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Flora and Fauna in the Isles of Scilly

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Upcoming Tour Dates:

  • 20 May–25 May 2022 – Sold out
  • 16 September–21 September 2022 – Sold out
6 days
from £1,599 pp
Tour code: AGT1224

Tour Features:

    Booking Enquiries

    Quick Tour Facts:

    Tour Code AGT1224
    Max Group Size 16
    Single Supplement £250
    Start/End Point St Mary’s / St Mary’s
    Tour Manager TBC

    Extras and Add-ons:

    Would you prefer to fly from your local airport or spend a few days at the end of your tour on the beach? We are happy to help you arrange any additional requirements you may have from airport parking and hotels to pre and post tour hotel stays. Whilst the majority of our tours use group flights from London airports it is often possible to offer regional departures or connections – give us a call on 01425 480600 and let us help make your trip as comfortable as possible.

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    The Isles of Scilly is an idyllic archipelago of 50 islands located just 30 miles from the Cornish Coast. As well as a true step-back-in-time feeling, the islands boast an array of wildlife.

    Due to their unique geographical position just off the coast of Cornwall, the Isles of Scilly has an abundance of flora and fauna just waiting to be discovered — often species not seen anywhere else on the UK mainland. There are approximately 453 species of seabirds, waders and migrants which can be spotted throughout the year including the Oystercatcher, Night Heron, Manx Shearwater and the Redstart. Autumn on Scilly is a great time to look for wildlife as the islands are famous for the variety of migrant birds that visit the islands at this time of year. If the weather is from the west there is a chance of some American species, if from the east they could originate from Scandinavia. Each year is different so there is a real air of anticipation as to what we could see as we set out each day. Warblers, chats, flycatchers and others can be seen flitting about the hedgerows with a variety of waders on the pools and beaches of the archipelago. It’s not only birds that migrate at that time of year as we can see a wide variety of butterflies and even the occasional dragonfly as they head south. Also the Atlantic Grey Seals have their pups high on the shores of the outer rocks.

    During this tour, stay on and explore St Mary’s, visit the islands of Tresco, Bryher and St Martin’s, and take a boat trip to the uninhabited Eastern Isles to catch sightings of the Atlantic Grey Seals. The tour will be escorted by Will Wagstaff, the islands’ resident ornithologist and naturalist, who has been leading tours for over 25 years.

    Words from Your Special Guest…

    “I first came to Scilly as a teenager on a family holiday. A few years later, I knew enough about how good the islands were for migrant birds and decided I wanted to see the whole autumn migration. I was supposed to be on Scilly for four months and am still here over thirty years later! It’s that addictive.

    Whatever the season, I am always watching the weather to see where the winds are coming from as that has a major influence on what birds one can see, whether from the continent or North America in the autumn, if one is very lucky.

    The terrific variation in the flora, particularly in the spring, brings many botanists to the islands as we have plants from all over the world as well as some rare native plants. It is this unpredictability that makes wildlife watching here such a pleasure, as one never knows what one will see as you step out the door. So whether it is watching the Swallows flying by or a windblown vagrant resting in a sheltered spot or seeking out some of our scarce plants, there is always something to look for.”

    Will Wagstaff


    • Exclusive insights from special guest Will Wagstaff
    • Visit the island of Tresco and its stunning Abbey Gardens
    • Full day excursion to the island of Bryher
    • Visit St Martins to see some of the finest beaches in the world
    • Eastern Isles Boat Trip to look for the colonies of Atlantic Grey Seals

    What’s Included

    • Return ferry on board the Scillonian III from Penzance
    • Five nights in a good standard hotel
    • Daily breakfast and evening meal
    • All excursions, entrance fees and tips
    • Services of a Prestige Holidays Tour Manager


    Day 1 - Arrival (D)

    Arrival. After disembarking onto the island of St Mary’s take a short orientation walk through Hugh Town. This delightful town is nestled between two sandy beaches and is an interesting place to explore with its independent shops, galleries, restaurants and pubs. This evening enjoy a superb dinner at one of the islands best restaurants.

    Overnight: St Mary’s

    Day 2 - Tresco (B, D)

    Take the short ferry ride across to the privately owned island of Tresco and spend the morning exploring the inland pools and farm tracks looking for wildlife. Look out for Wildfowl dabbling in the pools and Pipits bouncing amongst the gorse, or even a Merlin darting overhead. After a leisurely lunch at the cafe, take a guided walk of one of the island’s most loved sites, Tresco Abbey Gardens – often referred to as “Perennial Kew without the glass”. This is a flora lover’s paradise and its sub-tropical gardens built in the 19th century around the remains of a Benedictine Abbey offer sheltered tree glades and sunny terraces with views out over the crystal blue waters. Keep an eye out for the stunningly attractive resident Golden Pheasant population! After returning to St Mary’s, enjoy dinner in the hotel’s delightful Spirit Restaurant.

    Overnight: St Mary’s

    Day 3 - St Mary's (B, D)

    This morning, embark on the Seabird Special Boat Trip, a two-hour cruise in search of sea bird colonies. Catch sight of Razorbills, Guillemots, Gannets, Shearwaters and, with any luck, the iconic Puffin (only possible on the spring tour). The cruise will also give you a good insight into just how numerous the islands are as we weave amongst rocky outcrops and larger uninhabited islands.

    Return to St Marys for lunch before a leisurely afternoon walk through some of the nature trails on the island.

    Overnight: St Mary’s

    Day 4 - Bryher (B, D)

    Full day exploring the contrasting landscapes on Bryher, the smallest of the inhabited islands. From rugged granite shore lines to calm, glassy blue bays, walk along the coastline trails in search of birds, insects and flowers. With any luck, we might catch a distant glimpse of a Seal breaking the waves, or a Yellow Wagtail bobbing across the grass, or, with a bit of searching on hands and knees, we may even find the famous Dwarf Pansy. Our independent lunch stop today is at the award-winning Hell Bay Hotel.

    Overnight: St Mary’s

    Day 5 - St Martin's (B, D)

    Depart this morning on the Eastern Isles Boat trip in search of the Atlantic Grey Seal colonies and a variety of seabirds before landing on the island of St Martin’s, the archipelago’s northern most island boasting some of the finest sand beaches in the world.

    Overnight: St Mary’s

    Day 6 - Departure (B)

    Transfer to the quay for departure.

    Prestige Holidays’ booking conditions apply. Price is based on twin/double occupancy. Single rooms are on request at a supplement of £250 — subject to availability. Itinerary may be subject to slight alterations due to operational restrictions. Hotels are subject to change and a hotel of similar standard in the overnight locations may be provided. Ferry times are provisional and subject to change due to ferry schedules.


    We thoroughly enjoyed the holiday and were delighted by the educational aspects. The tour leader was efficient and managed to keep us all safe and where we needed to be.

    Mr & Mrs WrathallApril 2018

    Absolutely first class!

    Mrs JordanApril 2018

    This was one of the best holidays I have ever had.

    Mrs ShawApril 2018

    Brilliant from start to finish!

    Mr & Mrs CooperApril 2018

    An excellent holiday - particularly the input from the local guide Will Wagstaff. Just what we wanted for our holiday and excellent service from Prestige.

    Mr WardleApril 2019

    There was a generous approach to meals and accompanying wine. Local expert was good and gave us a great overview of an area new to us. Thank you for an excellent holiday.

    Mr & Mrs AldousSeptember 2019

    Call us today on 01425 480 600