Isles of Scilly
by Kelly Felstead / 2019-05-28 14:46:21
Travel experts Beth and Emma spent two days exploring the stunning Isles of Scilly. They reveal their top tips for visiting this UK destination.
What are the key highlights from your trip to the Isles of Scilly?
We flew from Land’s Airport on a small, eight-seater islander plane, operated by Skybus, which took 15 minutes. It was a fantastic experience to fly on this type of aircraft, and the views from the plane when coming into St Mary’s Airport are truly breathtaking.
Another highlight was visiting St Martin’s and Tresco from St Mary’s. These islands are around 20 minutes from St Mary’s by boat - it’s a fun way to get to there. The islands are so peaceful and you really feel like you have escaped the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
What piece of advice would you give to agents to help them sell this destination?
Buy tickets for the boat trips to the other Islands from your Hotel or one of the local shops, as this will save them queueing for tickets at the dock - it can get very busy.
From your experience, what top three items should a client not travel without when visiting the Isles of Scilly?
- Take a good pair of comfortable walking shoes as you will spend a lot of time exploring all of the different Islands by foot.
- There are some magnificent views from the different Islands so a good camera is essential. Binoculars are also recommended, as the islands are great for bird watching. If you are very lucky, you may even spot a seal or dolphin.
- The locals told us that the sun is stronger in the Isles of Scilly so take some sun cream to avoid getting burnt.
Which three must-do excursions/side trips do you recommend?
Island hopping is necessary in the Isles of Scilly. You could definitely spend a day on each island exploring.
St Martin’s – This island is home to seal snorkelling on Scilly. It has some great eateries, a working vineyard and many other little local businesses. The sea is turquoise and the sand is white with specks of glitter, making you feel like you are in the Caribbean.
Tresco – The biggest attraction here is the Tresco Abbey Garden, a collection of 20,000 plants from 80 countries. You can spot golden pheasants and red squirrels too. In the north, you will find historical sites such as Cromwell’s Castle.
Spend a day in St Mary’s - Explore Hugh town, which is the hub of the islands and boasts lots of independent shops, places to eat and galleries. About 20 minutes away is the old town with even more cafes and shops. St Mary’s is a great place to try water-based activities. The sailing centre offers guided sessions in sailing, kayaking and paddle boarding. You can also do coasteering, deep-sea fishing and guided sea swims.
Other islands you can visit include Bryher and St Agnes.
What are your top tips for visiting the destination?
- Definitely make sure to do some island hopping as each island has something different to offer.
- Book early - availability goes very quickly. The most popular times to travel are May, June and September, and most people book very far in advance. All hotels are open until the end of October and are not as busy as the summer months. It’s also the best time to go bird watching.
- Don’t be put off by the summer school holidays as families will often opt for the self-catering option, leaving good hotel availability in August.
Here is Beth back at HQ sharing her experiences on video.