The Isles of Scilly lie 28 miles from Lands End - the most South-Westerly point of the UK. Accessible by Sea or Air.
It comprises 150 islands, A combined population of about 2000, and many smaller uninhabited islands and rocky islets. five of which are in habited.
The islands' position produces a place of great contrast - the ameliorating effect of the sea means it rarely has frost or snow, which allows local farmers to grow flowers well ahead of those on mainland Britain while the exposure to the Atlantic winds means spectacular winter gales lash the islands from time to time. This is reflected in the landscape, most clearly seen on Tresco where the lush Sub-Tropical Abbey Gardens on the sheltered Southern end of the island contrast with the low heather and bare rock sculpted by the wind on the exposed Northern end.
St Mary's is the largest and boasts a variety of landscapes ranging from woodlands, heaths and wetlands to rocky headlands and sand dunes.
The islands' humid climate and clear waters mean that they are home to a huge variety of rare plants and flowers not seen on the UK's mainland.
The exposed fringes of the Islands include Samson, which is no longer inhabited, but its twin hills are a major landmark.
Boat trips provide visitors with an opportunity to see the islands' wildlife at first hand including puffins, Atlantic seals and hundreds of varieties of sea birds.
Tresco is the second largest of the Islands, with an amazing variety of scenery, from the wild and wind-swept North, to the sub-tropical Abbey Gardens and numerous sandy beaches to the South. There are no public vehicles on Tresco, with cycling and walking the prefered method of travel. Not difficult as it's only two miles wide!!!
St Martins is the third largest and is the first land you see when crossing from the Mainland by sea or Air. For the visitor wanting a quieter Holiday, Tresco, St' Martins and Brier have much to offer. There is a choice of some of the finest sandy beaches with safe sunbathing (although from my experience I've had the Beaches all to myself!! ), secluded coves, and many interesting walks along the cliffs and downs whers purple heather and golden gorse grow in abundance, or walk along the self-built roadway from Highertown to Lowertown!
St Agnes is one of those rare places which can honestly claim to be unspoilt. It is a small flower farming community which has not been robbed of its tranquility by commercialisation. The beautiful island, about a mile across, welcomes those who want a simple holiday away from the stress and pollution of the mainland. The sea is crystal clear. ideal for snorkeling and diving, and at night the stars can appear remarkably bright an the clear air.
The curving sandbar between St Agnes and Gugh is one of the finest beaches on Scilly. There are several other sandy coves and rock pools, including 'Beady Pool' where children and adults alike hunt for beads buried in the sand from a 17th century shipwreck.
Bryher, the smallest community of the Isles of Scilly welcomes the visitor to share its peaceful, yet spectacular island. It is an island of contrasts. In spring there is aprofusion of colour with wild flowers - daffodils and narcissi in every hedgerow and fieldcorner. In autumn many migratory birds use Bryher as a resting place.
From Easter to October there is a daily boat service to these islands as well as fishing trips and special hire.