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A Day On Tresco Island, The Isles Of Scilly


Modified: September 26, 2023

by Milly Rex



Welcome to Tresco Island, a hidden gem nestled in the Isles of Scilly, off the coast of Cornwall, England. With its pristine beaches, lush landscapes, and rich biodiversity, Tresco Island offers a perfect getaway for beach enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. This idyllic island, measuring only two and a half miles long, is a haven of tranquility and natural beauty.


Tresco Island boasts a unique charm that sets it apart from other beach destinations. Here, you can leave behind the hustle and bustle of everyday life and immerse yourself in the serenity of this captivating island paradise. Whether you’re seeking a relaxing day on the sandy shores, exploring enchanting gardens, or spotting rare wildlife, Tresco Island offers it all.


Known for its warm climate and crystal-clear waters, Tresco Island is a haven for sunseekers. The island is blessed with some of the most picturesque beaches in the world, with white sands stretching along the turquoise coastline. From secluded coves to expansive bays, there is a beach to suit every preference.


In addition to its stunning beaches, Tresco Island is home to the world-renowned Tresco Abbey Garden. This subtropical paradise is a must-visit for any visitor to the island. Explore the vibrant array of exotic plants, blooming flowers, and towering palm trees as you wander through the garden’s winding pathways.


For those looking for adventure, Tresco Island offers an abundance of activities. Rent a bike and explore the island’s scenic trails, discovering hidden coves and panoramic viewpoints along the way. Wildlife enthusiasts will be thrilled by the opportunity to spot rare bird species and marine creatures that call this island home.


After a day of exploration, indulge in the island’s culinary delights. From fresh seafood caught by local fishermen to globally inspired cuisines, Tresco Island offers a diverse range of dining options to suit every palate. Wind down your day by choosing from a selection of comfortable and luxurious accommodations, including beachside cottages and boutique hotels.


In this article, we will delve deeper into the enchanting world of Tresco Island. Join us as we explore its pristine beaches, captivating gardens, exciting activities, and more. So pack your bags, leave your worries behind, and get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey to Tresco Island, the epitome of coastal paradise.


Getting to Tresco Island

Tresco Island is located in the Isles of Scilly archipelago, off the southwestern tip of Cornwall, England. While it may seem remote, getting to Tresco is surprisingly convenient. There are several transportation options available to reach this picturesque island.


The most common way to get to Tresco Island is by taking a short flight from the Land’s End Airport or Newquay Airport. Both airports offer regular flights to St. Mary’s Airport, the main gateway to the Isles of Scilly. From St. Mary’s, you can catch a 15-minute boat ride or hire a water taxi to Tresco Island.


If flying isn’t your preference, you can also opt for a scenic boat journey to reach Tresco Island. Regular ferry services are available from Penzance, which takes approximately 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a helicopter from Penzance Heliport, which is a quick 15-minute flight to Tresco Island.


For a truly unforgettable experience, you can even charter a private yacht to sail to Tresco Island. This allows you to enjoy the stunning coastal views and arrive in style. There are several marinas nearby where you can dock your yacht and explore the island at your own pace.


Once you arrive on Tresco Island, there are no cars allowed, making it a true oasis of tranquility. However, getting around the island is a breeze. You can rent bicycles, electric buggies, or simply explore on foot. The small size of the island makes it easy to navigate and discover its hidden treasures.


It’s important to note that travel arrangements to Tresco Island should be made in advance, especially during peak seasons. It’s advisable to check the schedules and availability of flights or ferries and book your accommodations ahead of time to ensure a smooth and hassle-free journey.


Whether you arrive by air, sea, or private yacht, the journey to Tresco Island is part of the adventure. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the scenic voyage as you make your way to this captivating island paradise.


Exploring Tresco Abbey Garden

Tresco Abbey Garden is a horticultural masterpiece, renowned worldwide for its stunning collection of plants and flowers. Located on the grounds of the historic Tresco Abbey, this subtropical paradise is a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts and garden lovers alike.


The creation of Tresco Abbey Garden dates back to the 19th century when Augustus Smith, the Lord Proprietor of the Isles of Scilly, established the garden on the ruins of a Benedictine priory. Today, the garden covers more than 17 acres and is home to a remarkable variety of plants from all corners of the globe.


As you wander through the winding pathways of Tresco Abbey Garden, you will be captivated by the vibrant colors and intoxicating fragrances that fill the air. From towering palm trees to exotic succulents, each section of the garden offers a new botanical wonder to discover.


One of the highlights of Tresco Abbey Garden is its collection of subtropical and Mediterranean plants. These include rare and exotic species that thrive in the mild coastal climate of the Isles of Scilly. Marvel at the sight of vibrant blooms and unique foliage as you explore the various themed areas within the garden.


Don’t miss the Valhalla Museum, housed within Tresco Abbey Garden. This unique attraction showcases a stunning collection of ship figureheads salvaged from wrecked ships around the Isles of Scilly. The Valhalla Museum provides a fascinating glimpse into the maritime history of the region.


Throughout the year, Tresco Abbey Garden hosts various events, including guided tours, workshops, and botanical lectures. These activities offer visitors an opportunity to delve deeper into the world of horticulture and gain a deeper understanding of the garden’s diverse flora and fauna.


After exploring Tresco Abbey Garden, take a moment to relax and rejuvenate at the on-site cafe, nestled amidst the lush greenery. Indulge in freshly brewed coffee, homemade cakes, and light lunches while enjoying panoramic views of the garden.


Whether you are a passionate gardener or simply appreciate the beauty of nature, a visit to Tresco Abbey Garden is an experience not to be missed. It is a true oasis of tranquility and a testament to the enduring allure of this enchanting island.


Enjoying the Beaches of Tresco

When it comes to picturesque beaches, Tresco Island offers a paradise that is hard to rival. With its crystal-clear waters, soft white sands, and breathtaking coastal scenery, the beaches of Tresco are a beach lover’s dream come true.


One of the highly recommended beaches on Tresco Island is Pentle Bay. This long stretch of pristine sand curves gently, creating a sheltered and tranquil bay. The turquoise waters are perfect for swimming and snorkeling, allowing you to explore the vibrant marine life that thrives along the reef.


If you’re looking for a secluded escape, head to Appletree Bay. Nestled between rugged cliffs and vibrant greenery, this hidden gem offers a serene and peaceful setting. It’s an ideal spot to relax, soak up the sun, and listen to the soothing sound of waves crashing against the shore.


For those seeking a beach with a touch of adventure, visit Great Bay. This windy beach is frequented by windsurfers and kiteboarders who enjoy the exhilarating experience of riding the waves. Even if you don’t partake in these water sports, watching the colorful kites dancing across the sky is a sight to behold.


Another must-visit beach on Tresco Island is Rushy Bay. Located on the eastern side of the island, this beach offers sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean. Explore the tidal pools and spot unique rock formations as you stroll along the shore. During low tide, you can even walk to the neighboring island of Bryher via a sandbar known as The Bar.


One of the unique features of Tresco’s beaches is its abundance of seashells. Take a leisurely beachcombing stroll and discover an array of beautifully shaped shells washed ashore. From colorful cockle shells to intricate scallop shells, collecting these treasures can be a delightful activity for both children and adults.


Whether you prefer to relax on soft sands, take a dip in the clear waters, or explore the fascinating marine life, Tresco Island’s beaches have something for everyone. Make sure to bring a picnic, some sunscreen, and a good book to fully enjoy the serenity and natural beauty that these breathtaking beaches offer.


Cycling around Tresco Island

Exploring Tresco Island by bike is not only a fun and exhilarating way to get around, but it also allows you to fully immerse yourself in the island’s stunning scenery at your own pace. With its well-maintained trails and minimal traffic, Tresco Island is a perfect destination for cyclists of all levels.


Renting a bike is easy, with several rental shops available on the island. Choose from a variety of bicycles, including standard bikes, electric bikes, and even tandem bikes for those who prefer to ride together. Helmets and locks are typically provided, ensuring your safety and peace of mind during your cycling adventure.


Once you have your bike, set off on your two-wheeled exploration of Tresco Island. The island is relatively small, making it easy to navigate and explore its charming villages, stunning coastlines, and beautiful landscapes. You will be captivated by the scenic views around every bend.


Cycling along the coastal paths of Tresco Island offers breathtaking vistas of the azure waters and sweeping sandy beaches. Take a leisurely ride and stop at various viewpoints to soak in the beauty of the ocean and the neighboring islands. It truly is a photographer’s paradise.


As you pedal inland, you’ll discover Tresco’s rolling hills, stunning gardens, and picturesque countryside. Feel the gentle breeze on your face and breathe in the fresh sea air as you pass by fields of wildflowers and grazing sheep. The tranquility and natural beauty of the island will leave you feeling rejuvenated.


Don’t forget to make a stop at the Tresco Abbey Garden during your cycling adventure. Park your bike, explore the garden’s lush pathways, and marvel at the vibrant array of flora and fauna. It’s a truly enchanting experience that will take your breath away.


For those looking for a longer cycling route, consider riding all the way to the neighboring island of Bryher. A short ride on Tresco’s coastal paths will lead you to the Bryher Boatyard, where you can take a bike-friendly boat crossing to Bryher. Here, you can explore the rugged landscapes, charming villages, and pristine beaches of this neighboring island.


Cycling around Tresco Island provides a sense of freedom and allows you to connect with the natural surroundings in a unique way. It’s an eco-friendly and enjoyable way to explore the island’s hidden treasures, whether you’re a seasoned cyclist or simply looking for a leisurely ride.


Remember to follow road rules and be respectful of pedestrians and other cyclists while cycling on Tresco Island. Take breaks when needed to rest and hydrate, and don’t forget to bring a map or use a navigation app to ensure you stay on the right path. So hop on your bike, pedal away, and embark on a memorable cycling adventure on the scenic Tresco Island.


Wildlife Spotting on Tresco

Tresco Island is not only known for its stunning beaches and picturesque landscapes but also for its rich wildlife biodiversity. From rare bird species to marine creatures, the island provides ample opportunities for wildlife enthusiasts to spot and appreciate the diverse range of fauna that calls Tresco home.


One of the highlights of wildlife spotting on Tresco Island is birdwatching. The island is a haven for bird lovers, with numerous species making their nests in the island’s varied habitats. Keep an eye out for the Oystercatchers, Dunlins, and Puffins that frequent the island’s shores. You may also be lucky enough to witness the majestic flight of the Peregrine Falcon, known for its impressive speed and agility.


As you explore Tresco’s scenic coastal paths and nature reserves, don’t forget to bring your binoculars to spot rare and migrating bird species. The island’s diverse habitats, including woodlands, heathlands, and wetlands, attract a wide range of feathered visitors throughout the year.


In addition to birdwatching, Tresco Island offers excellent opportunities for marine wildlife spotting. Explore the rocky shorelines and tidal pools during low tide to discover fascinating marine creatures such as crabs, starfish, and colorful sea anemones. Keep your eyes peeled for seals lazing on the rocks or dolphins playing in the nearby waters.


If you’re keen to dive into the underwater world, Tresco Island offers fantastic snorkeling and diving experiences. The crystal-clear waters teem with marine life, including vibrant fish, coral formations, and even the occasional visit from basking sharks or seals. Snorkel around the reefs and experience an up-close encounter with the fascinating marine ecosystem.


Remember to respect the natural habitats and observe animals from a distance, without disturbing them or their environment. As with any wildlife spotting activity, patience, silence, and a keen eye are key to spotting the elusive creatures that reside on Tresco Island.


For those interested in learning more about the island’s wildlife, the Tresco Island Wildlife Centre is a must-visit. Located within the Abbey Garden, the center provides educational displays and information about the local flora and fauna. It’s a great place to deepen your understanding of the island’s unique ecosystem.


Whether you’re an avid birdwatcher, snorkeling enthusiast, or simply appreciate the wonders of nature, Tresco Island offers an abundance of wildlife to observe and appreciate. Immerse yourself in this captivating world, and you’ll be rewarded with memorable encounters and a deeper appreciation for the natural beauty of Tresco Island.


Dining and Accommodation Options on Tresco

Tresco Island not only offers a paradise of natural beauty but also provides a range of dining and accommodation options to suit every taste and preference. From quaint waterfront cafes to luxurious beachside cottages, the island ensures that your stay is nothing short of exceptional.


When it comes to dining, Tresco Island boasts a diverse culinary scene that caters to all palates. Indulge in freshly caught seafood at one of the island’s seafood restaurants, where local fishermen supply the freshest catch of the day. Sample delicious lobster, crab, and scallops, bringing the flavors of the ocean to your plate.


For those seeking global cuisines, Tresco Island offers a variety of restaurants serving dishes from around the world. Enjoy Mediterranean-inspired delicacies, Asian fusion creations, or classic British comfort food. Pair your meal with a selection of fine wines or craft beers for a complete dining experience.


Don’t miss the opportunity to have a traditional Cornish cream tea while on Tresco Island. Treat yourself to freshly baked scones topped with clotted cream and strawberry jam, accompanied by a steaming pot of English Breakfast tea. This quintessentially British treat is a must-try during your stay.


As for accommodation, Tresco Island offers a range of options to suit different budgets and preferences. For a luxurious and secluded experience, consider staying in one of the island’s beachside cottages or private villas. These offer breathtaking ocean views, direct access to the beaches, and high-end amenities.


If you’re seeking a more intimate and cozy setting, opt for one of the island’s boutique hotels or guesthouses. Enjoy personalized service, comfortable rooms, and charming ambiance that will make you feel right at home. Wake up to peaceful views of the island’s landscapes and enjoy a hearty breakfast before starting your day.


Tresco Island also offers self-catering accommodations such as cozy cottages and apartments, ideal for families or larger groups. With fully equipped kitchens, these accommodations provide the flexibility to prepare your own meals and enjoy a true home-away-from-home experience.


For those who prefer a more communal atmosphere, the island offers camping and caravan sites. Set up your tent or park your caravan amidst the picturesque surroundings and enjoy the freedom of outdoor living. Wake up to the sounds of nature and spend your days exploring the island’s attractions.


When planning your visit to Tresco Island, it’s advisable to book dining reservations and accommodations in advance, especially during peak seasons. This will ensure that you can enjoy your preferred dining venues and secure the accommodation option that best suits your needs.


From fine dining experiences to cozy guesthouses, Tresco Island offers dining and accommodation options that will enhance your stay and create unforgettable memories. No matter where you choose to dine or stay, you can rest assured that you’ll be well taken care of on this captivating island.



Tresco Island, with its pristine beaches, stunning gardens, and abundant wildlife, is a true paradise for those seeking a coastal getaway. This hidden gem in the Isles of Scilly offers a haven of tranquility and natural beauty that captivates the hearts of all who visit.


Whether you spend your days lounging on the sandy shores, exploring the enchanting Tresco Abbey Garden, cycling through scenic trails, or spotting rare bird species and marine creatures, Tresco Island offers a myriad of activities to keep you entertained and immersed in its captivating surroundings.


The island’s dining scene is equally remarkable, with a variety of restaurants offering delicious seafood, international cuisines, and traditional Cornish delights. From waterfront cafes to fine dining establishments, every culinary craving can be satisfied on Tresco Island.


With regards to accommodations, Tresco Island provides options to suit every preference. From luxurious beachside cottages and private villas to inviting boutique hotels and cozy self-catering cottages, visitors can find their perfect home away from home on this captivating island.


As you explore the beaches, gardens, and trails of Tresco Island, take a moment to appreciate the untouched beauty and immerse yourself in the tranquility of this idyllic destination. Whether you’re seeking relaxation, adventure, or a blend of both, Tresco Island is sure to exceed your expectations.


So pack your bags, leave your worries behind, and embark on a journey to Tresco Island. Let yourself be captivated by the stunning landscapes, serenaded by the sounds of nature, and enchanted by the warmth and hospitality of the island’s residents.


Whether you choose to laze on the soft sands, explore the vibrant gardens, indulge in delicious cuisine, or simply soak in the natural beauty around you, Tresco Island promises an unforgettable experience that will leave you yearning to return time and time again.


Set foot on Tresco Island, and let its magic surround you. This coastal paradise is awaiting your discovery, ready to show you a slice of paradise that will create memories to last a lifetime.