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The Isles of Scilly - A Photo Tour of St. Mary's

King Charles Battery at The Garrison

King Edward VII's or Buzza's Tower

Our walk around the island of St. Mary's took place in summer 2003 on two separate occasions. On the first trip we walked anti-clockwise around the south of the island along 'The Garrison Walk' followed by the 'The Peninnis Walk' carrying on as far as Porth Hellick before returning. A few weeks later we returned and walked clockwise around the north of the island as far as the ancient monuments at Innisidgen. See below for descriptions of these walks:

Dutchman's Carn

Approaching Peninnis Head Light

The Garrison Walk: Duration: 45 mins - Walk up the hill beside Tregarthen's Hotel to enter the Garrison and Star Castle. Continue past Gatehouse Cottage and follow the lower path as it makes its way down to Newman's Battery and the 'Isles of Scilly Pottery'. Enter King Charles' Battery and stop for photographs and the view. Climb steadily as the path wends its way up to a level track beside stunted trees. Follow the footpath as signed down to the castellated wall as you reach Colonel George Boscawen's Battery. Proceed alongside the ramparts as far as the Woolpack Battery. Shortly you reach Morning Point Battery where again you can pause to enjoy the view. Return inside the Garrison wall to climb steps and follow the well made track with a wall and the sea to your right passing through Lower and then Upper Broome Platform. Meet the tarmac road at Upper Benham Battery and pass the Garden Battery. Return to the Gatehouse Cottage to complete this walk.

Approaching Pulpit Rock and Tolman Head from Peninnis

Carn Leh Cove, Old Town Bay

The Peninnis Walk: Duration: 30 mins - Enter Hugh Town heading right to pass The Atlantic Hotel. Continue beside the Bishop & Wolf Inn and head seaward to walk along the back of Porthcressa beach. Climb away from the beach to pass below King Edward VII's (Buzza's) Tower - who visited on 8th April 1902. Walk southeast along the coastpath towards Peninnis Head. We stopped for lunch near Stony Porth before continuing up to the Lighthouse where once again we paused for photos of the strangely shaped Tooth Rock and Pulpit Rock.. Later we walked on through Old Town as far as Porth Hellick Down where we explored the Giant's Tomb Ancient Monument before returning to the Scillonian III ferry

The Giant's Tomb above Porth Hellick

View from Innisidgen Upper Chamber

The Walk to Bant's Carn and Innisidgen: Duration: 2 hours - Leave the ferry and make your way along the quay into Hugh Town. Pass along the back of Town Beach following Lower Strand and Higher Strand to meet Telegraph Road at Carn Thomas. Just above Porth Mellon Beach take the left hand fork near the Windsurfing Centre and Gig House following the footpath to Harry's Walls. This is a partially completed 16th Century fortification. Stay on the footpath as it makes its way via Porthloo to Carn Morval and Halangy Down. We had a 30 minute picnic lunch beside Bant's Carn, then headed east around Bar Point continuing as far as Innisidgen where again we looked at the ancient chambered tombs. On a future trip we will explore the area around Pelistry Bay.

Approaching Carn Thomas, St Marys

Porthmellon Beach, St Marys

The World Pilot Gig Championships: - The Scillonian population of about 2000 is almost doubled during the tourist season, especially during the famous World Gig Racing Championships. In 2008, over 110 Gigs (32 ft long Pilot boats. 6-Oared plus a coxswain), raced each other in the open sea over the May Bank Holiday weekend. Indeed in recent years the Championships have become truly International with teams from as far afield as USA, the Faroe Islands and the Netherlands.

Overall Results for May 2008 were as follows:-


  • Miller's Daughter (Caradon);

  • Killigerran (Roseland);

  • Mary Newman (Caradon)


  • Irene Too (Falmouth);

  • Kensa (Mount's Bay);

  • Miller's Daughter (Caradon).

Tregarthen's Gig practising near the Garrison at St. Marys

 2008  The World Pilot Gig Championships    2008 

The Gig 'Isis' above Town Beach, Hugh Town

During the summer months it is also possible to take sea trips out to follow the Gigs on Wednesday and Friday evenings as well as trips out to the Bishop Rock, Eastern Isles or Wildlife cruises to the Off Islands. Enquire at the Tourist Information Office on St. Mary's.

More information about the Isles of Scilly:

  • The Isles of Scilly - An overview

  • The Main islands Explored

  • Shipwrecks around the coast of Scilly

  • Inter Island Boat Services and Trips

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