Magical little hideaway-for-2 on the easygoing Isle of St Mary's
All who visit the Scillies rave about their natural beauty. Deserted white-sand beaches that would look at home in the Caribbean; warm turquoise seas where you can snorkel beside wild seals; coastal paths lined with sub-tropical flowers and waving grasses. They may be small in size, but these tiny islands off the coast of Cornwall are huge in appeal.
The largest, St Mary’s, is home to an equally enchanting little shepherd hut, hidden in a secret garden behind a stream. Inside, it’s loaded with style – Farrow & Ball colours, White Company linens, and a wood-burner to keep things cosy year round. But you’ll want to be outside whatever the season, cycling into town to lunch in a waterfront cafe – the freshest of crab sandwiches – before an afternoon of paddleboarding or exploring little art galleries. Back at the hut, Scilly Food Boxes will deliver fresh seafood and seasonal veg to your door so you create a slap-up supper as the sun goes down, then it’s time to kick back and light the firepit. Don’t forget the marshmallows.
Getting here: take an airport shuttle or taxi on arrival.
- Swim and snorkel in some of the UK’s clearest waters, or go diving amongst shipwrecks.
- Cycle around the island, collecting bounty from little honesty stalls as you go – fresh eggs, local honey and just-picked berries, even seafood.
- Walk along miles of glorious coastline and along wild nature trails.
- Island hop around the archipelago: to Tresco (world-famous sub-tropical gardens), St Martin’s (incredible white beaches, lined with palm trees), St Agnes (Bronze Age burial sites and beautiful heathland) and Bryher (wild rugged beauty and the brilliant Crab Shack).
- Or kayak around uninhabited little islets to find a private cove for the afternoon.
- Drink specialist gins and eat fresh lobster at The Beach BBQ restaurant, as you watch the sun go down over Porthmellon beach.