About the Isles of Scilly

Warmed by the Gulf Stream, buffeted by the Atlantic, relying on sea and air links with the mainland, the unique Isles of Scilly are a world apart. Populated by a friendly community of just over 2000 islanders, sub-tropical Scilly has a tranquillity and a quality of life long lost to less isolated places.

The perfect destination for a Cornwall day trip, short break or longer holiday. Sparkling white beaches, exotic plants, abundant wildlife, magnificent views, Civil War castles and prehistoric sites - all the treasures of the islands await you. There are five inhabited islands to choose from for your holiday base: St Mary's, Tresco, Bryher, St Martins and St Agnes.

The Isles of Scilly form an archipelago off the southwestern tip of the Cornish peninsula of Great Britain. Traditionally administered as part of the county of Cornwall, the islands have had a unitary authority council since 1890. The people of Scilly consider the terms "Scillies" and "Scilly Isles" to be incorrect. The islands are designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

St. Mary's is the largest island of the Isles of Scilly. The main town, Hugh Town, was sold to the inhabitants by the British crown in 1949. The rest of the island belongs to the Duchy of Cornwall. Other settlements on the island are Old Town, Porthloo, Holy Vale, Maypole, Rocky Hill and Telegraph. The island became the home of British Prime Minister Harold Wilson and his final resting place after his death in 1995.

The administrative centre of the Islands, and the main year-round transport link with the mainland, St Mary's is the largest of the islands, at two and a half miles by one and three-quarter miles. Only nine miles of narrow roads link St Mary's and these offer easy walking and cycling. Off the beaten track, we have many nature trails and coastal paths where you can discover the delights of our woodlands, heaths, wetlands, rocky headlands and sand-dunes thick with marram grasses and wild agapanthus flowers.

You'll find banks, shops, galleries, workshops, pubs, a museum, a variety of places to eat and a fleet of launches to take you to the other islands or on pleasure cruises. There are fascinating walks and spectacular views, a megalithic village and a heritage centre, sports facilities and safe bathing beaches. Further information can be found at www.islesofscilly-travel.co.uk

Tresco is the second largest island of the Isles of Scilly. A variety of scenery is found on the island, including rugged granite outcrops, heathland of the exposed north coast and mainly shell beaches in the east and south. The variety of its scenery and geomorphology is partly a result of the last ice age.

St Agnes is the southernmost populated island of the Isles of Scilly. St. Agnes joins the island of Gugh by a tombolo, a kind of sandbar, called the Gugh Bar, which is exposed only at low tide. The two islands together have the smallest population of the Scilly archipelago, with 73 residents recorded in the 2001 census. In earlier times many men from St Agnes earned a living as pilots, guiding transatlantic liners and other vessels through the English Channel.

Bryher is the smallest of the five inhabited islands of the Isles of Scilly. It is home to a population of just 83 and lies to the west of Tresco, and is separated from that island by the Tresco Channel, where sandflats are exposed at low tide. Off the southern end of Bryher is the uninhabited island of Samson. It is possible to walk between the three islands at particular times of the year.

Further information can be found at www.wikipedia.org

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