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About the Isles of Scilly - St Mary's

Have a look at our photographic tour of St Mary's - all photos taken on a single day, 30th April 2013.

St. Mary's is the largest of the islands at 2½ miles by 1¾ miles and is home to about three quarters of Scilly's population. It has the Town Hall, hospital / health centre, banks and most of the shops and larger hotels. Hugh Town is the 'capital' of the islands, situated on the sandbar which separates the Garrison from the rest of the island.

The ship to Penzance and the fleet of colourful inter-island launches to the off-islands operate from the quay. Although most of the accommodation is in Hugh Town, guest houses and self-catering accommodation may be found elsewhere on St. Mary's.

There is a circular bus service that operates from Easter through to October on the nine miles of road, linking most of the island's communities.  Various coach, minibus and vintage car tours run during the summer, bicycles may be hired and taxis are normally available throughout the year.

St. Mary's has an Anglican, Methodist and a Roman Catholic Church, five public houses, hotel bars, a social club, disco, cafes and restaurants.  A camp site is situated on the Garrison, and another is due to open soon on Peninnis Head. St. Mary's has many hidden secrets and the walks around the coast and across the island are a delight with many contrasts from woodlands, heaths and marshland to sand dunes with marram grasses thick with wild agapanthus flowers from Africa. A particularly beautiful spot is the Carreg Dhu Community Garden in the centre of St Mary's.

There are many ancient monuments to be discovered on the island from a megalithic village and tombs to Civil War fortifications.  The small museum in Hugh Town displays much of Scilly's rich history.

In the evenings the visitor may enjoy the slide shows, variety concerts and plays from both the resident organisations and from touring companies, and no holiday would be complete without watching the exciting and colourful gig racing between the islands that take place on Wednesday and Friday evenings.

Sports enthusiasts are certainly not forgotten on St. Mary's. Facilities available include a Sports Hall (opened 2012) offering badminton, tennis, five-a-side football, netball, cricket, aikido and many other sports. Elsewhere on St Mary's there are facilities for squash, golf, tennis, horse-riding, windsurfing, sailing, scuba-diving, fishing, snooker and shooting.  Visitors are also welcome to join in cricket matches with the other islands. 

Islands provide natural attractions for artists and craftspeople and St. Mary's is no exception with many studios dotted about the island producing high quality pottery, paintings and crafts.  St. Mary's offers everything a visitor would require to enjoy a lifetime of holidays.


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ScillyOnLine is created by Susie Taylor.
All content © Susie Taylor 2012 (including all images, unless stated otherwise). Last updated 01-May-2013