An explorer's guide to the islands of Britain

2 Coastguard Cottages, Higher Town, Isles of Scilly TR25 0QL, UK
Distance: 14.2 km
Difficulty: Moderate
Method: Walking
Wow Factor: 10 out of 10

Key Facts

  • Location: northernmost island of the Isles of Scilly
  • Size: 237 hectares
  • Terrain: mixed sand and grass paths with some rockier sections
  • Access: boat
  • Height gain: 330 metres
  • Map: OS Explorer 101
  • Starting point: Lower Town Quay
  • Accommodation/food:

    hotel, B&B & campsite available; food at Karma St Martin’s hotel, Seven Stones Inn, Polreath tearoom, Post Office Stores, The Island Bakery & Adam’s Fish & Chips

  • Island Summary:

    travelling from the mainland St Martins is the gateway to the Isles of Scilly. Here you’ll discover some of the best beaches in the world, tantalising crystal clear waters and a sense of calm that will wash over and soothe the most restless of souls. If the water doesn’t tempt you in, the mouth-watering local food definitely will. From artisan bread, fish and chips straight from the boat (and potatoes from the garden) to a pint at the local with one of the most stunning views. It’s even got its own vineyard. It’s impossible not to be rocked by the natural beauty of this island.

  • Look out for:
    • Swimming at St Martin’s Bay
    • Atmospheric ancient ruins on tidal White Island
    • Amazing hilltop views from the Daymark
    • Local fish and chips and Island Bakery goodies
    • Drinks on the Seven Stones terrace
  • Route description:

    starting at Lower Town Quay the path affords great views over the uninhabited, rocky Tean with St Helen’s behind before reaching the boulder-strewn Pernagie Point. At low tide White Island can be accessed via White Island Bar and a circumnavigation is possible on faint paths. An easy coastal path then passes the extensive beaches of Little Bay and White Bay before climbing up towards the Daymark and St Martins Down, from where Land’s End can be seen on a good day. Walking down towards Higher Town, refreshments are available, before taking the grassy, sandy tracks that pass through the flower fields and maram covered dunes back to Lower Town Quay

  • Getting there:

    boat from St Mary’s

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