back to Great Britain

Great Britain

Island Hopping on The Isles of Scilly

Scattered in the Atlantic Ocean 28 miles from Land’s End, the Isles of Scilly were once the haunt of pirates. Staying on the island of St Mary’s, take the opportunity to discover these delightful islands known for their abundance of beautiful flowers, wildlife, and gentle climate. Get an insight into life on the largest island in the archipelago. With a visit to Tresco Abbey Gardens, the sub-tropical Abbey Garden is a glorious exception; a perennial Kew without the glass, home to 20,000 plants from more than 80 countries, flourishing just 30 miles off the coast of Cornwall. Tresco Abbey Garden was established by Augustus Smith in the 19th century around the ruins of a Benedictine Abbey. Today, the garden is home to plants from across the world’s Mediterranean climate zones, from Brazil to New Zealand and Burma to South Africa.

Itinerary

  1. Travel to Penzance or Newquay (D)

    Meet at the chosen hotel in either Penzance or Newquay. On arrival you will be met by your tour leader, who will be with you throughout the tour.

    One-night stay in a Hotel in Penzance or Newquay.

    Key to symbols: B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, AT = Afternoon Tea, D = Dinner, DR = Drink 

    Image: Scilly St Mary's Hugh Town harbour, Peter Kiss - Credited to Visit Isles of Scilly

  2. Travel to the Isles of Scilly and St Mary's (B, L, D)

    (approx. 3 miles walking)

    Morning: After breakfast we begin our day by walking from the hotel in Penzance*  with our luggage to the ferry port.  (0.5 miles approximately, 15-minute walk). We take the morning ferry at 9:15am** to St Mary’s for an arrival at 12noon**. We walk from the ferry port to the hotel with our luggage. (0.5 miles approximately, 15-minute walk).

    Afternoon: We visit Harry’s Walls; two artillery bastions that belonged to a fort that begun in 1551, during the reign of King Edward VI. We walk the lower Moors Nature Trail to Old Town, view the remains of Ennor Castle before visiting Old Town Church for a short reflection. If time and energy allows we continue to Peninnis to visit the lighthouse and walk to Buzza Hill to view the windmill and Bronze Age Burial Chamber.

    4 nights stay in Bell Rock Hotel.

    Key to symbols: B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, AT = Afternoon Tea, D = Dinner, DR = Drink

    Image: Scilly St Mary's Old Town Church - Credited to Visit Isles of Scilly

  3. Tresco (B, D)

    (approx. 6 miles walking)

    Morning: We begin our morning with a boat crossing to Tresco. With entrance to Tresco Abbey Garden included we spend the morning exploring the Gardens. The face of the garden changes throughout the year. Flowers bloom weeks ahead of the mainland in Spring—the perfect tonic after a long cold winter. Not only can you see an array of beautiful flowers and trees but you can watch for red squirrels and golden pheasants meandering throughout the gardens.

    Lunch: Lunch at the Abbey Garden Café (at customer’s own cost).

    Afternoon: This afternoon we visit St Nicholas Church for a short reflection, Old Blockhouse and take a beautiful scenic walk along the East coast. We return by boat to St Mary’s.

    Key to symbols: B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, AT = Afternoon Tea, D = Dinner, DR = Drink

    Image: Tresco Abbey Garden, fountain and steps - Credited to Visit Isles of Scilly

  4. St Martin's (B, D)

    (approx. 3 miles walking)

    Morning: We begin our morning with a boat crossing to St Martin’s. On arrival we visit Chapel Down: Daymark signal station, the ruins of an early medieval chapel and statue-menhir.

    Lunch: Lunch at the Little Arthur Café

    (at customer’s own cost).

    Afternoon: This afternoon we visit St Martin’s Church for a short reflection, and enjoy a guided tour of Churchtown flower farm. We return by boat to St Mary’s.

    Key to symbols: B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, AT = Afternoon Tea, D = Dinner, DR = Drink

    Image: Scilly. young seal pup, Mike Harcum - Credited to Visit Isles of Scilly

  5. St Agnes and Gugh (B, D)

    (approx. 5 miles walking)

    Morning: We begin our morning with a boat crossing to St Agnes and Gugh. We cross the sand bar from St Agnes to Gugh whilst taking in views of the kelp pit, Bronze Age burial chambers ad standing stone.

    Lunch: Lunch at the Turk’s Head

    (at customer’s own cost).

    Afternoon: This afternoon we visit St Agnes Church for a short reflection, Troytown Maze; the seven ring maze is often built on sea shores to protect sailors by sending them fair winds. We also  get to witness beautiful views of the lighthouse. We return by boat to St Mary’s.

    Key to symbols: B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, AT = Afternoon Tea, D = Dinner, DR = Drink

    Image: Scilly, Stagnes couple walking to lighthouse - Credited to Visit Isles of Scilly

  6. Travel to Penzance or Newquay (B, D)

    Morning: We begin our morning with a visit to the Parish Church, very near to our hotel, to meet the Chaplain and  for a farewell reflection . The rest of the morning will be free.

    Afternoon: We walk from the hotel to St Mary’s ferry port with our luggage. We take the afternoon ferry at 4:30pm** to Penzance* for an arrival at 7:15pm**. We walk from the ferry port to the hotel in Penzance with our luggage.

    One-night stay in a Hotel in Penzance or Newquay*.

    Key to symbols: B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, AT = Afternoon Tea, D = Dinner, DR = Drink

    Image: Scilly-St. Mary's-sunset group walk on St. Mary's-Adj Brown - Credited to Visit Isles of Scilly

  7. Depart for home (B)

    Today we say goodbye and head back home.

    Key to symbols: B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, AT = Afternoon Tea, D = Dinner, DR = Drink

    Please note the itinerary may be subject to change in order due to local tidal times and local conditions. Ferries times are based on 2024 schedule and are subject to change.

    Image: Penzance, Credit: Penzance Bid: Abbey BasinPenzance

Essential Information

Included excursions

  • Guided walking tour of Harry’s Walls, walk the Lower Moors Nature Trail to Old Town, view Ennor Castle and visit Old Town Church.
  • Guided walking tour to Peninnis to visit the lighthouse and walk to Buzza Hill to view the windmill and Bronze Age burial chamber.
  • Entrance to Tresco Abbey Gardens
  • Visit to St Nicholas Church and Old Blockhouse.
  • Guided walking tour to visit Chapel Down: Daymark signal station, the ruins of early medieval chapel, statue-menhir.
  • Visit to St Martin’s Church.
  • Guided tour of Churchtown flower farm.
  • Guided walking tour crossing Sand Bar from St Agnes to Gugh.
  • Visit to St Agnes Church.

Included extras

  • Return ferry from Penzance to St Mary’s
  • Return Boat crossings to Tresco, St Martins and St Agnes and Gugh
  • One night pre and post stay in either Penzance or Newquay. Pre and post stays to be confirmed at the end of September 2024.
  • 4 nights stay at Bell Rock Hotel in St Mary's
  • Hotel porterage
  • All entrance fees
  • All hotel, guide and dinner restaurant gratuities
  • Optional ecumenical worship with our ordained Tour Leader

Included meals & drinks

Meals: breakfast each day is included. All dinners are included, with one being in local pub restaurant and five being in the hotel in either Penzance or Newquay and St Mary’s. All lunches are at your own expense.

Drinks: All drinks are at your own expense.

Our team in Isles of Scilly

This holiday includes a knowledgeable and qualified local guide to bring the stories and history of the region to life. Also, our dedicated McCabe ordained faith leader is there solely for our guests and will arrange optional worship, some in the historical locations visited. They will escort all excursions and be available for any queries.

Your journey

Travel by ferry from Penzance to St. Mary’s, Isles of Scilly on a crossing that takes around 2hrs and 45 minutes, giving you a unique perspective of some of Cornwall’s most iconic coastline.

Getting to Penzance 

By train

The hotel is just a short walk from the Penzance Station. Both GWR and Cross-Country trains operate from here including the night sleeper service from London Paddington.

By coach

National Express operate services to Penzance from a number of UK destinations. The Penzance, bus station is approximately 15 minutes’ walk to your hotel.

www.nationalexpress.com

By car

Parking is available within a 15 minutes’ walk from the hotel at the long stay Harbour car park - with charges from £10.50 for 24 hours and weekly from £26.30. To book a weekly ticket, this must be booked in advance on the Cornwall Council website.

Your hotel

PRE AND POST HOTEL STAY IN PENZANCE OR NEWQUAY – One night

Pre & Post stays to be confirmed at the end of September 2024.

BELL ROCK HOTEL (2*) - Four nights

The most southerly hotel in England, the Bell Rock Hotel is located just a short walk from Porthcressa Beach and the harbour. This is an historical building which has been welcoming guests for over 100 years and is renowned for its caring staff. The licensed hotel is in a quiet and central position and beaches are only about 100 yards away. The hotel boasts an Indoor Swimming pool and has a resident’s lounge. There is no lift at the hotel and there are steps leading into the entrance of the hotel.

Hotel facilities: indoor swimming pool, the lounge and bar offer a quiet, comfortable sitting area for a pre-dinner drink, after dinner tea or coffee, and they have a variety of books and games for your pleasure. Complimentary Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel.

Your room: all rooms are cosy and comfortable and have ensuite facilities with either showers or baths (or both), tea and coffee making facilities, TV and hairdryer. Bedrooms are located across 4 floor levels.

Your bathroom: ensuite with shower or bath (or both).

You may ask why the Bell Rock Hotel is not a 3-star hotel, the reason for this is that some of the compact double rooms, which are very popular, are not 3-star size. They do not have a lift and all the rooms are on different levels. The aim at the Bell Rock Hotel is to offer a high standard of clean and contemporary accommodation and food with excellent service and extra features such as the indoor swimming pool.

Location: Isles of Scilly

The Isles of Scilly are outstandingly beautiful and unspoilt. Consequently, you will find that the destination does not offer the same facilities as on the mainland and guests will need a level of mobility to access the ferries and enjoy the islands. Guests will encounter gradients and rough terrain.

Practical information

Travel Identification

Travel Identification: Passengers travelling aboard Scillonian III, will not need to provide a valid proof of identity before they can allow you on board.

Climate

In the Isles of Scilly the average minimum and maximum temperatures during your stay are between 08-12 degrees (°C ). The climate of the Isles of Scilly is oceanic, with quite mild, rainy winters and mild, relatively rainy summers.

Clothing

Dress is casual throughout the holiday. As the sightseeing visits require a certain amount of walking, we suggest you take a pair of good comfortable walking boots that provide ankle support and good grip, waterproof and windproof jacket, and comfortable clothing with layers to keep you warm.

Mobility

There is a certain amount of walking (and stairs) involved on a daily basis on this holiday so please make sure you pack comfy footwear for this so that you are prepared. Your Tour leader and guide will keep you updated on a daily basis with what to expect the following day. If you are finding it difficult to keep up, then please make sure you tell your Tour leader who can help you to find places to rest and relax and then you can re-join the group at a later stage.

The McCabe Educational Trust

The McCabe Educational Trust is an independent registered charity with the aim of helping inspiring people we meet on some of our pilgrimages. As ‘the haves’ encounter the ‘have nots’ the Trust has become a practical tool for one to help the other.

McCabe Pilgrimages invite all travellers to become partners in this work. A £20 voluntary donation to the Trust’s work is added to every pilgrim’s invoice and all money raised in this way is given in full to the projects the Trust supports. This scheme is voluntary and confidential with nobody put under any pressure to participate.

Travel insurance

Ensuring that your holidays are appropriately protected is one of our main priorities. That’s why we have specifically chosen Holiday Extras as our *preferred travel insurance provider to ensure that you are protected before and whilst you are travelling. Holiday Extras offer McCabe Travel guests favourable rates for single trip, multi-trip and annual policies.

For more information or to obtain a quote click below for their website

https://www.holidayextras.com/travel-insurance

Or call them on 0800 083 3551 to speak to a friendly advisor.

Please quote AG628 upon calling to receive the best rates

Full financial security

All money paid to McCabe is fully secure. Holidays including flights are covered by our ATOL license from the Civil Aviation Authority, and holidays without flights are protected by our membership of the ABTOT bonding scheme. If a pilgrimage is cancelled, for instance through lack of numbers or for political considerations, McCabe will promptly refund all monies paid.

AITO Quality Statement

McCabe Pilgrimages is a member of the Association of Independent Tour Operators. The Association represents Britain’s leading independent tour operators and encourages high standards of quality and service. McCabe abides by the Association’s Code of Conduct and adheres to the AITO Quality Charter.

You can read McCabe reviews on the AITO website here

 

Read reviews

Dates

Our Programme Tour Leader Tour Dates Availability
Island Hopping on The Isles of Scilly 7 Day Isles of Scilly Prices from £1999 pp Canon Paul Miller 06/04/2025 for 7 days Download brochure Book now Make an enquiry

Send to a friend




    Retreat to Iona

    Prices from £1,369 pp

    Read more

    St Patrick's Way Pilgrimage

    Prices from £1,799 pp

    Read more

    Travel club

    A portfolio of tours with our regular travellers in mind

    Read more