An explorer's guide to the islands of Britain

Tresco, United Kingdom
Distance: 10.4 km
Difficulty: Easy
Method: Walking
Wow Factor: 8 out of 10

Key Facts

  • Location: Isles of Scilly
  • Size: 297 hectares
  • Terrain: easy paths with some rockier sections in the north
  • Access: boat
  • Height gain: 201 metres
  • Map: OS Explorer 101
  • Starting point: Carn Near Quay (south of the island). Note: baots may also arrive/depart from New Grimsby depending on tides
  • Accommodation/food:

    most facilities are located between new and Old Grimsby including the New Inn, Tresco Strores & Deli & The Flying Boat restaurant. North of New Grimsby is the Ruin Beach Cafe & the Abbey Garden has a cafe

  • Island Summary:

    a privately owned island more often feted for its sophistication and luxury than its wildlife, Tresco has a distinctly different feel to the other Isles of Scilly. Yet this sub-tropical jewel of an island offers plenty of talcum-soft sandy, wild-time for the islandeer. From the genteel south to the rugged moorland of the north, the romantic coastal fortifications and, of course, the resplendent Abbey gardens a trip to this island is a must on everyone’s itinerary

  • Look out for:
    • Ancient Ruins
    • Restaurants
    • Wildlife
    • Cafes
  • Route description:

    starting at Carn Quay the easy estate ‘road’ through New Grimsby soon turns into a narrower, bracken-covered path to Cromwell’s Castle on the boulder-strewn shore before ascending to the ruins of King Charles’ Castle. From here the views are extensive – reaching Land’s End to the east and Bishops Rock Lighthouse to the west with all of the islands in between. The route then climbs Gun Hill in the north of the island and crosses the heather-clad moor to reach the delightful, castaway-café of Ruin Beach. After refreshments the grassy path south follows the bone-white beaches to reach the dune-backed Pentle Bay, named in the top ‘Under-the-Radar’ beaches by the Wall Street Journal. The route back to Carn Quay affords plentiful views of Abbey House and, if time permits, many options for a detour to visit the world-renowned sub-tropical garden and wildlife-rich Abbey Pool

  • Getting there:

    boat from St Mary’s (and sometimes Bryher)

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