Dominating the whole west peninsula of St Mary’s it is hard to miss one of the most impressive coastal defence systems in England. Here you can wander around the defensive walls and explore the tunnels, as well as sample the excellent food and accommodation at Star Castle, once the nucleus of the defensive system initially developed by Elizabethans to defend against the Spanish Armada. Using the strategic promontory, known originally as The Hugh, The Garrison became a Royalist stronghold during the English Civil War and was further developed in the 17th and early 18th centuries with continued threat of invasion by the French and Spanish. Many of the surviving batteries, barracks and buildings date from this time. The Garrison was re-armed in World War I and used again as a signal station and barracks in World War II. The Garrison walk starts in Hugh Town and passes through the Garrison gateway, the original arched gateway with a bellcote and parapet above, and a sunken powder magazine called the Rocket House. It then follows the coast and ends along a wooded path to Porthcressa Beach which is accessed via hidden stairs and tunnel.
Visiting St Mary’s
Check out our island page for St Mary’s for more information
You might also be interested in:
- Walk the coastal path around the whole island – see our Islandeering route
- Watch a gig race
- Flowers of St Mary’s
- Visit islets off St Mary’s
- Wild swimming on St Mary’s
- Scilly Swim Challenge & inter-island swims
- Coasteering on St Mary’s
- Visiting ancient and historic sites
- Sea kayaking
- Spotting whales and dolphins
The other Scilly Isles are also excellent destinations and all within easy reach of St Mary’s using the characterful inter-island boats.
Other islands of the British Isles
We have explored nearly 600 islands in the British Isles and are trying to write them up as fast as we can. Check more here or contact us as we are happy to share our info.
Our two books are stacked with more ideas on what to do in the Channel Islands and more more info here