I’m really excited to interview author Peter Naldrett, author of “Treasured Islands,” about the Isles of Scilly, UK. Peter’s tips for the best things to do in the Isles of Scilly are awesome because he explored all of the United Kingdom’s islands for his book. He had such a wonderful time camping with his wife in Scilly that wanted to share his favorite tips with my listeners.

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Best things to do in Isles of Scilly UK - Peter Naldrett - overview of islands by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
An overhead view of the islands. Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash.

Isles of Scilly, UK

The Isles of Scilly offers five inhabited islands and countless deserted islands for visitors to explore. It is located at the southwest tip of England and has some of the best weather in all of the U.K. Each of the islands has its own charm, amenities, and local pride. When you visit, you’ll quickly find one that becomes your favorite. The fives inhabited islands are St Mary’s, Tresco, St Martin’s, Bryher, and St Agnes. St Mary’s is the largest island with about 1,700 people living there.

During your visit make sure that you stop by the Tresco Abbey Garden and explore the Valhalla Museum. Tresco also offers live music on a regular basis. There are numerous places to eat like Fraggle Rock Bar, The Turks Head, and The Crab Shack. Cornish pasties are a popular dish if you’re looking for a local dish. Then, grab some ice cream from Troytown Farm on St Agnes. There are a couple of vineyards to sample if you like wine – St Martin’s Vineyard and Holy Vale Vineyard. And because of its location, the Isles of Scilly are a great location for stargazing. The Dark Skies Week by COSMOS happens every October for people who are curious about astronomy.

When planning your trip, take note that reservations fill up quickly. The Isles of Scilly are extremely popular with Brits. Reservations open in November for the following summer. You can stay at pubs, bed & breakfast, and boutique hotels. Peter and his wife camped on Bryher.

We share a lot of resources and local suggestions in today’s podcast, but you should also check out Visit Isles of Scilly, the local visitor’s bureau. They are a wealth of information and can help you plan an itinerary based on your time, budget, and interests. When we visited for the first time, we saved over 50% with the Nashville Total Access Pass on some of the most popular attractions.

If you’d like to learn how to travel for free using airline miles and hotel points, check out my free 7-day email course.

Best things to do in Isles of Scilly UK - Peter Naldrett - Stone art studio by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
A stone art studio. You’ll find many local artisans when exploring the islands. Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash.

Getting around the Isles of Scilly

The local airport is Land’s End Airport (LEQ). From the mainland, you’ll take the Scillonian ferry from Penzance. The ride takes about 3 hours. Locals joke that it’s called the “Vomit Comet” for the rough seas that you’ll sometimes face on the ride.

Peter says that there are no cars available to rent on the islands. Everything is walkable or you can rent bikes to move around quicker. You’ll take ferries to hop between each island, but ferries only run on certain days, so plan your trip accordingly. Most islands run their own ferry company, so check with the local websites to book your tickets. To get to the harbor, you can rent a car or take a train. For the best offers, visit Avis, Budget, or Hertz.

Best things to do on Isles of Scilly UK - Peter Naldrett - honesty stall for farmers produce
Many local farmers sell their produce at “honesty stalls” like this one. Beware, this one is guarded by a sleepy cat.

Places we talked about on the podcast

Here is a map of all of the places we talked about on the podcast episode with Peter Naldrett about Isles of Scilly, UK. You can zoom into the map and click on each dot to explore the city.

  • Red dots = best places to eat in Isles of Scilly, UK
  • Green dots = best things to do in Isles of Scilly, UK
  • Yellow dots = best places to stay in Isles of Scilly, UK

Who is Peter Naldrett?

Peter is a teacher and writer based on the edge of the Peak District in England. He has recently written books that help locals and visitors explore the United Kingdom. “Treasured Islands: The explorer’s guide to over 200 of the most beautiful and intriguing islands around Britain” covers over 200 out of 6,000 U.K. islands ranging from remote lost worlds to famous and popular holiday spots. “Around the Coast in 80 Days: Your Guide to Britain’s Best Coastal Towns, Beaches, Cliffs and Headlands” guides you to 80 of the most interesting, fun, and picturesque seaside spots the U.K. coast has to offer. Peter has over 10 books available on Amazon ranging from pub-friendly dog walks to a pregnancy diary of a dad-to-be.

Best things to do in Isles of Scilly UK - Peter Naldrett

Here are a few articles that are written by and about Peter along with a link to the books he has written:

You can connect with Peter on his website and on Twitter.

Best things to do in Isles of Scilly UK - Peter Naldrett - Ice cream farm on St Agnes
Enjoy local ice cream at Troytown Farm on St Agnes

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Best things to do in Isles of Scilly UK - Peter Naldrett - Valhalla Museum on Tresco
The Valhalla Museum on Tresco is situated within the Abbey Garden.

Stay tuned for our next episode

Best things to do in Copenhagen Denmark - Sally BunnellListen to the next episode when Sally Bunnell of Navi Savi shares the best things to do in Copenhagen, Denmark. Sally and I talk about visiting the Mermaid statue, exploring Tivoli Gardens, and skiing at Copenhill. We hope you’ll join us when We Travel There.

What’s your favorite part of the Isles of Scilly? Send us a Tweet, let us know in the comment section below, or continue the discussion in our Facebook group!

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