Isles of Scilly, United Kingdom
Areas in Isles of Scilly
When to go
With a mild climate that rarely sees frost or snow, the Scillies are pleasant year-round. Winter can still be brutal on the beach – this is still Blighty, after all. But it’s also difficult on a practical level because flights are fewer, the ferry parks up (between October and March), and – unhelpfully – the once-popular helicopter service was cancelled in 2012. While summers can actually be a shade cooler than on the mainland, plenty of sunshine and clear skies more than make up for it.
PlanesPlanes You can fly to St Mary’s with Skybus (www.ios-travel.co.uk) from Land’s End Airport (£70 each way), Newquay Cornwall Airport (£85 each way) or Exeter International Airport (£120 each way). Newquay receives lots of regional flights with Flybe, so you could fly there from Manchester, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Glasgow. Exeter International is the hub for international connections. Check St Mary’s Boatmen’s Association (www.scillyboating.co.uk) for services from the main quay to neighbouring islands.
TrainsFor Land’s End Airport, the nearest train station is Penz ance. First GreatWestern can whizz you there from London Paddington in five and a half hours; a sleeper train makes the same journey. The Skybus shuttle will wait outside Penzance train station to take you straight to the airport if you call 0845 710 5555 to pre-book. Or, you can get to Exeter International in 2-3 hours from Paddington.
AutomobilesBoth Newquay and Exeter International have ample parking – Land’s End doesn’t. Scillonian III (below) is a passenger ferry, so you can’t take a car with you and besides, only St Mary’s has a road network.