Everything you need to know
about the Isles of Scilly.

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About the Isles of Scilly

The Isles of Scilly (which is the preferred name, rather than 'Scilly Isles' or 'Scillies') lie 28 miles from Lands End - the most South-Westerly point of the UK.

Map showing Scilly on UK map - click for more maps

Scilly consists of 5 inhabited islands; St. Mary's, Tresco, St. Martin's, Bryher and St Agnes, with a combined population of about 2000, and many smaller uninhabited islands and rocky islets.

The islands' position produces a place of great contrast - the ameliorating effect of the sea means we rarely have frost or snow, which allows local farmers to grow flowers well ahead of those on mainland Britain while the exposure to the Atlantic winds means spectacular winter gales lash the islands from time to time.

This is reflected in the landscape, for example on Tresco where the lush Sub-Tropical Abbey Gardens on the sheltered Southern end of the island contrast with the low heather and bare rock sculpted by the wind on the exposed Northern end. 

Scilly has been inhabited since stone-age times and its history has been one of subsistence living until this century with people living from the land and the sea. Farming and fishing continues today, but the main industry now is tourism.

Obviously the sea has always played a huge part in Scillonian history but it was in the nineteenth century that Scilly had its maritime heyday. Beaches which are now enjoyed by sunbathers were then factories for shipbuilding, the harbours now full of pleasure boats were once packed with local and visiting fishing and trading boats. 


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ScillyOnLine is created by Susie Taylor.
All content © Susie Taylor 2012 (including all images, unless stated otherwise). Last updated 30-Apr-2012