Isles of Scilly

This tiny island really is for Robinson Crusoes. It's been abandoned since 1855, and now the only signs that anyone ever lived here are a few crumbling cottages, all but swallowed up by the bracken and gorse. It feels fantastically isolated, and is a great location for bird-spotting. Day trips to the island can be arranged through the boatyard on Bryher.

At low tide the remains of ancient fields swamped during the last ice age become visible at Samson Flats.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Isles of Scilly attractions

1. Rushy Bay

0.85 MILES

Bryher is fringed by fabulous beaches, but Rushy Bay is the largest – and many would say the loveliest. South-facing and sheltered by the hummock of Watch…

2. Great Par

1.06 MILES

A grand curve of sand on the west side of Bryher, super for rock-pooling and paddling.

3. Tresco Abbey Garden

1.26 MILES

Tresco's key attraction – and one of Scilly's must-see gems – is this subtropical estate, laid out in 1834 on the site of a 12th-century Benedictine…

4. Watch Hill

1.53 MILES

For the best views on the island, hike up to the top of Watch Hill, from where you can drink in a panorama right across the archipelago. It's a truly…

5. Shipman Head Down

1.74 MILES

It might not be immediately obvious to the unschooled eye, but sprawling over this hilly heathland is a vast Neolithic burial site – one of the largest of…

6. Garrison


Perched on the hill to the west of Hugh Town, this forbidding fort has a history stretching back almost 350 years. Though it was begun in Tudor times, the…

7. Bant's Carn

1.99 MILES

One of the best-preserved Neolithic chamber tombs in the Scilly Islands, on the northwest side of the island on the edge of Halangy Down. It's still…

8. Halangy Down

1.99 MILES

While Neolithic settlers probably only visited Scilly sporadically, by the Iron Age settlers had arrived and made a life here, eking out a living by…