Island hop your way around Scilly
One of the most enjoyable things to do on the Isles of Scilly is to hop onto a "tripper' boat and go explore. It's the best way to get a real flavour of island life.
All the islands are really close together - just a 20 minute or so boat ride - so it's perfectly feasible to stay on one island for your entire holiday and visit all the others whilst you are here. You can do an island a day, and either go it alone or book a guide to take with you.
Once landed on an off-island, it's generally a case of walking your way around the stunning coastlines, stopping by galleries and honestly stalls, but essentially marvelling at the incredible views and natural beauty of it all. And then, of course, stop for a bite to eat either at the island's pub or at one of the cafe's or bakeries. Once you've visited them all, you'll soon discover that each island has its own character and everyone has a favourite. The uninhabited islands don't have facilities or places to eat, but they do have a truly magical aura about them, wonderful wildlife and an incredible sense of history.
On Scilly, island hopping is what you do and our boatmen take great pride in helping you make the most of your experience. Their knowledge and experience of the waters are second to none and they'll often point out wildlife and seabirds as you hop between them all.
If you're staying on St. Mary's, boatmen will usually put in an appearance at your hotel in the morning to let you know when and where they are going that day. There are blackboards around town and on the quay with the daily St. Mary's Boatmen Association's trips chalked up (the most prominent being on Hugh Street outside Steamship House). Private trips and tours are also advertised.
If you’re staying on Tresco, St. Martin’s, St. Agnes or Bryher, you’ll find notice boards across all these islands too.
Additionally, all boat operators now have websites, facebook pages and twitter feeds - @scillyboatmen @stagnesboating and @trescoboats - which publicise boat trips the evening before. Radio Scilly provides boating updates in the morning.
If you buy your boat tickets in a book of 10 - from the St Mary's Boatmen's kiosk on the Quay or from the Tourist Information Centre - you can save 15% on ticket prices. The TIC will also be happy to offer advice on routes and times.