Isles of Scilly FAQs Answered
The Isles of Scilly are an incredible destination for a day trip or short break from Devon and Cornwall. With five islands to explore and plenty of activities, there’s something for everyone. If you’ve got any questions about travelling to the Scilly Isles, take a look at our frequently asked questions.
Isles of Scilly Travel Questions and Answers
Is the Scillonian III sailing tomorrow?
The Scillonian ferry service operates seasonally and does not sail all year round. It runs between Penzance and Hugh Town for about eight months only, from early spring (March/April) until autumn (October/November). During her months of operation, Scillonian III follows a regular timetable and you can check the schedule if you want to see when the next crossing will take place.
The ferry normally sails six days a week from Monday to Saturday, typically leaving Penzance at 09:15 am and arriving in Hugh Town around 12:00 noon, which means a sailing time of approximately 2 hours 45 minutes.
How much is the ferry to Isles of Scilly?
The Scillonian III ferry offers a day trip fare of £35/£48 for adults, £17.50/£24 for children and £10/£16 for infants. There are also flexible tickets that can be purchased by paying a non-refundable surcharge of £7.50 per adult.
How long does the Isles of Scilly Skybus take?
Skybus is our fastest service flying to and from the Isles of Scilly, and the only year-round service to and from Land’s End. The journey takes just 20 minutes from Land’s End Airport to St. Mary’s, 30 minutes from Newquay Airport, and from Exeter it’s an hour.
Is Scillonian III sailing today?
For all travel updates, please take a look at the travel updates page, or follow @IOSTravelupdate on Twitter.
How long does a trip aboard Scillonian III take?
The Scillonian ferry takes around 2 hours and 45 minutes from Penzance to St Mary’s.
Where is Scillonian III now?
You can track the Scillonian III on the Marine Vessel Traffic website.
Can you take bicycles on Scillonian III?
Yes, you can bring your own bicycle on the Scillonian III passenger ferry. This can be done online when you make your booking. Our Plan Your Trip page gives more information on excess luggage and fares for bikes.
Where are the Isles of Scilly?
The Isles of Scilly is an archipelago off the southwestern tip of Cornwall, England. One of the islands, St Agnes, is the most southerly point in Britain, being over four miles (six kilometres) further south than the most southerly point of the British mainland at Lizard Point.
Where can I stay on the Isles of Scilly?
There are plenty of hotels, B&Bs, camping and self-catering accommodation options on the Isles of Scilly. You can browse accommodation on the islands or at your destination point if you’re planning a day trip or twin centre break to the Isles of Scilly.
How many islands make up the Isles of Scilly?
The Isles of Scilly form an archipelago of five inhabited islands (six if Gugh is counted separately from St Agnes) and numerous other small rocky islets (around 140 in total) lying 45 km (28 mi) off Land’s End.
What is there to do on the Isles of Scilly?
Whether you want to relax or explore, there’s plenty to do on the Isles of Scilly. You can take a look at our suggested itineraries for inspiration.
Explore your way: With hiking trails, horseback riding, cycle and water sports equipment hire, you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to exploring the islands.
Beaches: The Isles of Scilly have been blessed with some of the most beautiful sands in the world, making a trip to the beach an absolute must-do. You can bathe or paddle in the crystal-clear waters, take in the beauty of the coast by walking along a trail or soak it all up from a beach bar or cafe.
Tresco Abbey Gardens: Tresco Abbey Gardens is a sub-tropical paradise boasting a stunning collection of plants from around the world. The gardens are home to over 20,000 plants from more than 80 countries.
Wildlife Cruise: Take a wildlife cruise around the islands and spot puffins, seals and dolphins. The Isles of Scilly is also a great place to spot rare birds and an increasing number of whales are being spotted in the waters.
Historic Sites: Visit historic sites such as The Old Man of Gugh.
Birdwatching: Birdwatching is a popular activity on the Isles of Scilly. You can spot puffins, gannets, shearwaters and more.
Uninhabited Islands: Visit deserted islands such as Samson.
Island Hopping: Everyone has their favourite island, but you’ll have to visit them all to decide which is yours!
Are the Isles of Scilly part of the UK?
Yes, the Isles of Scilly are part of the United Kingdom. They are located off the southwestern tip of the Cornish peninsula of Great Britain in the Atlantic Ocean, which makes them ideally located for a day trip from Devon or Cornwall.
Can you drive on the Isles of Scilly?
While driving is technically permitted on the Isles of Scilly, you can’t take your vehicle there when you go on holiday. There are very few cars on St Mary’s (the largest island) and they belong to the residents. The other inhabited islands have virtually no vehicles other than a few farm vehicles/pickup trucks. If you want a convenient way to get around, you can hire a golf buggy.
Can you take a caravan to the Isles of Scilly?
You cannot take a caravan onto the Isles of Scilly, for the same reasons you cannot take a car. The size of the islands and the transport between them means caravans and motorhomes are simply too large to transport and could cause congestion on the islands over the holiday periods. However, there are plenty of great campsites on the islands where you can camp.
What is the population of the Isles of Scilly?
The population of the Isles of Scilly is approximately 2,300 people as of 2023.
How do I get to the Isles of Scilly?
There are several ways to get to the Isles of Scilly and we offer options to fly or sail. Skybus flies from Exeter, Newquay and Land’s End airports, and Scillonian III ferry sails from Penzance. You can mix and match your trip, flying to the islands and sailing back with our Fly + Sail option.
How much is the ferry to the Isles of Scilly?
The cost of the ferry from Penzance to St Mary’s is currently from £76.25 for a standard single ticket for an adult and from £42.75 for a child. You can check our up-to-date fares page for more information.
How far are the Isles of Scilly from Penzance?
The distance between Penzance and Isles of Scilly is approximately 36 miles. The crossing from Penzance to St Mary’s takes around 2 hours and 45 minutes by ferry and as little as 20 minutes by Skybus.
How can I fly to the Isles of Scilly?
You can fly to the Isles of Scilly year-round from Land’s End, Newquay or Exeter. There are also connecting flights available to get you to these departure points, or scenic rail connections from London to Penzance.
How do I get the ferry to the Isles of Scilly?
You can take the passenger ferry service from Penzance harbour in Cornwall on the southwest of England to St Mary’s harbour on the west side St Mary’s Island on the Isles of Scilly. The ferry service operated by Isles of Scilly Travel and was formed in 1920 with the sole purpose of securing a regular shipping line between mainland England and the Isles of Scilly. The ferry journey takes about 2 hours 45 minutes.
How do I get to the Isles of Scilly from Cornwall?
There are several direct routes from Cornwall to the Isles of Scilly. You can take the Scillonian III passenger ferry from Penzance harbour in Cornwall to St Mary’s Island on the Isles of Scilly. You can also fly from Land’s End Airport or Newquay on Skybus to St Mary’s.
How do I get to the Isles of Scilly from London?
You can take a train from London Paddington to Exeter St David’s and then fly from Exeter (EXT) to Scilly Isles (ISC). The journey takes about 4 hours 22 minutes. You can also take the train to Penzance and book our bus transfer from Penzance train station to Land’s End Airport and fly from there (bus times must be booked in advance and are timed with Skybus departure schedule).
Alternatively, you can take a train from London to Penzance and then take the ferry to the Isles of Scilly. The ferry journey takes about 2 hours 45 minutes.
You can also fly from London to Newquay and then fly on to the Isles of Scilly, or make your way down to Penzance to cross by ferry.
Do you need a passport to go to Isles of Scilly?
No, you do not need a passport to travel to the Isles of Scilly. You don’t need any form of ID to travel on Scillonian III. However you will need some form of photographic identification if you’re flying to the islands, just as you would for a domestic UK flight. This can be a passport; new style driving licence or bus pass with a photograph on. Our airport security page lists all accepted documents.