As a travel blogger and photographer, I love remote scenic places and one of my favourite trips the past few years was our family weekend stay on the beautiful island of St Martins on the Isles of Scilly. Wild landscapes, white sand beaches, turquoise waters – the Isles of Scilly feel like a world away but in fact, they’re just 28 miles off the southwestern tip of Cornwall, UK. You can either fly (highly recommend!) or sail (not so good if you’re prone to sea sickness !) to the Isles of Scilly from Penzance Harbour, Land’s End, Newquay or Exeter Airports with Isles of Scilly Travel.
Here’s 10 reasons why you will love the Isles Of Scilly for a relaxing family holiday along with some photography and video I took during our stay on these lovely islands.
1. Getting there, an adventure in itself!
We opted for the 20 minute flight from Penzance instead of catching the ferry, and so glad we did as the flight was amazing. The usual larger plane was unavailable so we boarded a smaller 7 seater plane and sat right behind the pilot. You get stunning views of the Cornish coastline flying at around 1,000 feet and then the Isles of Scilly come into view in the distance.
Once you’ve landed on the island of St Mary’s, if you’re staying on one of the other four islands like we were you’ll need to hop on a boat which run regularly in between islands – another great experience with amazing views and wildlife on offer.
The beaches on the island of St Martins are truly stunning and easily amongst the best beaches in the UK if you are after uncrowded safe beaches with beautiful soft white sand and turquoise clear waters. I’m lucky enough to have experienced many amazing beaches around the World including Hawaii and Yucatan Peninsula…and the beaches on St Martins are honestly right up there with the best of them…if you’re lucky enough to get hot sunny weather like we had.
The sand on the beaches on St Martins even sparkle!
The white sand beaches and rocks are the perfect playground for kids…whilst the adults can watch on, relax and enjoy.
3. Stunning Sunsets
I’ve been lucky enough to travel to locations famed for breathtaking sunsets but just like the beaches, the sunsets on the Isles of Scilly are right up there with the best of them.
4. Scenery & Remoteness
You’ll get that the feeling you’re a world away from the UK, when if fact you’re just 28 miles off the southwestern tip of England. Being a photographer, I loved the wild and varied landscapes, the white sand beaches and the clear turquoise waters of the the Scillies. Around every corner is a picture postcard.
5. Fresh Local Food
Fresh local produce is available on all the islands with lobsters and crab caught daily in Scillonian waters, island-grown food and veg, island-reared beef and duck. It really doesn’t get any fresher here.
6. Island Hopping
There’s something really special about hopping from island to island on a boat. The captain told us to watch out for dolphins but we didn’t see any this time, but we saw plenty of fish.
7. Wild Walks
Our boys have never walked so much during our 3 days on the Isles of Scilly! You never know what’s going to be around the next corner and everyone we met along the way were so nice and friendly. There are beaches to explore, sand tracks to run free down and varied coastlines to explore.
8. Flora and Fauna
Walking around you’ll come across so many flowers and plants that grow on these islands. Wild garlic grows along the coastal paths and the lovely scent fills the air.
9. Stay in luxury
We stayed at the luxury hotel Karma St Martins with interconnecting rooms perfect for families. Both rooms had balconies with amazing views overlooking the azure waters of the Tean Sound. The rooms were perfect, as was the hotel location. The hotel staff were all lovely, and the food was delicious which we enjoyed eating al fresco with the lovely summer weather we had. A 5 minute walk down the road is the only pub on the island of St Martins, Seven Stones Inn which you must also try for great food, drink and amazing panoramic views. Other amenities at the hotel included a lovely spa, a white-sand beach, a private jetty and an art gallery. There were lots of activities you could try out such as horseback riding and snorkelling with seals which we will be trying on our next visit.
For such a small area of land, it’s surprising to know that the Isles of Scilly have the densest concentration of historical sites anywhere in Britain. There are shipwrecks, castle ruins, deserted villages and burial chambers all to be explored on all of the islands – just ask someone to point you in the right direction.
Finally here’s a little video from our family weekend break on the Isles of Scilly
All photography and video by Cornwall photographer Mark Shaw Photography