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Scilly Isles vacation: tips for an unforgettable summer vacation on the English coast!

Fairytale white beaches, idyllic landscapes and picturesque coastal resorts, all far away from the crowds – that sounds like the perfect summer vacation, doesn’t it? Kefalonia , Corfu, Mallorca – these are undoubtedly some of the most popular destinations for Germans. But how about something new and just as beautiful? When you think of England, the first thing that comes to mind is London, right? But have you ever heard of the Isles of Scilly? If not, then you are not alone. The archipelago is located just off the coast of Cornwall and is still a real insider tip among vacationers. There you will discover our British neighbors as you would never have dreamed! If you just want to relax and don’t want to go to crowded hotels and beaches, then a Scilly Isles vacation would be just right for you! Join us on a little journey and find out how to best enjoy England’s jewel here!

Isles of Scilly Travel: Where exactly is the archipelago located?

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The Isles of Scilly are located just off the coast of Cornwall and are only 45 kilometers from Land’s End in the Atlantic Ocean. The island chain consists of a total of about 140 small islands, but only five of them are inhabited. With about 1600 inhabitants, St. Mary’s is the largest, followed by St. Martin’s, St. Agnes, Tresco and Bryher. The islands are called “The Best on Britain” by the English themselves and each of them has its own character and charm. Everything just feels different there – simpler, more peaceful and friendly. Life moves at a lighter pace and all the everyday problems are forgotten. However, since there are no direct flight connections from Germany, the Scilly Isles journey is a bit more complicated, but believe us – the little detour is definitely worth it. In addition, they rely on the so-called controlled tourism and instead of unlimited growth, there is a total of about 2000 beds, which are primarily occupied by the “regulars”. So for your Scilly Islands vacation you should book your accommodation at least 1-2 months in advance.

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From the mainland, there are regular flights from Newquay, Land’s End and Exeter and all planes then land on the island of St. Mary’s. Round-trip flights to the Scilly Isles usually cost around 230 euros per person – not exactly cheap, but the flight only takes 20 minutes. Or how about a little road trip? You can also reach the island chain with a rental car from Cornwell’s port Penzance by ferry. If you wish, you can also fly to London and board the London Paddington train. The journey takes about 5 hours and is a great way to enjoy the beautiful Cornish countryside and coastline that passes you by – slow travel at its best!

Isles of Scilly Weather: When is the best time to travel?

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As with most European vacation destinations, the best time to travel to the Isles of Scilly is during the summer months of July to September. At this time of year, the island chain is blessed with sunny, hot days and it feels more like the south of France. The name “Scilly” is actually a mix of the words Sunny Isles, which means “sunny islands” in German. The climate there is completely atypical for the rest of England and the region owes its mild weather to the Gulf Stream, which passes by southern England. In midsummer, the average temperature is around 25 degrees, but the water rarely gets warmer than 18 degrees. However, with the sunny weather also come the most visitors and the idyllic atmosphere can get a bit lost. So, to get away from it all and enjoy this peaceful place at its best, August or September would be best for your Isles of Scilly vacation.

Isles of Scilly Vacation: Explore St. Mary’s Island

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Fine white sand beaches, turquoise waters and lush plant life – the Isles of Scilly are like a collection of precious jewels where the soul is inspired and nature thrives. All the worries that accompany you will be left behind at the latest when you approach the island chain. Even the Scilly Isles journey is a real experience in itself and a feeling of tranquility spreads. St. Mary’s is the largest of the Isles of Scilly and the first port of call for any visitor: all planes and the daily boat from the mainland arrive there. About 1600 people live on St. Mary’s, which is about three quarters of the total population. Cars are off-limits to tourists on the island, and the best way to explore is by bike or on foot. Have a picnic with the family or relax on the beach while enjoying the view. Since there are no tall buildings on St. Mary’s, almost every part of the archipelago is dominated by wide, breathtaking views of the sea and sky in all directions.

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The capital of St. Mary’s is Hugh Town, which is situated on a sandy narrow isthmus and overlooked by a magnificent fortress, the Garrison. Built in the 16th century, the stone-shaped fort is now an upscale and luxurious hotel called the Star Castle. In the old town you will feel as if you are traveling back in time and the prevailing tranquility will simply enchant any visitor. Or how about treating yourself to a portion of fish and chips at the “Mermaid Inn”? This is the oldest pub on the islands and was an important meeting place for sailors and smugglers back in the day. But there is much more to discover on St. Mary’s outside Hugh Town. Visit the prehistoric settlement on Halangy Down and take a long walk through the streets of the Neolithic village. All wine lovers should definitely visit the small vineyard “Holy Vale Wines”. We think there are few things better than enjoying fresh seafood in the sun with a glass of white wine overlooking the sea. And a Scilly Isles vacation is just made for it.

St. Agnes Island

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Of all the Isles of Scilly, St. Agnes feels the wildest and most peaceful. It is the only inhabited island separated from the rest by a deep water channel. Located on the southwesternmost edge of the archipelago, St. Agnes is indeed the true Land’s End, as tourists there are temporarily the southwesternmost inhabitants of Britain. It’s a true, fairy-tale place right on the water’s edge to get away from it all. St. Agnes is undoubtedly an island of wonderful contrasts – the sparkling bays, ancient flower fields, rocky headlands and Caribbean beaches look particularly magical and provide pure relaxation! The island is about 1.5 kilometers wide, absolutely untouched and very peaceful. At the highest point of the island there is a lighthouse, which offers an unforgettable view of the whole island chain. The most beautiful beach is Periglis Beach – a real paradise for all shell collectors! Take a long walk and treat yourself to a cold beer at “Turks Head” – Britain’s most southwestern pub!

Isles of Scilly Holiday: Tresco

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Tresco is the second largest of the Isles of Scilly and has a bit of everything. Its lush expanses of herds, surreal beaches and fairytale coves attract families and holidaymakers from all over the world year after year. Cars are off-limits here, too, and the winding roads are best explored by bicycle. Although Tresco is owned by the Duchy, it is currently leased by the Dorrien-Smith family. The family still lives in the largest house on the island, the Abbey, next to the ruins of the original 12th century monastery. While all beaches on Scilly have their own charm, Pentle Bay on Tresco is often called the most beautiful bay in England. Deserted, beautifully quiet and with turquoise waters – the beach is reached via a sandy path through the dunes. If you long for exotic subtropical plants and a way of life that is absent from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, Pentle Bay is an absolute must for your Isles of Scilly vacation!

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If there is one sight you should definitely visit on Tresco, it is guaranteed to be the world-famous Tresco Abbey Garden. This garden paradise was created back in the 1830s by Augustus Smith and is home to a spectacular collection of more than 20,000 exotic plants from around the world. Also, don’t miss the Valhalla Collection in the garden – an impressive, colorful display of figureheads salvaged from the islands’ shipwrecks. Or go on a little trip back in time and visit the castle ruins of King Charles Castle and Cromwell’s Castle. Whatever you do on Tresco, you’ll find that the place exudes sophistication on all levels. The rugged north is perfect for hiking, and numerous water sports, such as kayaking and windsurfing, provide the ultimate in swimming fun!

St. Martin’s

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Idyllic beaches, crystal clear waters and the prevailing tranquility make St. Martin’s a true delight! It’s the third largest island in the archipelago and also the first you’ll catch sight of from the air on your Isles of Scilly journey. Although St. Martin’s is only 3 kilometers long, some of the most beautiful beaches in England, if not the world, await you there. Little Bay and Great Bay lie side by side in the north of the island and the fabulous sandy beaches are deserted even on a busy summer day. The rare birds, spectacular plants and flowers, and ocean views along the boardwalk add to the unmistakable beauty of St. Martin’s. Behind this unique setting is a very small and super friendly community and the 120 residents are some of the nicest people you will ever meet. Whether you spend the day on the beach, visit the small flower farm, or feel like snorkeling with seals, everyone will find their vacation happiness on St. Martin’s!

Bryher

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The narrow and long island of Bryher is perhaps the wildest and most beautiful of the Isles of Scilly. With only 80 inhabitants, it feels largely deserted and nature still seems to reign supreme there. Whether you’re lounging on the white sandy beaches, exploring the rocky and secluded coves, or hiking up one of the small granite hills to take in the views, Bryher always provides a unique sense of purity and freedom.

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The entire island is crisscrossed with small trails and can be easily explored on foot in a couple of hours. Be sure to visit the “Bryher Shop” where you can buy local treats such as fudge and jam, as well as everything you need for a great Isles of Scilly vacation. Bryher is also a real paradise for birdwatchers and nature lovers. From parrot divers to Sabine’s gulls, it’s impossible to resist their charms. And if you’re up for a real adventure, rent a kayak and head to the uninhabited twin-peak island of Samson.

With which celebrities is a Scilly Isles vacation popular?

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It should come as no surprise that celebrities also appreciate the seclusion and wild beauty of the Scilly Isles. Some of the stars who have spent their vacations in the British paradise in recent years include the Beckham family, Jude Law, and Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. Even the royals need a little time off now and then. Prince William, Duchess Kate and their children decided not to fly far away this year and spent their summer vacation on the Scilly Isles instead. Prince Charles even owns several vacation homes on the island of Tresco and rents them out for around 1000 euros per week.

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