Although the smallest inhabited island, there’s plenty to see and do on Bryher. Bryher is probably most well known for it's contrasting coastlines and being the setting to the Michael Morpurgo novel 'Why the Whales Came'. This walk covers the breadth of the island and is perfectly achievable in one day.
Walk the coast
Food and drink
Skybus, Scillonian and Island Helicopters
Travel to the Isles of Scilly by Skybus or Island Helicopters. Fly Scilly and enjoy up to 8 glorious hours on the islands, Skybus or Island Helicopters day trips allows you to make the most of your time on the islands. Flying from Land’s End only takes 15 minutes. On arrival you’ll be greeted by Paulger’s Transport who will take you to the quay to meet your connecting island boat. Check the chalkboards on the quay for which boat to get and times of departure.
Starting from your landing point, either Anna quay or Church Quay or on days of very low tide, the drop off may be at Rushy Bay. Head through the town to the left of the island and up Samson Hill, those familiar with the book Why the Whales came will reminisce of the famous story here. As you follow the path along the outside of the coast, it’s hard to get lost, a stop at Hell Bay Hotel and Great Pool are a must. Then for the dramatic views and rocky outcrops you’ll meet Shipman Head, continue your venture to Watch Hill for one of the finest views of the entire archipelago.
Pack a picnic from St. Mary’s, there’s a deli in town or on Bryher, there’s Bryher Stores which sells fabulous home-made produce. Look out for Veronica’s Farm fudge sold in an honesty stall on the road side for a sweet treat. You can enjoy a picnic at many of the places on our suggested route but one of our favourites is looking from Shipman Head across the channel to Tresco, it’s often very sheltered and a great sun trap.
Bring a towel and enjoy a refreshing dip at Rushy Bay. The artist Richard Pearce has a wonderful studio just above the bay of Great Par. Look out for seals who are often spotted from Gweal Hill.
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.