Tresco is a small, family-owned island measuring about two and a half miles long by a mile wide at its broadest point. It’s one of the five inhabited islands which, together with 200 or so islands, islets and rocks, form the Isles of Scilly, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Lying 28 miles south west of Land's End, Scilly enjoys a year-round mild climate and an early spring.
In 1834, the Duchy of Cornwall leased the Isles of Scilly to a Hertfordshire squire, Augustus Smith, who became the Lord Proprietor of the islands. He helped bring a prosperity to Scilly that is still enjoyed today. He built his home, Tresco Abbey, alongside the ruins of an old priory and set about creating a world class garden containing plants from all over the world. Successive generations have built on his legacy and Tresco Abbey Garden is now internationally renowned as having one of the finest sub-tropical flora and fauna collections in the Northern Hemisphere.
Today, Robert Dorrien-Smith with his wife Lucy, run the business as the Tresco Estate, and own Tresco island and the Hell Bay Hotel on the neighbouring island of Bryher, which was acquired in 1999. The Dorrien-Smith family still lives in Tresco Abbey and all the properties and businesses on Tresco are owned and managed by the Tresco Estate. It is very much a family-run business which is reflected in the companionship, teamwork and friendliness of the island's workforce.
A community of about 150 people permanently lives on the island, with a mixture of young and old alike. Some families have lived on the island for many generations. There is a high percentage of young families and it is considered a safe and secure playground for children of all ages.
Hell Bay is the only business on Bryher which is part of Tresco Estate and the island residents are most proud of their independence.