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Exploring Gugh, Isles Of Scilly


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Eleonore Plank



Welcome to the enchanting island of Gugh, nestled in the breathtaking Isles of Scilly. If you’re seeking a tranquil and idyllic getaway, Gugh should be at the top of your list. With its pristine beaches, lush landscapes, and rich history, this small island is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered.


Located just off the southwest coast of Cornwall, England, Gugh is part of the Isles of Scilly archipelago. It is one of the smaller islands in the group, measuring just a little over half a mile long and a quarter of a mile wide. Despite its small size, Gugh offers a myriad of experiences for visitors to enjoy.


Stepping onto Gugh is like entering a land of untouched beauty. Surrounded by crystal-clear turquoise waters and adorned with golden sandy beaches, this island is a paradise for beach lovers and nature enthusiasts. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful spot to bask in the sun, or want to explore the rugged coastline on coastal walks, Gugh has it all.


But Gugh is not just about its stunning natural beauty. It also boasts a fascinating history that dates back thousands of years. From ancient burial chambers and Neolithic settlements to the remnants of medieval settlements and more recent farming practices, Gugh is an archaeologist’s dream.


Despite being a small island, Gugh offers plenty of activities to keep visitors entertained. From birdwatching to exploring the vibrant flora and fauna, there is no shortage of wildlife and natural wonders to discover. For those who prefer a more leisurely pace, simply strolling along the island’s picturesque coastline and taking in the breathtaking views is a perfect way to unwind.


When it comes to accommodation, Gugh may not have a wide range of options, but there are charming guesthouses and self-catering cottages available that offer a comfortable and cozy stay. With their warm hospitality and stunning views, these accommodations truly complement the island’s peaceful atmosphere.


Getting to Gugh is an adventure in itself. Visitors can catch a short ferry ride from the main island of St. Mary’s, or for a more unique experience, hire a boat and sail across the azure waters to reach this off-the-beaten-path paradise.


So whether you’re seeking a quiet retreat, a nature lover’s paradise, or a glimpse into the rich history of the region, Gugh has something for everyone. Come and experience the tranquil beauty and serenity of this captivating island.


Location and Geography

Gugh is a picturesque island situated in the stunning Isles of Scilly archipelago, located off the southwestern tip of Cornwall, England. It is one of the smaller islands in the group, measuring just over half a mile long and a quarter of a mile wide. The island is connected to St. Agnes, another island in the Isles of Scilly, by a sandbar known as The Bar, which emerges during low tide and allows visitors to walk between the two islands.


The geography of Gugh is a blend of breathtaking natural beauty and rugged coastal landscapes. The island is surrounded by pristine turquoise waters, providing a stunning backdrop for visitors. The sandy beaches on Gugh are truly remarkable, with fine golden sand lapped by gentle waves. Whether you want to relax on the sun-drenched shores or explore the hidden coves and rock pools, Gugh offers a variety of beach experiences.


In addition to its beautiful beaches, Gugh also boasts lush green fields and rugged cliffs. Walking along the coastal paths, visitors can enjoy panoramic views of the sea and neighboring islands. The island is known for its dramatic rock formations, including the iconic Lion Rock, which stands proudly on the southwestern side of Gugh.


Despite being a small island, Gugh is home to vibrant and diverse wildlife. The surrounding waters teem with marine life, making it an ideal spot for snorkeling and diving. Birdwatchers will delight in the variety of species that inhabit the island, including puffins, gulls, and terns. The rich flora and fauna of Gugh make it a haven for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.


Due to its remote location and limited human intervention, Gugh retains a pristine and untouched environment. The island has a peaceful and tranquil atmosphere, with only a handful of residents and a small number of visitors at any given time. This seclusion adds to the charm and allure of Gugh, making it a perfect destination for those seeking a serene and off-the-beaten-path escape.


The unique geography and location of Gugh make it a true hidden gem within the Isles of Scilly. Whether you’re basking on the sandy beaches, exploring the rugged coastline, or immersing yourself in the island’s rich wildlife and natural beauty, Gugh offers a truly unforgettable experience.


History of Gugh

Gugh is not just a haven of natural beauty; it is also steeped in fascinating history that spans thousands of years. The island has been inhabited since prehistoric times, and evidence of ancient settlements can still be found today.


Archaeological excavations have revealed remnants of Neolithic and Bronze Age settlements on Gugh, including the remains of stone huts and burial chambers. These structures provide a glimpse into the lives of the people who once called Gugh home and are a testament to the island’s rich and enduring history.


In more recent history, Gugh was used for farming and agriculture. The island’s fertile soil and favorable climate made it an ideal location for growing crops and raising livestock. Traditional farming practices were carried out on Gugh for centuries, with the island’s residents relying on agriculture as a means of sustenance.


The community on Gugh was once more populous, with a greater number of houses and families living on the island. However, over time, the population declined, and the island is now home to just a small number of residents.


Today, Gugh is primarily cherished for its natural beauty and peaceful atmosphere. While the island’s population may be small, it continues to attract visitors from all over the world who are captivated by its charm and tranquility.


Exploring the history of Gugh is like stepping back in time. As you wander through the ancient burial chambers and remnants of settlements, you can imagine the lives of those who once roamed these landscapes millennia ago. The island offers a unique opportunity to connect with the past and gain a deeper appreciation for the enduring nature of human existence.


Whether you’re a history buff or simply curious about the island’s past, Gugh provides a captivating journey through time. It serves as a reminder of the resilience of the people who have called this island home and the rich tapestry of stories that have unfolded on its shores.


Immerse yourself in the history of Gugh, and you’ll come away with a deeper appreciation for the island’s cultural heritage and the lasting impact of human presence on this remarkable piece of land in the Isles of Scilly.


Things to Do on Gugh

Gugh may be small in size, but it offers a multitude of activities and experiences to keep visitors entertained. Whether you’re a nature lover, history enthusiast, or simply seeking relaxation, there is something for everyone on this captivating island.


One of the top attractions on Gugh is the stunning sandy beaches. Relax on the golden shores, bask in the sunshine, and take a refreshing dip in the crystal-clear waters surrounding the island. With its pristine beauty and secluded atmosphere, the beaches of Gugh offer a peaceful and rejuvenating escape.


For those who enjoy exploring the outdoors, Gugh provides ample opportunities for coastal walks. Embark on a scenic hike along the rugged coastline and soak in the panoramic views of the sea and neighboring islands. The island’s dramatic rock formations, such as Lion Rock, offer stunning photo opportunities and a chance to appreciate the wonders of nature.


Gugh is a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts and birdwatchers. The island is home to a diverse range of avian species, including puffins, gulls, and terns. Grab your binoculars and explore the designated birdwatching areas on Gugh to catch a glimpse of these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat.


Scilly Flowers is another must-visit attraction on Gugh. This family-run flower farm is home to an array of colorful blooms, including scented narcissi, daffodils, and a variety of other seasonal flowers. Immerse yourself in a sea of vibrant blossoms and experience the beauty and scents that this farm has to offer.


History buffs will be delighted by the archaeological sites scattered across Gugh. Visit the ancient burial chambers and Neolithic settlements to get a glimpse into the island’s past. Explore the remnants of stone huts and imagine the lives of the people who once inhabited this land thousands of years ago.


For a peaceful and reflective experience, take a moment to visit the island’s sacred sites. Gugh has a small chapel and a memorial garden, where you can find solace and tranquility amidst the serene surroundings.


Those seeking relaxation and serenity can indulge in the simple pleasures of Gugh. Pack a picnic and find a quiet spot on the beach, surrounded by breathtaking scenery. Watch the waves gently crash against the shore, listen to the sounds of nature, and let the peaceful ambiance wash over you.


With its diverse range of activities and experiences, Gugh is a destination that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re exploring historical sites, immersing yourself in nature, or simply enjoying the laid-back island vibes, Gugh is sure to leave you with unforgettable memories.


Beaches and Coastal Walks

Gugh is blessed with pristine beaches and stunning coastal landscapes, making it an ideal destination for beach lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you’re looking to relax on the sandy shores or embark on a scenic coastal walk, Gugh has it all.


One of the highlights of Gugh is its beautiful sandy beaches. The island is home to several beaches, each with its own unique charm. From the wide and sandy Cove Vean Beach on the eastern side of the island to the secluded Periglis Beach on the southwestern side, there is a beach to suit every preference.


Cove Vean Beach is a popular spot for sun-seekers. With its soft golden sand and clear turquoise waters, it’s the perfect place to unwind and soak up the sun. Enjoy a picnic on the beach, build sandcastles, or simply take a leisurely stroll along the shoreline.


For those looking for a more secluded experience, Periglis Beach is a hidden gem. Accessed via a coastal walk from Cove Vean Beach, this intimate cove offers a tranquil escape. The beach is nestled between towering cliffs and is often less crowded, providing a serene and peaceful atmosphere.


Exploring Gugh’s rugged coastal landscapes is a must for outdoor enthusiasts. The island offers a range of picturesque coastal walks, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the stunning natural beauty. The circular walk around the perimeter of Gugh offers breathtaking views of the sea, neighboring islands, and the iconic Lion Rock.


Lion Rock, located on the southwestern side of Gugh, is a remarkable sight to behold. This distinctive rock formation resembles a crouching lion and adds an air of mystique to the island. Walking along the coastal path, visitors can get up close and marvel at the intricacies of this geological wonder.


As you meander along the coastal trails, keep an eye out for native bird species that call Gugh home. Puffins, gulls, and terns are just a few examples of the birds you might spot during your coastal exploration.


Whether you choose to relax on the picturesque beaches or venture out on a coastal walk, Gugh offers a wealth of natural beauty to discover. Immerse yourself in the tranquility of the island’s shores, breathe in the fresh sea air, and let the stunning coastal landscapes leave you with lasting memories.


Wildlife and Bird Watching

Gugh is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts and bird watchers, offering a wide variety of species to observe and appreciate. With its diverse habitats and secluded location, the island provides a sanctuary for many unique creatures.


One of the highlights of wildlife on Gugh is the numerous bird species that call the island home. Puffins, with their colorful beaks and distinctive appearances, are a favorite among birdwatchers. These charming seabirds can be spotted during the summer months as they nest in the cliffs and burrows on the island.


In addition to puffins, Gugh is frequented by a range of other bird species. Keep an eye out for gulls, terns, and herons as they soar above the coastline or perch on the rocks. The rhythmic calls and graceful flights of these birds add an enchanting ambiance to the island.


Gugh’s secluded location and diverse ecosystems make it an ideal spot for observing marine life as well. Snorkelers and divers can explore the crystal-clear waters surrounding the island to encounter a fascinating array of underwater creatures. From colorful fish and crustaceans to curious seals, there is always something captivating to see beneath the surface.


For a truly immersive experience in the island’s wildlife, join a guided tour or hire a local expert who can share their knowledge and point out hidden treasures. They can provide insights into the behavior and migration patterns of the birds, as well as offer tips for wildlife spotting during your visit.


Whether you’re an avid birder or simply have a curiosity for the natural world, Gugh offers endless opportunities for wildlife observation and bird watching. As you explore the shores and trails of the island, take a moment to appreciate the delicate balance of the ecosystem and the beauty of the creatures that call Gugh their home.


Remember to respect the wildlife and their habitats by observing from a distance and adhering to any guidelines or regulations in place. By doing so, you can contribute to the preservation and conservation of these magnificent creatures for generations to come.


Scilly Flowers

One of the most captivating attractions on Gugh is Scilly Flowers, a family-run flower farm that showcases the beauty and fragrance of the Isles of Scilly’s blooms. This unique destination offers visitors a chance to immerse themselves in a stunning floral wonderland.


Scilly Flowers is renowned for its scented narcissi, which are grown in abundance on the farm. These delicate and fragrant flowers are a symbol of the Isles of Scilly and are an absolute treat for the senses. The farm cultivates a variety of narcissi, each with its own distinct scent and charm.


When visiting Scilly Flowers, you can stroll through the fields of blossoming flowers, witnessing vibrant hues of yellow, orange, and white. In the spring, the farm bursts with the beauty of daffodils, creating a breathtaking spectacle. The sight of these flowers in full bloom is truly mesmerizing.


The friendly and knowledgeable staff at Scilly Flowers are always eager to share their passion for flowers and provide insights into the cultivation process. Visitors can learn about the techniques used in growing and harvesting the blooms, gaining a deeper appreciation for the artistry involved in flower farming.


Scilly Flowers also offers the opportunity to take home a piece of the floral paradise. You can purchase freshly cut flowers, potted plants, and even bulbs to create your own garden flourish with the beauty of Scilly at home.


For those seeking a unique and memorable experience, Scilly Flowers hosts various events throughout the year, including workshops and tours. From learning how to arrange your own bouquet to discovering the intricacies of flower farming, these activities offer an immersive and educational glimpse into the world of Scilly Flowers.


Visiting Scilly Flowers is not only a treat for the senses but also an opportunity to support a local, sustainable business. The farm employs environmentally friendly growing practices, ensuring that the beauty of the flowers is preserved for generations to come.


Scilly Flowers is a hidden gem on Gugh, inviting visitors to savor the beauty and fragrance of the Isles of Scilly’s blooms. Whether you’re a flower enthusiast, nature lover, or simply appreciate the simple pleasure of a stunning flower field, a visit to Scilly Flowers promises to be a delightful and memorable experience.


Archaeological Sites

Gugh is a treasure trove of archaeological wonders, offering a glimpse into its rich history and the lives of its past inhabitants. The island is home to several fascinating archaeological sites that provide a unique opportunity to step back in time.


One of the standout archaeological sites on Gugh is the burial chamber known as the Gugh Barrow. This Neolithic chambered tomb stands as a testament to the island’s ancient past. As you wander through these ancient stones, you can imagine the rituals and ceremonies that took place here thousands of years ago.


In addition to the Gugh Barrow, you can explore the remains of Neolithic settlements on the island. These include stone huts, enclosures, and other structures that offer insights into the lives of the people who once called Gugh their home. Wander through these ancient sites and marvel at the ingenuity and craftsmanship of our ancestors.


Gugh is also known for its medieval settlements, with remnants of old field systems and agricultural practices still visible today. The island’s fertile soil and favorable climate made it an ideal location for farming, and traces of these past agricultural activities can still be seen in the landscape.


Exploring Gugh’s archaeological sites is a journey through time, as you walk in the footsteps of those who lived on the island centuries ago. Take a moment to appreciate the stories and traditions of the past, and reflect on the enduring nature of human existence.


As you explore these sites, it’s important to note that they are protected heritage sites. Respect the ancient structures by refraining from touching or removing any artifacts, and follow any guidelines or restrictions in place to help preserve the historical integrity of these sites for future generations.


Archaeology enthusiasts and history buffs will find Gugh to be a fascinating destination. Engage with the island’s rich past, connect with the ancient artifacts, and gain a deeper understanding of the human history that has shaped Gugh into the captivating place it is today.


Immerse yourself in the archaeological wonders of Gugh, and let the island take you on a captivating journey through centuries of human history.


Accommodation on Gugh

While Gugh may be a small island, it offers a range of charming and cozy accommodation options for visitors seeking a peaceful and idyllic retreat. From guesthouses to self-catering cottages, there are choices to suit various preferences and budgets.


One popular option for accommodation on Gugh is staying in a guesthouse. These cozy establishments provide a warm and welcoming atmosphere, offering comfortable rooms and personalized service. Many guesthouses on the island boast stunning views of the surrounding landscape, allowing you to wake up to the beauty of Gugh right outside your window.


If you prefer a more independent and self-sufficient stay, self-catering cottages are also available on Gugh. These cottages are equipped with all the amenities you need to create a home away from home experience. They give visitors the flexibility to cook their own meals and enjoy the privacy of their own space.


When staying on Gugh, you’ll find that the accommodations are designed to blend seamlessly with the island’s peaceful and natural environment. Whether it’s a traditional cottage adorned with thatched roofs or a cozy guesthouse with a garden, the accommodations on Gugh truly complement the island’s serene atmosphere.


While staying on Gugh, you’ll have the opportunity to experience the warm and friendly hospitality of the locals. The owners and hosts of these accommodations are often passionate about their island, and they can offer recommendations on the best places to explore, dine, and relax during your stay.


It’s important to note that due to the limited size and popularity of Gugh, it is advisable to book your accommodation in advance to secure your preferred choice. Additionally, any specific requirements or special needs should be communicated to the accommodation providers in advance to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable stay.


Whether you choose a guesthouse or a self-catering cottage, the accommodations on Gugh provide a cozy and welcoming sanctuary for visitors exploring the island. Sit back, relax, and let the tranquil surroundings envelop you as you unwind and enjoy the peacefulness of this hidden gem in the Isles of Scilly.


Getting to Gugh

Although Gugh is a small island, getting there is relatively straightforward and adds to the sense of adventure and seclusion that awaits visitors. The most common way to reach Gugh is by taking a short ferry ride from the main island of St. Mary’s in the Isles of Scilly.


Regular ferry services are available from St. Mary’s Quay to the island of St. Agnes, which is connected to Gugh by a sandy causeway known as The Bar. The ferry journey from St. Mary’s to St. Agnes takes around 20 minutes and provides scenic views of the archipelago’s stunning coastline as you approach your destination.


Once you reach St. Agnes, you can easily walk across The Bar during low tide to reach Gugh. However, it’s important to check the tide times beforehand to ensure a safe and comfortable crossing. The Bar is only accessible for a few hours during each low tide, so planning your visit accordingly is essential.


For a more unique and personalized experience, you also have the option to hire a boat and sail to Gugh. This gives you the freedom to explore the archipelago’s turquoise waters and take in the beauty of the islands at your own pace.


It’s worth noting that Gugh’s remote location means that transportation options are limited. There are no cars or taxis on the island, which adds to its quiet and peaceful ambiance. Instead, walking is the preferred mode of transportation, allowing visitors to fully appreciate the island’s natural beauty.


For those traveling from further afield, the nearest airport to the Isles of Scilly is Land’s End Airport, which offers flights to and from several destinations in the UK. From Land’s End, you can take a short ferry ride to St. Mary’s and then follow the aforementioned route to reach Gugh.


When planning your journey, it’s advisable to check the ferry schedules and make reservations in advance, especially during peak seasons. The ferry operators are knowledgeable about tidal conditions and can provide guidance on the best times to visit to ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip.


Stepping foot on Gugh is like entering another world – a world of tranquility, natural beauty, and seclusion. Whether you choose to arrive by ferry or sail across the sparkling waters, the journey to Gugh is just the beginning of an unforgettable escape to this hidden gem in the Isles of Scilly.