There is something for everyone on Scilly.
Whether you’re looking for a relaxing holiday with days spent on the beach, visiting many of the inhabited and uninhabited islands, wildlife spotting or for those more adventurous, there are plenty of public houses to grab a glass of whatever you fancy.
Below are just a few ideas to capture your imagination, however if you have something specific in mind or would like further ideas before or during your stay, please don’t hesitate to ask. We’d also recommend visiting www.visitislesofscilly.com where you’ll find plenty of information on the Isles of Scilly and what it has to offer. Below are just some of my personal favorites!
There are some short walks that you might like to do on the day of your arrival.
Head back to town and turn left at the Pharmacy towards ‘Star Castle’. This is a circular walk from which at some point you will see all of the Islands – can you name each of the ones you see?
From the apartment, take the first left after the Bell Rock on to Porthcessa and then take the footpath on the left to the coast path. When you reach the top you can turn left down Edwards Road and left again into Church Street.
For a longer walk you can go as far as Old Town and then turn left to go back to Church Road and then Church Street.
It is worth buying a guide, which you can pick up from many locations around the island, which contains maps and walks.
For a day walk, the walk around St Mary’s is lovely, stopping off at one of the many cafes on the way round.
The Isles of Scilly is made up of five inhabited islands. St Mary’s is the main island (and the one that you’re staying on), but it’s worth taking one of the tripper boats to any of the other islands. The other four inhabited islands are Tresco, Bryher, St Agnes and St Martins plus there are countless uninhabited islands which the boats can take you too. Each island is very different, so it’s worth planning where you want to go, and what you want to see. Look out for the St Mary’s Boatmans Association notice board, which can be found at the end of St Mary’s harbour quay, and publishes the daily boat trips to the various islands and the times. These can change each day dependant on the weather and tides, but are usually updated by 8am. Doing a little research on each of the off-islands before you arrive on Scilly will give you an idea of where you might want to visit.
Cafés and Restaurants
There are lots of cafes and restaurants on St Mary’s and many of the other four inhabited islands to enjoy. Below are just a few of my favourites.
Places for Breakfast (St Mary's)
Dibble and Grub, located on Porthcressa beach is the place I’ll always be found for breakfast and is a firm favourite! Located to the back of the apartment, and just 1 minutes’ walk away, it has spectacular views over the cove of Porthcressa and out to sea. The food cooked by Button and her team is simply brilliant, and is all freshly cooked. Many breakfast’s and then flowed seamlessly into lunch (usually accompanied by the fabulous cocktails here as well)!
Kavorna Café & Bistro, located on Hugh Street in the heart of Hugh Town is just a 5 minute walk from the apartment. It serves a great breakfast menu, but is also available for lunch and supper. It’s also conveniently on the way to the quay, if you’re heading onto one of the tripper boats.
On the Quay Café, located actually on the quay is a new café opened in 2018. I’ve visited a couple of times, and it’s very convenient if you’re heading onto one of the tripper boats to grab a quick pastry and a hot beverage for a light take away breakfast.
Places for Lunch (St Mary's)
A firm favourite for lunch has to be Juliet’s Garden, located just up from Porthmellon Beach and about a 15/20 minute walk from the apartment or a quick 5 minute taxi ride. Juliet and her team serve some simply spectacular lunch (and increasingly supper as well) menus, including traditional sandwiches, salads and bistro type offerings. The views across St Mary’s harbour and beyond to Samson are breath taking and on a sunny day, you’ll find yourself staying for a while!
The Atlantic Inn is a pub, restaurant and hotel located on Hugh Street in the heart of Hugh Town. The lunch is traditional pub grub, and beautifully prepared and served by the team. I would recommend (if the weather is warm and sunny), heading out the back and up the stairs to the roof terrace, to enjoy the views over the harbour.
Tregarthen’s Hotel is located at the far end of Hugh Street, heading up towards Star Castle and very close to the quay. It serves good quality lunches, and if warm and sunny, I’d recommend sitting outside and soaking up the atmosphere.
Places for Lunch (Off Island)
Tresco – The Ruin Beach Café located on the far side of the island. A beautiful location right on the beach, overlooking the sea and has some fantastic lunch and dinner menus. The seafood platter is a particular favourite of mine, but is more than enough for two people with a large appetite!
St Agnes – The Turks Head, which is the first pub you come to when you arrive by boat onto the quay. Located just up from the quay with beautiful views back over towards St Mary’s and the other islands. Traditional pub grub, served freshly. Also highly recommended for Supper on one of the supper boats.
St Martin’s – Karma Hotel. A fabulous location on the golden sandy beach of St Martin’s. This restaurant can be enjoyed for lunch or supper. I very recently enjoyed lunch here, and was simply blown away by the good value and very high quality of the menu and food.
Bryher – Hell Bay Hotel. About a 15 minute walk from the quay that you’ll land on by boat, Hell Bay is located on the other side of this small island. It does some fantastic sea food, as well as many other traditional dishes to enjoy as you look out to the rugged island of Bryher and the Atlantic ocean beyond.
Places for Dinner (St Mary's)
St Mary’s Hall, located just up the road from the apartment. If you come out of the apartment and turn right, it’s just at the end of Church Street on the left. A fabulous menu with great food, and wonderful service. I’ve eaten in St Mary’s Hall many times, and never had a bad meal!
Star Castle Hotel, located near the Garrison walls, up from the main harbour on St Mary’s is exquisite. If you’re looking for fine dining, and fine wines, this is the place to go and is arguably the best restaurant on the Isles of Scilly. Whilst it’s more expensive than most, it’s worth every penny, particularly for a special occasion.
The Beach, located on Porthmellon beach and new in 2018 is a wonderful restaurant located right on Porthmellon beach. There is simply no better place to watch the sunset, as it sinks between the ‘two humps’ of Samson and offers breath taking views in the evening. I had the pleasure of eating here on my most recent visit to Scilly and will continue to go back. It’s having great reviews, and well worth a visit.
Also take a look at the places we’ve suggested for lunch, as many offer supper menu’s and are very worth visiting in the evening.
All of the recommendations above are made from personal experience and are in no way endorsements for the businesses concerned. Equally, we have no financial or other connection with these businesses, other than enjoying their offerings. If you visit anywhere else that you feel would be worth other guests visiting, please let me know and we’ll include them above.