Tour St. Mary’s on foot

St. Mary’s is criss-crossed by 30 miles of nature trails, paths and other walking routes. Local experts offer guided tours of the island’s abundant nature, archaeology and bird life – while the Tourist Information Centre on Porthcressa Beach can give you maps, guides and friendly advice. Ornithologist and naturalist: Will Wagstaff 01720 422212 (March-October) Archaeologist…

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Sailing, kayaking, windsurfing and more

Clear waters and sheltered bays make Scilly an ideal place to learn to sail, windsurf or stand-up paddle board. The Isles of Scilly Sailing Centre provides tuition and taster sessions – as well as hire, if you’re more experienced, or simply want to kayak across to a deserted island of your own. Porthmellon, St. Mary’s…

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Head out on horseback

If you’ve ever dreamed of riding across a white, island beach, this is your chance. St. Mary’s Riding Centre is approved by the British Horse Society, with friendly instructors and horses to suit beginners and experienced equestrians alike. Maypole, St. Mary’s 01720 423855

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Gallery Tresco

Overlooking New Grimsby harbour, Tresco’s gallery is deceptively large; it’s easy to enjoy an hour lost among works of art from and inspired by the islands and nearby Cornwall. The gallery is open all year round, but it’s wise to call and confirm times. New Grimsby, Tresco 01720 424925

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Explore the Abbey Garden

As well as its world-famous plant collection, the Abbey Garden’s walled network of pathways and sculptures means there’s a surprise around every corner. You don’t have to be an avid gardener yourself – or even a grown-up – to appreciate the sheer variety of sights, textures and aromas. There’s even a museum of shipwrecked figureheads.…

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460 years of military history

Many of Tresco’s historic monuments hint at the islands’ strategic importance. Some date to the English Civil War – with forts named for both Cromwell and King Charles – and earlier still, with 16th century defences against potential French and Spanish invasion. More recently, a sea plane base at New Grimsby protected First World War…

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Boat, dinghy and kayak adventures

Tresco is the perfect gateway to many of the Isles of Scilly’s uninhabited islands and deserted coves. Hire a boat or kayak from the Sailing Centre beside Ruin Beach Café, and with luck you could have Teän or St. Helen’s – arguably Scilly’s finest panoramic view – completely to yourself. You may even find yourself…

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Walk around the island

If you really want to get to know Tresco intimately, it’s perfectly possible to walk all the way around the island’s coast in a few hours. Or, if you’d like a guide, there are a great selection of organised wildlife walks and local experts who can offer a guided tour, pointing out local nature and…

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Hire a bike… or a golf buggy

For some, walking feels a little slow. That’s no problem: bicycles are available to hire on the island, giving you a much faster way to explore Tresco, in a virtually traffic-free environment. Or if that seems a touch strenuous, opt for one of the island’s golf buggies; it’s great fun. Contact the Flying boat club,…

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Wildlife adventure

The rugged Eastern Isles – with their puffins and seals – are only a short paddle away, as are the deserted beaches of uninhabited islands like Samson. Or perhaps you prefer to stay close to St. Martin’s, and explore the islands’ own coves and inlets. Contact: 07925 762856

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Dive school and snorkelling with seals

The clear waters around Scilly present some of the finest diving in the world – with an abundance of sea life and historic wrecks. The dive school on St. Martin’s offer charters, beginners’ taster dives – and, uniquely, an award-winning experience, snorkelling with wild seals. Be sure to book in good time. Higher Town, St.…

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Fay Page Jewellery: open studio

Fay’s distinctive jewellery is inspired by Scilly – and, sometimes, even modelled on finds from the islands’ beaches; each piece has its own story. Her studio is open to visitors, from Monday to Saturday, and is a fascinating visit – but be prepared to want something… Ashvale, St. Martin’s 01720 423017

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