eastern Isles.

The cottage gardens stretch down towards the beach, and immediately behind the cottages is a tennis court, gymnasium, heated outdoor and indoor and swimming pools. We also enjoy membership of The Flying Boat Club which offers spa treatments and has a good indoor swimming pool, sauna, gymnasium and steam room.

Ruin Beach Café

Do not be misled by the name, this is a delightful restaurant next to a beautiful beach with attentive staff, top quality chefs and a decent wine cellar. It's where breakfast and dinner are served, only a stone’s throw away from the cottages. It offers a relaxed and informal ambiance with dining indoors or al fresco on the terrace directly overlooking the beach. A wood-fired oven produces pizzas, roasts and succulent fish, a local speciality.

Travel to Mount Haven Hotel is under your own arrangements, either by rail to Penzance or car. This delightful boutique hotel overlooks Cornwall’s most famous landmark, St Michael’s Mount. The Mount is accessible by causeway at low-tide. and well worth a visit. There is so much to see in this attractive part of Cornwall that you may like to arrive a day earlier.

The hotel's address is: Mount Haven Hotel, Turnpike Road, Marazion, Penzance TR17 0DQ

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