Events & Festivals

Buzzing with reasons to come to Scilly

Scilly is a destination buzzing with events and festivals, particularly throughout the season: from walking festivals, gastronomic weekends and music events to the World Pilot Gig Championships, art weeks, island fetes, RNLI days, exhibitions, theatre and more...

April is seen in with the Walk Scilly Festival, a week-long event of themed and guided walks across all the islands. You can “top to toe” each island, take part in wildlife adventures or forage for your supper. There are also coastal runs, and opportunities to swim with seals and hire bikes at special rates throughout the week. 

The Scilly Folk Festival now takes place (as of 2015) on the late May Bank Holiday, when the islands come alive with music and dance. Highlights include live bands, a barn dance, lunchtime gigs and various informal sessions, where everyone can come along with their instruments and join in.

Art Scilly is an extravaganza in arts inspiration, tuition and relaxation by the sea. For a week in mid-May, you can try your hand at lino printing and stained glass design, take part in a photography workshop, experiment with water colours, and so much more.

Also in May, during the first bank holiday weekend, Scilly pulsates to the World Pilot Gig Championships when more than 130 racing pilot gigs (six-person rowing boats), their crew and supporters descend on the islands. Throughout the summer, islanders continue to race these gigs every week; the ladies on Wednesday evenings, the men on Fridays. It makes a great spectator sport, as tripper boats follow the action.

Tresco and Bryher specialise in Food & Drink festivals too, with two Ale festivals and a Cider festival during the spring and summer, as well as the ever popular Tresco & Bryher Food Festival in mid-September.

For the energetic amongst you, this year Scilly will host the secondl Scilly Sea Swim Challenge on 5th September. The spectacle of 150 swimmers swimming from island to island is not one to be missed.

If you're looking to time your visit, why not check out the Isles of Scilly Events page? You can also keep up to date on Twitter @ScillyTIC during your stay.