An explorer's guide to the islands of Britain

Unnamed Road, Isles of Scilly TR23 0PR, UK
Distance: 3.8 km
Difficulty: Easy
Method: Walking
Wow Factor: 10 out of 10

Key Facts

  • Location: Isles of Scilly
  • Size: 38 hectares
  • Terrain: Sandy paths; two small hills
  • Access: Inter-island ferry from St Mary's
  • Height gain: 130 metres
  • Map: OS Explorer 101
  • Starting point: Bar Point, north east of island
  • Accommodation/food:

    Bar Point is one of the best picnic spots on Scilly. A deserted and idyllic beach. There are no facilities on this island, and wild camping is not permitted.

  • Island Summary:

    The circular walk around Samson offers a blissful walk and plenty of opportunity to re-imagine the lives of islanders of the past as you explore the haunting ruins of their homes and farms. On most days you’ll see few other people and can enjoy the soft white sands, shallow, clear water and silence.

  • Look out for:
    • Exploring the ruins of Neolithic sites
    • Walking up North and South hills for wonderful views
    • Wild swimming at Bar Point
  • Route description:

    There isn’t an official path around Samson, but it is easy to find your way along the beaches and foreshore on this lower tide circular walk around the whole island. There are rocky beaches to navigate, but nothing very difficult. Please not that from April to September, the full circular route is not possible to protect the wildlife on the south and west shores. An alternative walk during these months is to climb both of the islands hills to explore the ancient ruins and cairns. It is also wonderful to wander the sandy isthmus between the hills, to enjoy the wild flowers and the ruins of the fishermen’s boat shed.

  • Getting there:

    Getting to Samson is part of its adventure. The inter-island ferry from St Mary’s requires a transfer mid-sea to a rib in order to land on the island. Some boats may also require you to ‘walk the plank’ to stay dry-ish as you set foot on the sand beach at Bar Point.

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Welcome new readers

Take a look around the site. Learn about islands you may never have heard of. Take up the islandeering challenge and find a pioneering route, or simply see what each island has to offer for a more chilled out visit. Go to ‘islands’ and find something that inspires you.

Wild swim

Perfect wild swim spot

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Walk up North and South Hill

Walk the island highpoint for stupendous views

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Explore Samson's ruins and ancient sites

Explore 8,000 years of living history

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