Getting to the Isles of Scilly is easier than you might think...
Getting to the Scillies is all part of the adventure! There can't be many places in the UK where you can arrive in practically your own private plane - the Twin Otters have just 19 seats! Flights to St Mary's take just 15 minutes from Land's End, 30 minutes from Newquay Airport or 1 hour from Exeter Airport. A shuttle bus operates between Penzance Rail Station and Land's End Airport. Flights operate Monday - Saturday.
New for 2020, we are very excited that a helicopter service to Scilly has been reinstated! From 17th March, Penzance Helicopters will fly to both Tresco and St Mary's in brand new state-of-the-art twin engine AW139 helicopters. Carrying up to 12 passengers, they will be operating up to 17 flights per day, six days a week, all year round. An electric shuttle bus will operate between Penzance Rail Station and Penzance Heliport. For more information on the helicopter service, please check the Penzance Helicopters website or phone them on 01604 817115.
Sailing over on the Scillonian III introduces you to the gentle pace of Scilly life as soon as you board. The 2 and 3/4 hour journey takes in coastal Cornish villages and the Minack Theatre, and you may well be accompanied by a pod of dolphins! The Scillonian III sails Monday - Saturday from March - November (and also on Sundays in high season). Generally the ship leaves Penzance at 9.15am, arriving in St Mary's just before noon, and leaves St Mary's at 4.30pm arriving back in Penzance at approximately 7.00pm. Sometimes these sailing times will be adjusted due to tides. Scilly Parking offers secure car parking - passengers are taken to Penzance Quay with their luggage and are collected when they return from holiday (overnight accommodation is also available).
Sometimes, being a group of islands means our weather can be a little changeable, and occasionally high winds or low visibility might cause disruptions. Your travel provider will contact you if necessary, and Amy can advise you if you have any concerns.
For more information on Skybus and Scillonian III, plus travel insurance, please see www.islesofscilly-travel.co.uk or call 01736 334220.
First Great Western trains offer a combined ticket for rail travel from selected stations plus travel on the Scillonian III or Skybus from Land's End.
Arriving on St Mary's...
At the Airport, Skybus Shuttle Buses will be waiting to whisk you down to the Quay. The driver will point out the correct boat if you are unsure (you will be looking for the Firethorn of Bryher, or the Cyclone or Hurricane jet boats with yellow cabins).
St Mary's Quay is a hive of activity when the Scillonian III docks. Clearly labelled luggage (green Bryher labels are provided on Penzance Quay so correctly labelled luggage goes in the correct container) is transferred straight from the hold of the Scillonian III onto the Firethorn. Listen on board the Scillonian as you approach the islands, the time that the Firethorn is returning to Bryher and Tresco will be announced (usually around 12.30/12.45pm, tides permitting). Boat times should also be displayed on the notice board near the Harbour Master's Office on the Quay.
As we have mentioned before, we will have liaised with Tresco Boat Services so they will be expecting you. We also know when to expect you, and will be waiting on Bryher with the Landrover to meet you and to transfer your luggage to your holiday cottage or chalet.
Amy will come and see you the day before you leave to confirm your return travel arrangements (although it would be appreciated if you could also let us know these before your holiday), and to let you know what time your boat will be. We (and the Landrover!) will collect your luggage from your holiday accommodation approximately 15-20 minutes before your boat. If you wish to walk on ahead and leave your luggage you are more than welcome - we will meet you at the boat and ensure your luggage is loaded!
If you are flying with Skybus, you will have booked your return Shuttle when you arrived - you will be picked up from St Mary's Quay one hour prior to your flight time. The Skybus Shuttle can be contacted on 01720 423701.
If you are sailing back on the Scillonian III, you will need to assist in removing the luggage from the hold of the Firethorn and up the steps on to St Mary's Quay - a chain of able bodied folk is usually formed! There will be a container at the top of the steps where you can safely leave your luggage (do make a note of the container number so you know which container to look out for when it is unloaded on Penzance Quay!). You may have a bit of time to kill on St Mary's - picking up last minute gifts or grabbing a bite to eat before boarding commences at 3.30pm. At busy times the queue for boarding can look pretty long, but it does move fairly quickly!
It may sound a bit daunting, but the journey is all part of your visit to Bryher and the Isles of Scilly, and generally everything works like clockwork!