THE YEAR AHEAD IN THE ISLES OF SCILLY
PUBLISHED: 14:48 26 January 2016 | UPDATED: 12:43 30 August 2017
Plan your trips to the sub-tropical tip of Britain with our 2016 planner
Great Scilly Spring Clean 2016
5 and 6 March
Annual beach-clean and tidy-up before the new season gets underway.
Daymark Music Festival 2016
25 to 27 March
The second Daymark Music Festival, running on St. Martin’s for three days over the Easter weekend and centred at the Seven Stones Inn, which was newly-reopened in spring 2014.
Low Tide Experience
A pop-up seafood feast and fizz event in the channel between Tresco and Bryher. Visitors making the special low-tide walk between the islands will be able to stop and enjoy a seafood fire-pit feast, a bar serving ales and bubbles, stalls selling island wares and games including croquet and boules, and even try their hand at clamming with local fishermen.
9 to 15 April
Now in its 10th year, Walk Scilly 2016 (9 to 15 April) will offer more than 25 guided walks across Scilly’s five inhabited islands, as well as one or two of the uninhabited ones. Visitors can delve into the islands’ amazing heritage and wildlife, enjoy a Mediterranean stroll through the world-famous, sub-tropical Tresco Abbey Garden or take in the endless white sand beaches, rocky coves and stunning seascapes on top-to-toe walks across all five islands.
There’ll be a range of activities to immerse walkers in Scillonian life. You can forage for food and watch local chefs conjure up a dish from your pickings at one of Scilly’s premier hotels, Karma St. Martin’s. Take a tour around a family-run flower farm as you hear first-hand tales of island life, and unearth the history of Scilly’s uninhabited islands with archaeologist Katharine Sawyer, including Samson, home to several farmers and fishermen until the mid-1800s, and St. Helen’s, where you can see the remains of an early Christian chapel.
This year, you can also taste the delicious wines produced on Scilly at the islands’ two vineyards on St. Mary’s and St. Martin’s, discover your own treasure during an afternoon of beachcombing, and learn about the important work of the Isles of Scilly Seabird Recovery Project, protecting seabirds on St. Agnes and Gugh. Local photographer Chris Hall will be on hand to offer advice on how to capture the perfect holiday snaps to share with friends and family, and you can even explore the wonders of the night sky at one of Scilly’s best stargazing locations.
Walk Scilly 2016 will also include specialist wildlife tours of all five islands by resident ornithologist and naturalist Will Wagstaff. Look out for the shorebirds around the St. Mary’s beaches, the waterfowl and flora of Tresco, and the Atlantic grey seals that can sometimes be seen resting in the more sheltered bays of St. Martin’s. Experience the wild north end of Shipman Head and Hell Bay on Bryher, and finish off the week with lunch at the Turks Head before appreciating the sheer rugged beauty of Wingletang Down on St. Agnes, dotted with sculptured rocks and cairns.
If you like to welcome spring by stretching your legs, you can’t miss Walk Scilly.
World Pilot Gig Championships 2016 – 29 April to 2 May
This is the 27th year that the event has taken place and each year it grows in size, with crews attending from as far afield as the Netherlands and the USA and, for the first time this year, Bermuda.
PLUS: the famous Isles of Scilly puffins arrive at the end of April and leave around mid-July.
Isles of Scilly Arts & Literature Festival
This month-long celebration of local arts and culture spana all five islands. The inaugural Arts & Literature Festival, including Art Scilly Week and the Scilly Folk Festival, will see the islands come alive with an eclectic mix of open studios, literary events, folk music, ale festivals, and a packed programme of hands-on courses and workshops with many of Scilly’s resident artists.
PLUS: Low Tide Experience – 7 May
Isles of Scilly Swimrun: ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Championship UK Qualifier – 18 June
This ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Championship qualifying race will be the first ever held in the UK, with 100 pairs from Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, the Netherlands and Germany chasing eight spots for the championship race in the Stockholm archipelago on 5 September.
Tresco Triathlon 2016 – 26 June
Annual event taking competitors on a 0.3-mile swim, 12-mile cycle ride and 3-mile run, around the island of Tresco.
The Islands’ Regatta
26 to 29 August
Join Scilly’s inaugural Islands’ Regatta on St. Mary’s over the Bank Holiday weekend. A four-day celebration of amazing maritime heritage includes a colourful Parade of Sail, tall ships and a sailing regatta of Redwings. Plus, live music and entertainment, pop-up stalls and beach activities.
Taste of Scilly
Savour the flavours of the islands at the first Taste of Scilly food and drink festival. You’ll be able to sample a wide range of food and drink as the islands bring together bakers, growers, brewers, fishermen and chefs for foodie nights, cooking demonstrations and more.
Scilly Swim Challenge 2016
10, 13 and 14 September
The swim challenge returns with more than 150 participants swimming and walking between Scilly’s main islands in one day. Followed by a more leisurely two-day challenge.
PLUS: Low Tide Experience – 18 September
St. Martin’s Film Festival
6 to 9 October
Third annual film festival, taking place at the Seven Stones Inn on St. Martin’s.
Walk Scilly Autumn Weekend 2016
13 to 17 October
Experience the splendour of Scilly in the autumn months. The nights might be drawing in, but the islands are alive with birds and wildlife, and the softer hues give rise to breathtaking sunrises and sunsets. October is a magical time to enjoy a long weekend of themed, guided walks across the Isles of Scilly.
PLUS: The scented narcissi season also starts in October.
Scilly Christmas Festival 2016
Late night shopping with drinks and nibbles, carol singing and live music, as well as festive demonstrations, street stalls and children’s activities.
For more information about how to order your FREE brochure for 2016, please visit:visitislesofscilly.com/get-our-guide