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Things to do: 7 days in the Isles of Scilly

The Isles of Scilly are a stunning archipelago of five larger inhabited islands, surrounded by over 45 smaller ‘islets’, located just 30 miles off the coast of Cornwall. It’s a great area for sailing, with beautiful scenery that could rival the Caribbean as well as fantastic facilities and delicious food and drink.

With a Bowman Yacht Charters 7-day trip, you can experience all the Scilly Isles have to offer. Choose a skippered charter and let us do the sailing and navigating for you, or opt for a bareboat charter and enjoy the freedom that comes with having your very own yacht. The World Pilot Gig Championships are held in May every year and with over 150 gigs entering last year, it’s quite a spectacle to behold – if you’re keen, it’s well worth mooring up to watch.

If you’re wondering what to do on the Isles of Scilly, here are a few of our favourites…

Island hopping

Credit: cornwall-beaches.co.uk

Hiring a boat and travelling to the Scilly Isles is hugely rewarding, with golden beaches, crystal clear waters and unspoilt landscapes as soon as you arrive. There are many beaches around the islands, sheltered coves and so much to see, so take to the water and go island hopping!

Discover some of the uninhabited islands and experience the luxury of having an island to yourself. There are great facilities and shops on the main islands of St Mary’s, Tresco, Bryher, St Martin’s and St Agnes, so make as many stops as you like to stock up and explore, or simply lie on the white sand and enjoy the view.



Credit: glaucus.org.uk and bee-outdoors.co.uk

The Scillies have a unique range of wildlife and a microclimate that produces some of the most beautiful plants and flowers around. As there is no physical connection to mainland England, there is a lack of predatory mammals such as weasels, foxes or stoats. This means that smaller mammals have been able to live peacefully, such as the Scilly shrew, which probably came to the island as a stowaway on a ship many years ago. Insects and birds have also been able to thrive, attracting several species of bats while also improving the plant life, resulting in a considerable flower farming industry.  

The seas around the Scillies are home to a huge range of animals including grey seals, dolphins, porpoises and basking sharks, and even more exotic visitors like ocean sunfish and leatherback turtles.


Sea swimming

Credit: Scillysealsnorkelling.com and Tresco.co.uk

One of our favourite things to do – swim in the sea! If you’re keen to try wild swimming while visiting the Isles of Scilly, you can take a tour and see the islands from a different perspective, learning more about the stunning landscape. Alternatively, why not go snorkelling in the Scillies and swim with the friendly seals that live around the islands.

Shipwreck diving

Credit: Divephotoguide.com and Lucy Ray/Starfish Underwater Photography

There are over 900 shipwrecks off the shores of the Scilly Isles, with untold stories hidden in the deep. Go snorkelling or take a tour and dive deeper to explore some of the shipwrecks in the area – including one of the most well preserved wrecks in the country, HMS Colossus, which ran aground on a submerged ledge of rock off Samson Island in 1798.

Food and drink

Credit: The Independent

The South West has some of the best food and drink in the UK, and the Scillies is no exception. There’s nothing quite like winding down your day with a glass of wine and delicious food, watching the sun go down over the islands. There’s something for all tastes, with a wide range of locally grown produce including freshly caught seafood, and you can even try some locally-made Isles of Scilly wine.



If you’re interested in exploring the Isles of Scilly with the freedom to take your time and really experience island life, get in touch today and find out more about our 7-day adventure yacht charters.


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