St Agnes is the very tip of the British Isles. To the south west, there’s nothing but Bishop Rock Lighthouse, three thousand miles of ocean and, beyond that, North America. As you’d expect, it’s unspoiled, and a little untamed – with mysterious, Bronze Age archaeology, and rare bird species brought in on the Atlantic currents. There's all sorts of treasure to be found on this wild island, read our guide for a chance to find yours.
Couples and families
Treasure hunting on St. Agnes
Food and drink
Skybus or Fly + Sail
Fly out, sail back, enjoy the best of both worlds
The best of both worlds fly out on Island Helicopters or Skybus, then sail back aboard Scillonian III. 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. On arrival to St Mary’s, catch a taxi to the quay and jump on the tripper boat to St Agnes.
On St. Agnes, there’s Beady Pool beach on the southern shores, 400 years ago a ship was wrecked on the rocks, sending its cargo of Venetian glass and ceramic beads to the bottom of the sea. Ever since, these tiny treasures have been washing up on the shore of Beady Pool and are on every visitor’s treasure trove list. Further along the southern coast is Troytown Maze, the maze is made up of a spiral of stones arranged on a grassy mound and is said to have been there since 1729.
Picnic stop and ice cream treats
You’ll probably want to bring a picnic as this route takes you away from the restaurants and pub, there’s the village shop in Middle town. Pick up a picnic to enjoy on your route. For a treat, a stop at Troytown Farm for the islands famous ice cream is a must.
Seeing the Islands history
If history is your thing head to the island of St. Agnes and Gugh. On Gugh, you’ll find Obadiah’s Barrow a nine-foot granite menhir called Old Man Gugh, he’s been standing there since the stone age! The kids will love the mazes at Troytown and looking for treasure on the beaches or Periglis Bay is a lovely sheltered bay for a rest stop.
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.