top of page

Isles of Scilly getaway: Navigating the costs for a memorable vacation

Dreaming of an idyllic escape where turquoise waters, pristine beaches, and a peaceful island atmosphere converge? Look no further than the breathtaking Isles of Scilly. Nestled off the southwestern coast of England, this archipelago of enchanting islands offers a slice of paradise just a stone's throw away. But what about the cost of indulging in this coastal haven for a week-long getaway?


In this blog post, we'll delve into the budget considerations, explore accommodation in the Isles of Scilly, delve into transportation choices, savour local cuisine, and uncover the hidden gems that make the Isles of Scilly an unforgettable destination.


Travel to the Isles of Scilly


One of the primary modes of transport is the Scillonian III ferry, which operates between Penzance on the Cornish mainland and St. Mary's, the largest island in the archipelago. The cost of ferry tickets is around £75.00 each way for a standard ticket, with cheaper tickets available for children. Extra luggage and dogs are charged as extras. The ferry journey is a scenic delight, allowing passengers to soak in breathtaking views of the coastline and the open sea.


For those seeking a faster mode of travel, Isles of Scilly Travel also operates Skybus flights from various airports in Cornwall, including Land's End, Newquay, and Exeter. The cost of flights can vary depending on factors such as departure airport, time of year, and availability. Prices start from £121.50 each way (Lands End) to £236.50 each way (Exeter). While flights are relatively more expensive compared to the ferry, they offer the advantage of shorter travel times, allowing visitors to maximise their time on the islands.


The final mode of transport to the Isles of Scilly is via Penzance Helicopters. The helicopter operates from Penzance to either St Marys or Tresco. The cost of helicopter flights to the Isles of Scilly starts from £130 each way when using the off-peak saver price. This mode of transport takes about 20 minutes and is a more luxurious way to travel to the islands.


If you'd like to find out more about travelling to the Isles of Scilly, have a little read of our blog posts here -


Accommodation Costs on the Isles of Scilly


Accommodation in the Isles of Scilly offers a range of options to suit different budgets and preferences, providing visitors with a comfortable and memorable stay in this stunning archipelago. However, it's important to note that the cost of accommodation on the Isles of Scilly can vary depending on the type of accommodation, location, time of year, and availability.


The islands offer diverse accommodations, ranging from hotels and guesthouses to self-catering cottages and campsites. Self-catering cottages are the most popular choice for those seeking more privacy and flexibility. These cottages have kitchen facilities, allowing guests to prepare their meals. They are available in a range of sizes, from cosy cottages for couples to spacious houses for larger groups or families.


The accommodation cost on the Isles of Scilly depends on the season. If you're looking for a more budget stay, we offer accommodation in April, May & October from £650 (2 The Wrasse) up to £1800 (Christmas House). Mid Season prices in June & September are between £700 and £2400, with High Season prices in July & August being between £750 and £2800.

We offer a range of accommodation from one-bedroom studios to four-bedroom family homes. You can browse our available accommodation here.


All our properties come with welcome packs that include toilet paper, milk and other general amenities to help save money on the basics when you arrive. Most of our properties also have washing machines in addition to towels & bedding being inclusive of the price.


We offer optional extras, including beach towels, beach games, barbecues, fishing equipment, and more. These optional extras are offered at a reduced rate for our guests, allowing you to enjoy your Scilly Escape without the overheads of organised trips or purchasing extras that you'll only use for the week. You can view our booking extras here.


Transportation costs on the island

Transportation on the Isles of Scilly offers visitors convenient and efficient options to explore the stunning archipelago and move between its islands. While the islands are small and easily walkable, various modes of transportation are available to enhance the overall experience and make navigating the different attractions and destinations easier.


One of the primary modes of transportation on the Isles of Scilly is the inter-island boat service. This service operates regular and frequent trips between the inhabited islands, allowing visitors to hop from one island to another easily. It's a fantastic way to explore the unique characteristics of each island, whether it's the bustling St. Mary's, the scenic Tresco, or the tranquil St. Martin's. The cost of these trips is £12 per person for a return ticket with discounted tickets for children.

Bicycle hire is a popular option for those who prefer a more independent means of transportation. Cycling is a fantastic way to discover the islands at your own pace, enjoying the scenic landscapes and the fresh sea air. St Mary's bike hire offers bikes from £16.50 per day with discounted rates for 24 hours to 1 week. They provide additional add-ons like child seats and trailers, and they also offer electric bikes.


Alternatively, visitors can hire golf buggies, which are electric vehicles ideal for exploring the islands in comfort. Golf buggies are particularly useful for those with limited mobility or who prefer a more relaxed mode of transportation. A Scilly Cart starts at £55 per day for a two-seater with discounts for longer hires.


The islands also have a reliable bus service on St. Mary's, the largest inhabited island. The buses operate regular routes, making it convenient for visitors to travel between various points of interest on the island. Journeys depend on stops, starting at £2 per journey.

The last option is private taxi hire. As the travel distance whilst staying on the island will always be relatively short, our taxi prices are comparative. Prices start from just £5 per journey.


Food & Drink Cost

When it comes to food and drinks on the Isles of Scilly, visitors can expect a delightful culinary experience showcasing the islands' local flavours and fresh produce. While the cost of dining and beverages can vary depending on the establishment and the type of cuisine, options are available to suit a range of budgets.


The islands boast a variety of restaurants, cafes, and pubs that offer a diverse selection of dishes, from fresh seafood caught in the surrounding waters to locally sourced meats and vegetables. These establishments cater to different tastes and preferences, offering casual and fine dining experiences. It's worth noting that dining out on the Isles of Scilly can be slightly more expensive compared to mainland prices due to the costs associated with transportation and sourcing ingredients to the remote location.


For those on a budget, self-catering accommodations and local grocery stores provide an opportunity to prepare meals using locally sourced produce. The islands are known for their delicious seafood, and visitors can purchase fresh fish and shellfish from the farmers market in the park in Hugh Town on a Wednesday. The Isles of Scilly has a Co-op on the main street, The Store, located at Porthmellon Industrial Estate and Old Town Stores, which is located in Old Town. There are also various honesty stalls selling everything from eggs and veg to the local Tattie cake!

Regarding beverages, the Isles of Scilly are home to several charming pubs and bars where visitors can enjoy a relaxing drink. It's worth noting that due to the remote location and transportation costs, imported and speciality beverages are slightly more expensive.


As the islands have the added cost of freight and shipping to the islands, the cost of food and beverage is slightly higher than elsewhere in the UK. That being said, the quality is exceptional, with some people referring to Scilly as the foodie capital of Cornwall.

Overall, while visiting the Isles of Scilly can be higher than mainland prices, the abundance of activities and the remarkable experience make it a worthwhile investment.



We hope that we've provided all you need to know about the cost of visiting the Isles of Scilly, but if not, please feel free to get in touch with Scilly Escapes or leave your question in the comments section below.


27 views0 comments
bottom of page