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Isles of Scilly Outdoor Activities: Embrace Island Adventure

Updated: Mar 7

Welcome to a virtual journey through the natural wonders and exhilarating activities of the Isles of Scilly, a pristine archipelago nestled off the Cornish coast. These islands are a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, offering stunning landscapes, diverse wildlife, and a mild climate that beckons adventure. But to make the most of your Scilly Isles activities, you'll need the perfect haven to rest and rejuvenate-- that's where accommodation in the Scilly Isles comes into play.

Coastal Walks: Exploring Island Beauty on Foot

The Isles of Scilly offer an extensive network of coastal paths that provide breathtaking views of the rugged coastlines, sandy beaches, and pristine waters. From short strolls to challenging hikes, there's a trail for every level of hiker. A coastal path runs around the rugged exterior of every island, providing excellent views and showcasing the little

differences of all the islands. There are various routes back into the interior to find great food and drinks on the island.

Beachcombing and Shell Collecting

The white sandy beaches of the Isles of Scilly are a paradise for beachcombers. With crystal-clear waters gently lapping the shores, you can spend hours collecting colourful seashells, unique pebbles, and even the occasional piece of sea glass. Fun for the whole family, the rare cowrie shell can be found on the islands and is held in the highest regard by shell collectors. St Martin's beaches are one of the best spots for beachcombing along with Treasure Beach on St Mary's. The best times are after a big tide or storm, but there are treasures to find regardless of the tide or weather. It is a meditative and rewarding activity that connects you to the natural world.

Kayaking and Paddleboarding

The calm and sheltered waters surrounding the Isles are perfect for kayaking and paddleboarding. Whether a novice or an experienced paddler, you can explore hidden coves, glide past seals, and admire the rich marine life in these clear waters. Porthcressa Beach on St Marys is a great place to paddleboard with the family, close to town and a big safe cove to go and explore with the kids. Both paddleboards and kayaks can be rented from multiple places around the islands. You can also have a go at Sailing on Porthmellon Beach on St Mary's.

Sailing and Boat Trips: Island-Hopping Adventures

The Isles of Scilly are a sailor's dream, with many opportunities for sailing and boat trips. You can charter a boat to explore uninhabited islands, go fishing, or enjoy the soothing rhythm of the waves. You can rent a power cat from Bryher and see the islands at a faster rate or get the whole experience with our local tripper boats. Boat tours are also fantastic for spotting local wildlife, including seals, dolphins, and bird species. There are various boat trips from St Mary's Quay, with the option to explore a different island each day.

The Isles of Scilly are a haven for birdwatchers, serving as a resting point for numerous migratory species. The autumn migration season is a birdwatcher's dream, with sightings of rare and exotic birds. The diversity of habitats on the islands, from cliffs to wetlands, provides opportunities to spot various species throughout the year. Check out our article, Scilly Isles for Nature Lovers: Birdwatching, Wildflowers and more!

Snorkelling and Scuba Diving

Beneath the surface of the Isles' clear waters lies a world of underwater wonder. Snorkelers can explore vibrant seagrass beds, while scuba divers can discover hidden treasures like shipwrecks and marine life, such as cuttlefish and colourful anemones. St Martin's Dive Centre offers equipment rental and guided dives for all levels.

Rock Climbing and Bouldering

For those seeking a more vertical adventure, the granite cliffs and rock formations on the Isles of Scilly provide rock climbing and bouldering opportunities. With a backdrop of breathtaking ocean views, you can challenge yourself on various routes while immersing yourself in the rugged beauty of the islands. Kernow coasteering offers a professional and unique guided experience around the islands.

Wild Swimming

Wild swimming has become increasingly popular on the Isles of Scilly, thanks to the relatively mild climate. Dip into the crystal-clear waters, explore hidden coves, and enjoy the feeling of immersion in nature. Be sure to check tidal conditions and water temperatures before taking the plunge.

Island Hopping: Discover the Unique Charms

The Isles of Scilly consist of five inhabited islands and numerous uninhabited ones. Exploring these islands offers a sense of adventure and discovery. Each island has its unique character, from the subtropical gardens of Tresco to the ancient ruins on St. Agnes.

Stargazing: Gaze at the Night Sky

With minimal light pollution, the Isles of Scilly are an excellent spot for stargazing. The dark skies reveal a stunning tapestry of stars and celestial wonders on clear nights. Bring a telescope or lay back on the beach to enjoy the spectacle.


On St Marys, the most South-Westerly golf course in England, is one of the most scenic courses to swing a club with sweeping views over Samson, Tresco and St Martins. The course is a 9-hole course with the option of playing 18 off different tees. Club hire is available, and there is a lovely clubhouse to relax in, serving food and drinks on their deck with fantastic views over the St Mary's harbour.


There are tennis courts in Tresco, St Agnes and St Marys so if you fancy a bit of tennis, bring your rackets as there is no place to hire them.


The fishing options on the islands are endless. Whether rock fishing for wrasse and pollock or boat fishing for mackerel, cod, ling and perhaps a conger eel. Paul Smith (skipper of the Kingfisher) offers tourists a summer trip out fishing a couple evenings a week. Another option is shark fishing with Joe Pender on the Sapphire. Shark fishing is on a catch-and-release basis and is an activity for the avid fisherman.

In conclusion, the Isles of Scilly are a bona fide playground for outdoor enthusiasts, providing a diverse array of activities that allow you to connect with nature and explore the rugged beauty of these islands. From coastal walks and beachcombing to birdwatching, snorkelling, and rock climbing, there's an adventure suited to every taste.

However, don't overlook the significance of choosing the right accommodation in the Scilly Isles. A comfortable and convenient base enhances your overall experience, allowing you to appreciate the natural wonders of these captivating islands fully. So, prepare your outdoor gear, secure your accommodation, and embark on an unforgettable journey to embrace the boundless beauty of the Isles of Scilly.

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