Isles of Scilly

Guided Island Hopping

Code: XSLDW

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Activity types:

  • Coastal

Level

  • Easy
More information

Difficulty indicator

Difficulty is measured on many factors such as distance, ascent/descent, terrain, weather and more. There's no magic formula, but from our experience we use yellow for easy, orange for medium and red for hard. Challenger holidays require a high level of fitness and stamina.

More about difficulty levels

From £879.00 - 6 nights

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Prices are per person

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Holiday overview

The unique character and beauty of this archipelago is undeniable. Stunning silvery white beaches, translucent turquoise seas, rugged coastline bounded by golden gorse. Tiny pocket-sized bulb fields filled with scented narcissi - this charming landscape, warmed by the breezes of the Gulf Steam, is the ideal escape for leisurely walking, peace and relaxation.

Holiday Highlights:

  • Hop from island to island discovering the individual identities of this unique island haven
  • Explore tropical Tresco and visit the famous Abbey gardens
  • See the stunning array of Bronze Age archaeological sites on St Agnes and Gugh
  • Escape from the everyday hustle and bustle and adjust to the serene tranquillity of island life

What's included:

  • 6 nights Half Board en-suite accommodation
  • The services of an experienced leader, offering one guided walk per day
  • Ferry tickets on walking days
  • A traditional cooked breakfast, and evening meal each day 

Accommodation

You will be staying at the Bell Rock Hotel on St Mary’s, the largest of the islands stretching to two-and-a-half miles by one-and-three-quarters. Mid-way between the two beaches of Porthcressa and Town Beach, it is situated on a quiet street, minutes from the shops, and a short stroll from the harbour. The hotel has a small heated swimming pool and free WiFi.

On occasion we may need to change the accommodation listed above. If this happens, your replacement accommodation will be of the equivalent standard or higher. In the rare instance this is not possible, we will contact you in advance.

Itinerary

Planned Itinerary

The daily itinerary has to be very flexible as our itinerary, like life on Scilly, is determined by weather and tide. We have provided you an outline of the selection of walks on each of the islands which could be included in the itinerary. There are lots of things to see on each island, so some of the walks are not as lengthy as others. The holiday runs at a relaxing pace so that you get a real flavour of island life.

St Agnes and Gugh

Surrounded by rocks and reefs, St Agnes is the most south-westerly community in the UK, where the whitewashed lighthouse and traditional stone cottages tumble down to tiny bulb fields, and pocket sized farms. Our circular walk will take us past the old lifeboat station, Troytown Maze, a labyrinth laid out in beach pebbles, and the granite outcrop of the Nag’s Head. From the coastal path we will have impressive views of the treacherous Western Rocks and the famous Bishop Rock lighthouse. A visit to Gugh (pronounced like the name Hugh, but with a G) is determined by the tide. This small island is home to a bounty of archaeological sites. 5 miles (8km)

St Martin’s  

Though the third largest of the islands, St Martin’s is a narrow island only 2 miles long. Easily recognisable from its fine shimmering white sandy beaches, the shores of St Martin’s have the longest stretches of sand in Scilly. Following the coastal path takes us past kelp pits, through scented gorse heathlands, to stone and rope labyrinths. We follow the sandy shore of Little Bay and Great Bay, before turning inland to the flower fields and glasshouses of Higher Town. We also head over the golden gorse heathland of Chapel Down to St Martin’s Head with its chapel, Daymark and ruined Signal Station. 6 ½ miles (10.5km)

St Mary’s circular

Our walk circumnavigates the Islands’ hub of St Mary’s, starting out from our base in Hugh Town. We explore the coastline, passing by the archaeological sites of Bant’s Carn and Innisidgen, the granite tors of Porth Hellick and Peninnis Head, and the one and only set of traffic lights on the islands, at the airport! Before returning to Hugh Town, the coastal path brings us to Old Town– a favourite haunt and now the resting place of the former Prime Minister Harold Wilson. An evening or late afternoon walk exploring Hugh Town and the Garrison will also be offered, either as an extension to the St Mary’s circular, or on another day. 10 miles (16km)

Hugh Town and The Garrison

Although short, this is an interesting route around the Garrison Walls and many of Hugh Town’s historic sites. Make sure to duck when you explore the 17th century passage through the Garrison Walls at Sally Port. The route takes you past Hugh House – offices of the Duchy of Cornwall, the various 18th century army batteries, Star Castle and various Civil War defences. 2 miles (3.2km)

Bryher

Bryher is wild, windswept and unkempt, and has a very individual feel to it. Fewer than 100 people live here. There is only one road, and the locals quote the definition of a traffic jam as being “when two tractors meet”! The island has a magnificent variety of scenery, from the wild and rugged Hell Bay in the north, to the peaceful bays and secluded beaches of the south. Our walk will take us across heather moorland, past prehistoric cairns and boulder walls and along sandy coastal paths to see these different sides of Bryher. 5 miles (8km)

Tresco

This is the second largest of the islands. Tresco and its garden are world-renowned and attract many visitors each year. We will see white sand beaches and a panorama of islands from the coastal path and explore the north of the island with its wild heathland, rocky coastlines and 16th and 17th century castles. There will be the chance to visit the Abbey Garden (admission £12.00 in 2015, payable locally) and to explore this collection of sub-tropical plants, and also to see the Valhalla museum – housing figureheads salvaged from shipwrecks from around the islands’ shores. 6 miles (9.6km

Local area

Pilot Gig racing

Watch the islanders as they race their traditional 6-oar wooden gigs across the bay.

Isles of Scilly Museum

A unique collection of artefacts including relics salvaged from the sunken ships and ancient cairns of the Isles of Scilly.

Watersports

You’ll find centres offering equipment hire for windsurfing, kayking, sailing, scuba-diving, snorkelling etc.

Carreg Dhu community garden & Longstone Heritage Centre

This small community garden includes an area which preserves the narcissi that have been grown by the flower industry on the islands for years.

Horse riding

St Mary’s Riding Centre offers rides for beginners upwards.

Bike hire

Available on St Mary’s and Tresco.

Bant’s Carn & Halangy Down Ancient Village

These two sites offer some of the best examples of Bronze Age remains to be found on the islands; a chambered tomb & burial chamber, and an ancient village.

Arts & Crafts studios

There is a plentiful supply of these on the islands, especially on St Mary’s.

Star Castle

Though a private hotel now, this 16th century castle is well worth the visit.

Star gazing

This may sound like a slightly odd suggestion, but there are few places in Britain where you will encounter less light pollution, and clearer skies.

Evening events and slide shows

During the summer months locals present slide shows about the history of the islands.

Tresco Abbey Gardens

A huge collection of over 5,000 sub-tropical and exotic plant species. This is a botanical paradise created around the ruins of an 18th century Benedictine Abbey.

Vineyard and winery

The one and only vineyard on the islands is located in Higher Town, on St Martins, and is open for tours in the high season (May – September).

The Packing Sheds

Visit the Postal Flower Company at Churchtown Farm, for a view of the packing sheds and the various daffodils and narcissi grown on the island.

Travel

By boat: The Scillonian III ferry departs from Penzance at 9.15am. Some departures can be affected by the tides – please make sure to confirm the exact sailing time when making your booking. The sailing takes 2 hours 40 minutes. Make sure to be at the check-in for the ferry 1 hour before departure in Penzance and 45 minutes before departure on St Mary’s. The return ferry leaves St Mary’s at 16.30hrs arriving in Penzance at about 19.10 hrs. There is a luggage allowance of a combined weight of 25kg/person (no item of baggage should weigh more than 20kg). Parking is available - see www.islesofscilly-travel.co.uk or www.penzanceparking.co.uk for further details.

By air: The Isles of Scilly can be reached by aeroplane from Land's End, Newquay, and Exeter. Flights by plane are operated by Skybus, and the Isles of Scilly Travel. The Skybus fleet consists of 8 and 19-seater aircraft, each with a luggage allowance of 15kg/person. Photo ID is required at check-in and can be in one of the following forms: passport, driving licence with photo or council issued bus pass.

For details of prices and the timetable of scheduled flights: www.ios-travel.co.uk  Tel: 0845 710 5555

Car parking is available at each of the airports; for details check the website for the airport from which you’re flying:

Exeter: www.exeter-airport.co.uk

Newquay: www.newquaycornwallairport.com

Land’s End: www.islesofscilly-travel.co.uk

There is also a shuttle bus service available from Penzance train station to Land’s End Airport.

A shuttle bus will greet you as you depart from the airport (payable locally), to transfer you and your luggage to your accommodation.

Leaders

Katharine Sawyer

Katharine first visited the Isles of Scilly in 1993 and, having become captivated by them, moved there in 1999. She has a degree in Archaeology and Anthropology and, since living in Scilly, has obtained a PhD for her research on the Bronze Age burial chambers of the islands. She has worked as a guide since 2000 but, in common with many residents of small islands, has a range of other jobs which include archaeological monitoring and recording, adult education teaching and human resources consultancy. She has been leading our Isles of Scilly holidays since 2011 and really enjoys showing the islands to visitors. Her interests include bird and wildlife watching, gardening and travel.

Reviews

Date & Rating Customer Review HF Holidays says
8 Aug 2016, 8:26 a.m.

Service rating:

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+

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No review provided

Product review:

Holidays are always in interesting places and well explained in brochures and the internet.
4 Aug 2016, 7:07 p.m.

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+

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-

Service review:

I have been on quite a few HF holidays and this one was not up to usual standard. The hotel was average and the food unpredictable. The local guide lacked personality and except for pointing out the trails was less than cheerful

Product review:

Leader was adequate but not very inspiring. She stated she did not do packed lunches and gave no options to those who wished to. She went straight to the cafe which were very overpriced and the food was only average in quality. £ 10-12 for a sandwich. She gets her lunch free. By the end most people were doing packed lunches and eating where they could. She made some very negative comments about tourists invading the islands, the things she pointed out could have been explained by any guide and she did not interact with the group. Not a good guide.
She was no help in sorting out any issues.the island was nice.
Thank you for your feedback.

I hope that, overall you did enjoy your holiday.

I am sorry to read that you were disappointed with our Leader on this holiday. She has always proved to be one of our most popular leaders and recent feedback from other guests has been positive.

However, we take all feedback seriously and your comments have been noted and will be passed onto our Trails Product Manager to take note.

I do hope that we will have the pleasure of welcoming you on another HF holiday in the future and assure you of our best intentions.

Kind regards
Toni

Toni McNulty
Customer Relations Manager
HF Holidays
1 Aug 2016, 1:33 p.m.

Service rating:

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Service review:

It's very rare to be let down by HF...what you expect is usually what you get. I've used them for many years.

Product review:

Everything from planning, hotel care, food, leadership and walks experience were of the highest quality....and such a special and beautiful location.
31 Jul 2016, 5:27 p.m.

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Service review:

The nameless leader was excellent, and extremely helpful. The hotel was probably more 3*than 2*, staff helpful and friendly.

Product review:

See above.
31 Jul 2016, 8:41 a.m.

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+

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No review provided

Product review:

I was disappointed not to receive advice about places to stay in Penzance.
14 Jul 2016, 2:23 p.m.

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Well organised holidays

Product review:

Excellent leader, very knowledgeable on all aspects of the Scilly Isles
11 Jul 2016, 7:26 a.m.

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+

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Service review:

The service from HF was efficient.

Product review:

The Holiday was great with an excellent leader.
10 Jul 2016, 9:34 a.m.

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HF found the perfect place for a guided holiday.

Product review:

I will return again it was wonderful.
26 May 2016, 6:50 a.m.

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Service review:

We found it to be very well organised and the staff extremely efficient and friendly.

Product review:

We could not fault it. We were made very welcome. The walks were very well planed and well designed to suit all the group of different abilities
Our guide was very helpful to all our needs above and beyond. And her knowledge of the history of the islands made our walks all the more memorable.
24 May 2016, 10:45 a.m.

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+

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Service review:

mostly very good but some inefficiences with too many e-mails and postal communication.

Product review:

A superlative leader

Read more reviews from feefo

Dates & Prices

Date Description Nights Brochure price Book
21 Apr 2017 XSLDW - Guided Island Hopping on the Isles of Scilly 6 £879.00 Book Now
12 May 2017 XSLDW - Guided Island Hopping on the Isles of Scilly 6 £949.00 Book Now
26 May 2017 XSLDW - Guided Island Hopping on the Isles of Scilly 6 £949.00 Book Now
7 Jul 2017 XSLDW - Guided Island Hopping on the Isles of Scilly 6 £949.00 Book Now
21 Jul 2017 XSLDW - Guided Island Hopping on the Isles of Scilly 6 £949.00 Book Now
4 Aug 2017 XSLDW - Guided Island Hopping on the Isles of Scilly 6 £949.00 Book Now
18 Aug 2017 XSLDW - Guided Island Hopping on the Isles of Scilly 6 £949.00 Book Now
1 Sep 2017 XSLDW - Guided Island Hopping on the Isles of Scilly 6 £949.00 Book Now
22 Sep 2017 XSLDW - Guided Island Hopping on the Isles of Scilly 6 £949.00 Book Now

Prices are per person

Information

  • Single room: £108 (complete holiday)

If at eight weeks prior to the start of the holiday a sharing partner is unavailable, a single room or room for single occupancy with associated supplement will be allocated to you instead. 

  • Non-member associate fee: (2016) £5 per person; (2017) £10 per person

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