Watch Hill

Top choice in Isles of Scilly

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 glorious spot to sit and watch the sunset, but – in the words of the locals – it can be hellish windy up top.

The hill gets its name from the days of the tall ships, when watchers would sit on the summit and look out for masts, and then signal down to pilots who would row out to meet the ships.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Isles of Scilly attractions

1. Shipman Head Down

0.28 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…

2. Great Par

0.54 MILES

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

3. Rushy Bay

0.72 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…

4. Tresco Abbey Garden

1.02 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…

5. Samson

1.53 MILES

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…

6. Bant's Carn

2.55 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…

7. Halangy Down

2.56 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…

8. Lawrence's Bay

2.84 MILES

A huge, south-facing curve of soft sand, not far from the island's main facilities.