CORNWALL WALKS TO...THE ISLES OF SCILLY
PUBLISHED: 18:02 05 May 2015 | UPDATED: 13:05 30 August 2017
Walks in the Isles of Scilly offer jaw-dropping views, photo opportunities at every stride and wildlife, flora and fauna and history
Now is the perfect time to head over to the stunning subtropical Isles of Scilly. Be inspired with a walk around Bryher from expert KATHARINE SAWYER from Scilly Walks.
Each April hundreds flock to the stunning Isles of Scilly to explore its secrets with 25 guided and themed walks across all the inhabited islands - and some of the uninhabited with the now annual Walk Scilly event. Along with jaw-dropping views, photo opportunities at every stride, the walks will get you up close with the wildlife, flora and fauna and learn about islands’ amazing history.
Boots on, let’s go!
1 From Church Quay follow the track round to the right and then bear left when you reach the public toilets. In front of you is the Church of All Saints. It was built in 1742 and was originally much smaller. It was enlarged twice during the 19th century and the height of the roof was raised in 1930.
2 On leaving the church, turn left and walk to the crossroads at the top of the hill. Turn sharp left and continue uphill. At the brow of the hill turn right on to a grass path to the highest point of the hill. This is Timmy’s Hill and here you will find a pilot lookout, which survives as an unroofed three-sided structure with boulder walls. This is the only known example of a purpose-built pilot lookout in Scilly and is probably 18th or 19th century in date.
3 Retrace your steps a little way, then turn right in front of the water tanks and go down the hill. Turn right at the bottom, then sharp left in front of the wooden chalets. There are several sub-tropical plants flourishing in this area, including the succulents Lampranthus and Mesembryanthemum from South Africa and Geranium maderense from Madeira.
4 Follow the track round the corner to the right. You will come to the Forge; this was originally built as a house and is a rare surviving example of a single-storey 18th century dwelling, once very common in the islands (the building is still in use so please do not enter).
5 Continue down the road to the next building on the left. This is Veronica Farm, an early 19th century farmhouse with a later 19th century extension. Note the traditional scantle slate roof on the extension on the left. The small building to the right of the farmhouse is believed to be the brewhouse (please note that Veronica Farm is a private house so do not enter).
6 Continue along the track to The Green, the open area above the beach. Follow the path parallel to the coast. To the right of the path is a traditional Admiralty Pattern anchor which is believed to have come from the floating maintenance dock at the Royal Navy flying-boat station on Tresco during the First World War.
7 Continue along the coastal path to Works Point. On your right you will see the drystone walls of old bulb strips and, in spring, the narcissi here still grow in rows. Flower farming was introduced to Scilly in the late 19th century and was an important industry in the first half of the 20th century. Although it has since declined, it remains a significant part of the islands’ economy.
8 After Works Point walk inland, following the path above the stone walls and below the large rock outcrop. Go round to the right and walk uphill on a grassy path. Then turn sharp right and take the steep uphill path to the small standing stone at the top. You are now on Samson Hill and this stone commemorates the 1989 filming of Michael Morpurgo’s book Why the Whales Came which is set on Bryher and Samson during the First World War.
9 Continue across the hilltop to the left to where you can see a large rock outcrop surmounted by a boulder with a horizontal top. Turn right just before you reach the outcrop, then turn left to go downhill. Follow the path down the hill, turn right when you reach the bottom and continue to the level open area. Turn right and make your way to the path closest to the coast. Here you will see many Pittosporum crassifolium and Coprosma repens bushes. Both these plants originate in New Zealand and were introduced to Scilly as windbreaks. Pittosporum is the more common and has dark leaves with pale undersides, Coprosma has bright green, glossy leaves.
10 Follow the path to the old Golden Eagle gig shed, now an artist’s studio, then turn right on to the track between the houses and follow this to the driveway to the Hell Bay Hotel. Continue on the path straight ahead to the crossroads at the hilltop.
To return to Church Quay: At the crossroads go straight across and down the hill, past the church and round to the right to the quay (approximately 5 minutes).
To return to the Bar (Anneka’s Quay): Turn left at the crossroads and follow this road up the hill, round the corner to the right and then down the hill to the quay (approximately 10 minutes).
Discover more at: scillywalks.co.uk