For those looking for fun in the water, there are a host of activities for you to choose from. It's a wonderful place for all the family to learn how to sail, or, if you fancy something a little more racy, hiring a powerboat is an excellent way to explore the secluded beaches and coves of Scilly. Alternatively, you can relax by one of the four swimming pools available to guests.
Boat trips and island hopping
There are regular trips between Tresco and the main islands of Scilly provided by Tresco Boat Services. The times of boats are posted on notice boards around the island. As Scilly experiences big tides, the times and departure points will vary and are posted the day before. You can find out more here, or by calling Tresco Boat Services on +44 (0)1720 423373 or the Island Office on +44 (0)1720 422849. Island Sea Safaris on St Mary’s offer ‘Shipwreck, Seals and Seabirds’ wildlife rib excursions and private charters. Visit their website or call +44 (0)1720 422732 for more information.
In addition to the giant pool surrounding Tresco (which admittedly is a tad chilly at times), guests will find indoor swimming pools at the Spa and at the Sea Garden Cottages. There are also three heated outdoor pools – two at the Flying Boat and one at the New Inn.
Based next to the Ruin Beach Café at Old Grimsby, the sailing centre offers full RYA courses in windsurfing, sailing and power boating. Custom packages are available. The centre also runs kayaking tours of uninhabited islands, Swallows & Amazons sailing trips, and fun sessions, which offer a great way for kids to meet and mix. Experienced sailors can hire a dinghy or boat to explore the waters at their own pace. The centre is fully open in July and August but available to arrange activities and hire from April - September. Please call +44 (0)1720 424919. Outside the summer months, please call +44 (0)1720 422060. For more information, you can visit their website.
Guests can hire boats from Bennett Boat Yard on Bryher from April through September. To book or discuss options, please call Dan on +44 (0)1720 422205.
For a long-term boatshare, you can explore Tresco's turquoise waters in a power boat through the Scillonia Boatshare. Using the award-winning PowerCat 525 powerboat catamarans, the scheme allows its members to explore Scilly's hidden coves, catch a few mackerel for the barbecue, or moor off a deserted beach. You can buy into a package which looks after maintenance, insurance and fuelling worries. Full instruction and training is given so you don't have to be an expert. Contact Richard or Chris from Scillonia Boatshare on +44 (0)1720 422702, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website for more details.
From May to September there are regular gig races between the island clubs, and Scilly hosts the World Gig Racing Championships every May.
During the main season, men race on a Friday night and ladies on a Wednesday night. Tresco Boat Services offer frequent boat trips out to watch the races - a true Scillonian experience. See the boat boards for details.
You can learn more about the Tresco & Bryher Rowing Club here.
Isles of Scilly Diving School on St Martin’s organise diving and swimming with seals. Call +44 (0)1720 422848 for more information.
A popular activity off the quay, beaches and shores. Boat trips and charters are available in the summer - call +44(0)7767 803973 for more information.
Kernow Coasteering offers an adrenaline-filled experience at the magnificent Peninnis Head on St Mary's. Find out more here.
From never having sailed at all, our three children finished a very enjoyable week's tuition at the Sailing Centre confident and eager to do more. Thanks to all the friendly and brilliant staff. The Ruin cafe's terrace was also perfectly situated to allow us to monitor their progress with glass in hand!
Private Charter -
If you are looking for a private charter or fishing trip, please call Tresco Boat Services on +44 (0)1720 423373.
Capturing the island
Photographer James Darling writes about working on Tresco.