St. Mary’s


St. Mary’s

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 – along with plenty to do indoors – there’s always something new to try.

But then, why limit yourself to just the one island? St. Mary’s Quay is the hub for Scilly’s inter-island boats, so it’s easy to sample another for a day, or even a couple of hours. Simply stroll down to the quayside, look for the chalk boards, and choose your adventure.


Take a boat trip

Discover all the islands, or go in search of puffins and seals

Walk the Coast

Explore the islands by foot

Taste the local wine

At a Holy Vale vineyard tour

Golf with a view

Play England’s first and last course, but don’t let the scenery distract you from your swing

Explore on two wheels

Riding around the island is quick and easy


Welcome to the metropolis

On the Isles of Scilly, eight out of ten people live on St. Mary’s – and Hugh Town is the main centre for all the local services. This is where you’ll find most of the shops, the bank, and the boats on to other islands. Especially if you arrive aboard Scillonian, it’s where you’ll arrive.

But even here, you’ll notice the pace of life here is different; more relaxed. From the moment you stand on the quayside, you can start to feel the pressures of everyday life start to melt, just a little. You might only have come 28 miles, but it feels like another world.

Things to see and do


The Isles of Scilly Museum

Our own team voted this the islands’ best way to spend a rainy day. The museum is full of curiosities, pictures and finds from shipwrecks, giving you a glimpse of daily life on Scilly from Roman times to the present day. It’s open all year round. Church Street, Hugh Town, St. Mary’s 01720 422337

Holy Vale Vineyard tour

Nestling in the middle of the island, St. Mary’s own vineyard and winery opens its doors from April until September for tours, lobster lunches… and wine tasting, of course. It’s a good idea to book in advance. Holy Vale, St. Mary’s 01720 420317

Hire a golf buggy

If walking and cycling seem a bit energetic, a golf buggy is a fun, 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. The Scilly Cart Co, Porthmellon 01720 422121

Kings of the castle

Parents with young children need no introduction to soft play as an all-weather lifesaver. In Old Town, Kings of the Castle is suitable for children up to eight, with a multi-level play frame, ball pool, baby and toddler area and café. Old Town, St. Mary’s 07981 133210

The Island Rover guided bus tour

In just 75 minutes, the Island Rover will introduce you to the highlights of St. Mary’s – with a full commentary, giving you a local’s perspective. There’s no booking necessary; just meet at Holgate’s Green at 10:15 am or 1:30 pm, from Monday to Saturday. Holgate’s Green, St. Mary’s 01720 422131 Note: the tour is not suitable for children under five.

Go island hopping

Every visitor to Scilly finds their own favourite island – and exploring them couldn’t be easier. Look out for the chalk boards on the quayside with the sailing times to another island, or book a round trip to see the sights and wildlife. St. Mary’s Boatmen’s Association 01720 423999
Art and craft

Phoenix craft workshops

Every weekday afternoon, the popular Phoenix craft studios give you a chance to try your hand at a craft – it might be stained glass painting, lino printing, jewellery making or painting. The workshops are very popular with children, but everyone’s welcome; call to book a day in advance. Porthmellon Business Park, St. Mary’s 01720 422900

Play the most south-westerly course

St. Mary’s golf course, at the Isles of Scilly Golf Club, is a challenging, 5,942-yard beauty. But be warned, the panoramic sea views across to other islands could well distract you from your swing. There are drinks and home-cooked food at the clubhouse, too. Carn Morval, St. Mary's 01720 422692

Take a ride around the island

With largely traffic-free roads and gentle slopes, the Isles of Scilly are perfect for exploring under pedal power. Even on the larger islands, it’s quick and easy to take a leisurely ride around. There’s a choice of bikes for hire – and they can be delivered to other islands for longer bookings. St. Mary’s Bike Hire, Porthmellon Business Park 07796 638506 (Open March-October) Book a Bike on Scilly, Kimmeridge, St. Mary’s 01720 422661

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 & historian: Dr Katharine Sawyer 01720 423326 (April-October)

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 01720 422060 Raven’s Porth, Tresco (July & August only) 01720 424919

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

The official guide to The Islands

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With so many ways to spend your day, it’s no wonder so many people making a day trip to Scilly choose to simply explore St. Mary’s. There’s ample time to explore Hugh Town, take a short walk or ride, or even venture out to the deserted beaches towards the island’s north.

Find out more about Day Trips

Beaches for all the family

With so many beaches to choose from, you’re sure to find the perfect setting for some lifelong family memories.

Bring your best friend

Taking your dog to St. Mary’s couldn’t be easier – with easy transport, dog-friendly accommodation, and miles of walkies for both of you.

Happy children, guaranteed

Ice creams, exploring, cycling and watersports – and plenty to do if it rains – you won’t hear “I’m bored” for your entire stay.

Walks to suit you

From the Garrison on the edge of town, to circling the whole island, every walk on St. Mary’s will reward you with peace, nature and breathtaking island views.

Get away together

Just a short flight or boat crossing away, St. Mary’s is quick and easy to get to – and the perfect place to leave the world behind, and reconnect.


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