In the summer, Bryher may look more like heaven – with Atlantic waves lapping the edges of the cove, and sandy beaches fringing the grass and wild flowers. But come here in a storm, when the breakers sweep in from the ocean and meet the first land for two thousand miles, and you’ll see Hell Bay is aptly named. And it’s one of the contrasts that makes Bryher so unique.
Couples and families
Food and drink
Pub or cafe lunch
Skybus/Island Helicopters Fly + Sail
Fly out, sail back, enjoy the best of both worlds
The best of both worlds, fly out, then sail back. Flying lets you spend more time on the islands and sailing back to Penzance is a relaxed way to end your day. It couldn’t be easier. Simply park in Penzance – or arrive by train – and meet our perfectly-timed transfer to your outward flight. And when you get back to the mainland, you’re already in the right place to continue your journey home.
Paddle the bays
Take a boat from St. Mary’s quay, this is an adventure in itself; the journey takes around 20 minutes with boats departing at 10:15. You’ll have a couple of hours to explore the island and one of the best ways to see Bryher in all it’s glory is from the water. On Green Bay just near Church Quay is Bennetts Boatyard and a watersports centre. Hire a kayak or stand up paddle board, working up an appetite for lunch.
Traditional pub lunch with a view
On Bryher, there’s Fraggle Rock Bar. Simple and uncomplicated, the atmosphere is relaxed and the menu ample. Stop by for a traditional Cornish beer and views across the Tresco channel. Or try the Vine café. This quaint little café is a 5-minute walk from the quay, the atmosphere is often described as like stepping back in time. The food is simple and all home-baked, it’s a great venue for home cooking in a cosy setting.
Calm waters and fine cuisine
The calm waters are perfect for beginners to try their hand at watersports and the shallows are ideal for paddling in. Fraggle Rock bar is well known and even referred to by Jamie Oliver as the 'place to be'. On days of low spring tide, it’s possible to walk between the neighbouring island of Tresco and Bryher.
Horse riding on the beach- St. Mary's
Trotting across white sands, cantering along bridal paths and splashing in the bays – travelling on horseback is a wonderful way to experience the incredible coastal scenery around St Mary’s. And with the stables just a couple of miles from both the airport and the harbour, horse riding is the ideal activity if you’ve just arrived.
Tresco is the second largest inhabited island on Scilly and whilst it's home to the sub-tropical gardens, un-spoilt beaches and fine food it's also full of walking routes, ancient monuments and historic castles. Cromwell's Castle stands tall guarding the channel between Bryher and Tresco, it was built between 1548- 1550 and is one of the few surviving Cromwellian fortifications in Britain. Read on to find out more.
To the east of St. Agnes, across the narrow channel by the Turk's Head, you'll see the mysterious island of Gugh. But here's another secret; wait for low tide, and a sand bar appears... you can simply walk across, and explore to your hearts content. There's more information below.
Bryher is a small elongated island and like all of the other islands on Scilly, has it's own special charm. It's contrasted by the sheltered channel between Tresco and Bryher with several sheltered beaches and coves, the other side is the wild and rugged Shipman’s Head renown for its big seas and exposed cliffs. As Scilly’s smallest inhabited island, walking around Bryher is easy and accessible for most people.
If walking and cycling seem a bit energetic, a golf buggy is a fun and easy way to explore the island in comfort. It’s something out of the ordinary for the whole family – and up to eight can ride – but be aware there are age limits on who can drive. What better way to see the best of St. Mary's then touring the sights in a golf buggy.
On St. Mary’s, you’ll be as close as the Isles of Scilly get to being busy. With beaches, shopping, countryside paths and coastal trails and with largely traffic-free roads and gentle slopes, the Isles of Scilly are perfect for exploring under pedal power.
St. Mary’s is criss-crossed by 30 miles of nature trails, paths and other walking routes. To see a snapshot of St. Mary’s, this walk will take you through tracks, lanes, woodland and across beaches. Read on for the full itinerary.
A visit to Scilly is not complete without appreciating the amazing flora and fauna, although this can be seen across the islands the best place to view thousands of tropical species is at the Tresco Abbey Gardens on Tresco island. The 19th century garden is home to some 20,000 sub-tropical plants.
Like anywhere on the Isles of Scilly, Tresco also has its share of beaches, panoramas and secluded spots. Pentle Bay is especially peaceful, the rugged north-east coast boasts historic forts named for both sides of the English Civil War. It’s possible to walk the length of Tresco in a few hours, read on for our guide to explore the cosmopolitan island.
For nature lovers and water enthusiasts it doesn’t get any better than snorkelling with seals in their natural environment. Head to the island of St. Martin’s, and you'll find the Scilly Seal Snorkelling Co who offer excursions to the Eastern Isles to swim with the seals and make memories to cherish for a lifetime. This trip is suitable for families from age 8 upward and couples.