Things to do in Isles of Scilly

Culture and heritage

The Isles of Scilly aren’t short on heritage, steeped in maritime history and Neolithic sites. Scilly’s tiny land mass is home to 239 scheduled monuments which means there is a greater density of historical sites here than anywhere else in the British Isles. Each of the islands has its own unique history, and you can explore everything from shipwrecks to stuffed birds at the Isles of Scilly Museum Shop & Visitor Centre. Look out for the pop-up displays across the islands and download the new interactive Shipwreck Walking Companion App for a captivating outdoor experience.
When it comes to arts and culture, there’s a rich resident artistic community and many more who pass through to be inspired by its beauty and the islands’ peaceful, magical and almost other worldly qualities. Galleries are dotted across the islands, so drop-in for a truly authentic experience.


Bant’s Carn Burial Chamber and Halangy Down Ancient Village on St. Mary’s boasts a Bronze Age burial mound and the remains of an ancient Iron Age village. The subtropical Tresco Abbey Garden was established in the 19th century and is home to plants from more than 80 countries around the world. During your visit, don’t forget to visit the Valhalla Museum for an amazing collection of figureheads recovered from shipwrecks. And wonder the island for picturesque coves such as Rushy Bay or explore Cromwell’s Castle whilst circumnavigating Tresco Island. Or head to St. Martins and visit one of the oldest Daymarks in the country as you explore the island. No doubt the main attraction is exploring the great outdoors for walking, cycling, sea swimming and nature.

Food and drink

You’ll enjoy good local food and drink across the islands. Whether it’s freshly caught fish, locally grown fruit and vegetables, home-made cakes, or rum from a small distillery or wine from a local vineyard, there are a range of pubs, restaurants, markets, honesty stores and shops to satisfy every need.
Why not make food an experience and tour vineyards on St Mary’s and St Martin’s or head out to sea and catch your own lobster?

Sports and outdoors

There are plenty of great outdoor activities like beachcombing, sailing, kayaking and paddle-boarding, to name just a few. Golfers can enjoy playing 9 holes in a dramatic coastal setting on St. Mary's, or try horse-riding, if hacking along beautiful beaches through clear ocean water is more your scene.


Pop-up stalls and creative hubs are dotted across the islands selling jewellery and art, as well as local produce such as fruit, veg, jams and fudge. Beyond food and art, Hugh Town is your best bet for a bit of retail therapy, with a range of clothing and gift shops on offer.

Music and nightlife

The islands have a vibrant and varied evening entertainment scene with something for everyone. Sit back and relax to a Spanish guitar whilst tucking into some delightful tapas, listen to some traditional folk music and sip on a tankard of ale, or dance to a rock band with a rum and shrub in hand. Classic cocktail nights and later evening experiences are not to be missed.

Shuttle service

Isles of Scilly Travel operate a bus transfer between Penzance Train Station and Land’s End Airport and takes around 15 minutes, timed for your flight (for flights departing here).

Penzance Helicopters also offer a shuttle service between Penzance station and Penzance Heliport. It’s just a short 5-minute journey with transfers starting at £5 each way.

If you require special assistance for your rail journey please please visit our Passenger Assist page.
Special assistance for the Skybus, Scillonian Ferry or Penzance Helicopter services should be booked via Isles of Scilly Travel.

Travel packages

Sail to the Isles of Scilly by Scillonian passenger ferry from Penzance Harbour, or fly with Skybus from Land’s End, Newquay or Exeter. (Isles of Scilly Travel operate Skybus and Scillonian).

Book with us for an exclusive package, including return train travel to Penzance station. To book, call 03457 000 125.

Example packages
Depart from  Ferry Standard class Ferry First class Skybus Standard class Skybus First class
London Paddington £160.40 £246.80 £231.30 £319.80
Reading £157.30 £234.40 £230.30 £306.40
Bath Spa £144.00 £211.80 £217.00 £283.80
Bristol Temple Meads £144.00 £203.60 £217.00 £275.60
Exeter St Davids £122.40 £189.20 £196.40 £262.20
Plymouth £111.10 £117.20 £184.10 £189.20

Alternatively, fly by helicopter with Penzance Helicopters from the new Penzance Heliport.

How do you get to Scilly Isles from UK?

The easiest way to get to the Isles of Scilly with GWR is to take the train to Penzance. From Penzance station you can choose to board a ferry, a plane or a helicopter. The Scillonian III Ferry is a short walk from Penzance Station, or if you prefer to fly on the Skybus, Isles of Scilly Travel run a bus transfer between Penzance station and Land’s End Airport. It takes about 20 minutes, costs £7 each way when you board and is designed to coincide with your flight. Flights are also available from Newquay and Exeter airports. If you prefer to travel by helicopter, a shuttle will whisk you to the Heliport, just five minutes from the station.

Can I get the Night Riviera Sleeper to the Isles of Scilly?

Nearly. The Night Riviera Sleeper runs between London Paddington and Penzance nightly, except Saturdays. Make your travel experience a little bit more special for this particularly special destination. From Penzance station, the ferry is a short walk, the plane and helicopter a short bus journey.

Can I buy a combined train & ferry/plane ticket?

Yes you can. Sail to the Isles of Scilly by Scillonian III ferry from Penzance, or fly from Land’s End with Skybus. Book with GWR for an exclusive package, including return train travel to Penzance station. To book, call 03457 000 125.

What is the best time to travel to Isles of Scilly?

You can travel by plane from Exeter (March to October only), Newquay (from May) and Land's End (year-round). The Scillonian III passenger ferry runs March to November.

Cheaper train tickets to the Isles of Scilly

Looking to find the best deal on your Isles of Scilly train tickets? Take a look at our money saving ticket options before you buy – you might miss a bargain!