Isles of Scilly with a 7 and 4 year old - what should we do/see?

(18 Posts)
Blatherskite Tue 25-Mar-14 20:30:13

The DC and I are off to the Isles of Scilly over Easter half term. We have 2 nights booked at a hotel on the main island and just over 2 days to spend exploring.

I've never been before and know very little about the islands but want to make the most of our little holiday and would love some recommendations on what we should try to see and do while we're there.

DS is 7 and DD is 4. DH is starting a new job so won't be joining us and I'm a little nervous about taking them away on my own but looking forward to spending lots of quality time together too. I think having some plans of things to do might give me a bit more confidence.

I'm considering seeing if we can stay over in Penzance for an extra night on the way home too to give us a day to explore there as well....

Lucky you - I hope you get nice weather and have a wonderful relaxing time.

A boat trip to another island is a must, and as you've not got much time, I'd go for St Agnes if the weather is nice, where you can have a pint and a pasty at the Turk's Head, a short walk round the island (try the Troytown maze) and then have some beach time on the bar between St Agnes and Gugh if the tide's right.
Alternatively there's Tresco where you can go to the gardens and/or visit a ruined castle (and a pub).
There is bike hire on St Mary's (OK my info might be a bit out of date) but I don't know if they do bike seats/trailers for smaller ones. Only 9 miles of road but some hills!

There's a good park up on Garrison with a pirate ship to climb all over. Several pubs in Hughtown.

Bit of a time warp - think doors unlocked and keys left in ignition.

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Wed 26-Mar-14 15:30:15

We go most years - it's lovely, and kids that age will love it. Just find your favourite beach and plonk yourselves down for the day. There are loads of kids so fingers crossed they will find others to play with.

Have one day on St Mary's and one on an Off Island. St Martin's is my favourite but the beach at St Agnes / Gugh is great too. Tresco Gardens are fun but £££.

Definitely a walk around the Garrison and visit the playground there.

Also consider wildlife watching boat trip to the Eastern Islands (seals and birds) or trip around St Mary's.

Cycling with those ages might be a challenge, it's not busy but there are some hills.

How are you getting there? If you have a car I would stay somewhere outside of Penzance - the town isn't that exciting for 7 & 4 year olds - Sennan, Marazion, St Ives are all close by and better (IMO).

By the way, it is super safe, everyone is friendly so it should be relatively stress free.

Blatherskite Wed 26-Mar-14 16:09:03

Thank you so much for the advice. The Garrison pirate ship stands out as something I think we really must do - along with some beach time - as DD especially is very much into pirates at the moment. DS loves mazes too so I will look that up. The castle sounds appealing so I'll look up Tresco too.

I think my main problem with fitting things in is going to be that we only have 1 full day on the Island, the others are split. We sail over on Tuesday morning so will arrive around lunchtime (any suggestions for somewhere near to the harbour that's good for lunch?), then have a full day and then almost a full day before sailing back at 4:30 on Thursday. Maybe I should use our full day for going to another island and use the 2 part days for exploring St Mary's?

I'd read that there is a glass bottomed boat that we fancied trying...? Some sort of wildlife watching boat trip would be lovely.

I've booked somewhere to stay just outside on Penzance for once we're back on the mainland but I will have the car so we can travel easily. I was thinking I might drive us over to Marazion to see St Michael's Mount. It looks pretty but I'm not sure if there is much to do?

zebrafinch Wed 26-Mar-14 21:12:31

Bring your binoculars. On the Scillonian I have seen dolphins, basking sharks and porpoises .

Your plan to spend the full day visiting one of the off islands is good. Check the boards on the harbour side at Hugh Town to see what trips are available on the following day. Bring some wet weather clothing just in case and bring warm clothing on the boats if you go for one of the longer trips as there could be a breeze on the water. Don't forget the sun screen even at Easter. The Scillies are a fantastic place for children.

Nocomet Wed 26-Mar-14 21:55:31

I've stay on Agnes several times, the view out to the Bishop light house is stunning.

Tresco Garderns are beautiful.

And sod it you've made me cry, too many memories of holidays with my late Eccentric DMIL and times I can never go back too.

The DD she never met is 13 sad

The Mermaid used to be our first lunch halt of choice, especially if you can get by the big window overlooking the harbour! You could do the Garrison park on your first afternoon.

Agree with using the full day to visit another island.

We once went to the Eden Project on the way back (but that was pre DC). In case you don't make it to Tresco ...

Blatherskite Thu 27-Mar-14 14:21:01

Oh no! I didn't mean to make anyone cry Nocomet! sad

I'm going to borrow my granddad's old binoculars from Mum for the ferry ride. I'm seeing her next weekend so can pick them up then.

Will look up the Mermaid, thank you BlueChampagne. I would love to see the Eden project. Will check if I can make it be on our way home smile

Nocomet Thu 27-Mar-14 14:32:09

No worries, I was slightly pissed (there was more left in the weekend wine bottle than I realised) and feeling nostalgic.

It's an absolutely beautiful place, but not one for 13 and 16y old DDs. DD1 would actually love it, but DD2 hates walking as a pass time and it would bore her ridged.

Iheartcrunchiebars Sun 30-Mar-14 20:44:06

Worth a visit to Bryher. Gorgeous beaches, lively places to eat and great walks.

Have a brilliant time. You'll love it!

LoosingBattle Sun 30-Mar-14 20:48:31

This has reminded me of a book we read at school - something like When The Whales Came? I remember always saying that when I had kids I would take them to explore the islands as they sounded so lovely!

Going to look into now! - thank you! smile

Iheartcrunchiebars Sun 30-Mar-14 20:58:04

Yes Why the Whales Came is set on Bryher. Once you've read the book it's nice to do a walk if the island and spot bits in the book!

Blatherskite Sun 30-Mar-14 21:42:35

Ooh, I might need to order that book now smile

WetAugust Sun 06-Apr-14 21:57:38

It's paradise over there on the islands.

If I had just one full day I'd go to trees co. You can walk to cromwells castle and then climb the hill to King Charles castle and get wonderful views across the archipelago. I'd the walk south to the new inn for lunch and then onto the abbey gardens for the afternoon.
Perfect day.
If the children want to see puffins and seals take one of western, northern or Eastern Isle boat trips. They have a dolphin visiting the harbour right now - I hope he's still there when I get over in July.
Have a great trip.

I'd spend the day you have on St Agnes - it's my favourite island. It's about the right size to walk around.

Juliette's Garden is a lovely restaurant - a little way out of Hugh Town. Kavorna Cafe is nice and in the middle of Hugh Town.

I'd do a seal trip rather than the glass bottom boat.

Which hotel are you staying in? There is a great pirate ship playground behind the Star Castle hotel (not part of the hotel).

Blatherskite Sun 06-Apr-14 22:34:14

We're setting off tomorrow!!

We're staying in Tregarthen's. I definitely want to do a boat trip and Tresco is definitely on the list to visit. I think I might print this thread to take with me smile

Blatherskite Sun 06-Apr-14 22:35:15

Oh and I've booked the Eden project for the way home. Going to fit in a day at St Michael's Mount too and make a week of it

WetAugust Sun 06-Apr-14 22:38:48

Have a great trip. Tregarthens has wifi and great views over the harbour. St michaels mount will be exciting for the children if you walk across the causeway at low tide.

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