Day Trip to the Isles of Scilly

If you are staying at a holiday cottage in St Ives or West Cornwall, we can highly recommend a day trip to the Isles of Scilly. It really couldn't be easier!


The flights leave Land’s End airport (which in itself is simply perfect by having short queues, plenty of seating, a wood burner for the chillier days, a coffee shop with delicious cakes and a choice of books to browse) and you are in the air for no more than 20 minutes. There is the Twin Otter which is the slightly larger plane (19 seats) and can carry dogs in a crate or there is the smaller Islander that has just 8 seats. For more information, click here.


Penzance Helicopters fly to St Mary’s and Tresco and it takes a mere 15 minutes! With ample parking to leave your car for the day, you will depart from their newly built terminal on the outskirts of Penzance where you will take off and skirt past St Michael’s Mount getting higher to take in the enormous beauty of the West Cornwall coastline to then see the Isles of Scilly isles shimmering on the horizon. For more information on prices and helicopter flights, click here.


Not the best option for those that don’t have much time or get seasick! But perfect for those with strong stomachs and who want to enjoy the journey across the short expanse of sea and who have a budget to meet. The crossing from Penzance to St. Mary’s takes approximately 2hrs and 45 minutes, so ample time to soak up the unique perspective of some of Cornwall’s most iconic coastline. You will travel in comfy, reclining seats and can enjoy food and drink from their onboard café, Western Rocks Coffee Co, serving hot and cold drinks and snacks. Dogs are welcome in most areas of the ship but you are asked to keep them on a lead and to the designated areas. For more information on the boat facilities and timetable, click here.

A day trip to Tresco

On the day we travelled to Tresco, our flight took 18 minutes and the views from above were nothing short of breath-taking. You land on St Mary’s where you are met by pre-organised private transport or by an Isles of Scilly travel mini bus driver (who meets every flight in readiness for potential passengers) who will take you short drive down onto St Mary’s harbour front.

From there you have a choice of which Island to visit – or if you have time, why not do all of them! Check out this link for a choice of boat trips to help with your island hopping!

We chose Tresco and a fast boat nipped us over to the island with its crystal clear water offering blends of turquoise, azure and dark blue against a back drop of the finest white sand. We were dropped off at Carn Near Quay where a paved path leads you towards the Abbey Gardens. Pick up a map on the way and see how easy it is to explore the entire island in a day and have time for a spot of lunch and retail therapy! Our walk took in Abbey Drive which meanders past Tresco Abbey onto New Grimsby Quay where the New Inn can offer refreshments as well as a well stocked convenience store. We then crossed the island to reach Old Grimsby Quay where we lunched at Ruin Beach  Cafe. After lunch we walked the coastal path around the top of the island to take in the spectacular views from the higher ground of King Charles’ Castle ruins onto Cromwell’s Castle. Then back via the coastal path where we were collected from New Grimsby Quay. You feel like you can almost touch Bryher which is a very short boat ride from Tresco and, we were told by the locals, is a more peaceful retreat which is exceptionally dog-friendly.

We were picked up as promised at a given time and taken back to the airport where we had enough time for a welcome cup of tea and a read of the Tresco  Times before cruising at 1000ft across 28 miles of sea back to Land’s End.

For a good reference guide for the Isles of Scilly, click here

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