About the Isles of Scilly

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Glandore, Porthloo, St. Marys, Isles of Scilly, Cornwall, TR21 0NE Tel: (01720) 422535

  Hugh Town
The 'capital' of St. Marys is grandly called Hugh Town and sits astride a narrow strip of land which connects the main island to the fortified Garrison. Here, you will find two banks (Lloyds and Barclays - but only Lloyds Bank offers a Cashpoint machine), the Post Office, the Papershop, an Off License, a Butcher/Baker, Police Station, Library, Registry Office, the Tourist Information Centre, the Town Hall (which doubles as a venue for plays, slide shows etc) and the Museum. There are three Churches comprising the Anglican Church of St. Mary the Virgin together with its Church Hall, the Methodist Church together with its Church Hall and the tiny Catholic Church "Star of the Sea" (Stella Maris) also dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

  Hotels and Pubs in Hugh Town
There are five main hotels - Tregarthens, Star Castle Hotel, St Marys Hall Hotel, Bell Rock Hotel and the Atlantic Hotel. There are also three pubs - the Mermaid, the Bishop and Wolf and the Atlantic Inn. The Mermaid is the favourite pub of the 'gig' crews after the races on Wednesday and Friday evenings. There is also the Scillonian Club where inexpensive membership is available as well as a Sports Bar and Restaurant. In addition to the hotel restaurants, there are several cafes including 'Nornour', 'The Kavorna', 'The Pilots Gig' and 'The Deli'

  Shopping in Hugh Town
There are several gift shops, our sole supermarket which is a Co-op, the Chemist, three hairdressers, one Sports Shop, and several clothes shops including The Foredeck and Foredeck Two and Seasalt. At one end of the seafront is the Dairy where you can buy delicious ice creams, sandwiches made fresh each day, send Cornish clotted cream by post and buy dairy supplies. The Post Office also houses 'Tanglewood Kitchen' selling local readymade meals and fresh fish. Cashback is offered at the Co-Op as well as several other places in town.

  The Park - venue for May Day and the Christmas Carolaire
In the centre of Hugh Town is the Park, a small enclosed green space featuring neat flower beds and surrounded by hedges. Here, in Spring, the May Queen is crowned by Five Islands (primary age) School children all dressed in white with the girls carrying bright posies and the boys carrying flower-decorated staffs. This annual May Day Ceremony includes dancing round the Maypole, music, and singing. At Christmas, the Park, decorated with strings of coloured lights and a large decorated Christmas tree, is the venue for the evening Carolaire, when islanders gather to celebrate the festive season with carols, prayers and mince pies.

  Old Town - medieval capital of Scilly
The other 'metropolis' is Old Town, sited to take advantage of the protection of the original island fortification called Ennor Castle (now barely discernible and inaccessible due to its location on private land). Here you will find the little Old Town Church in whose graveyard rests Lord Wilson of Rievaulx. Here also is the last resting place of Nan Smith, who, under her maiden name of Nan Heath, produced many delicately luminous and beautiful water colour paintings of the islands. Also at Old Town are the Old Town Inn, Old Town Cafe, Tolman Cafe, the John Bordeaux Pottery, Chris Smith (artist) and the cottage called 'Nowhere', home to the Island Underwater Safaris diving school.

  'Scilly' Boating
Of course, one of the main attractions of Scilly is the boating. From the quay, you can take daily boat trips, run by the St. Marys Boatmens Association, to the other four inhabited islands as well as round trip excursions to see lighthouses, seals and seabirds. There are also several smaller private boats which take parties of twelve or less and can offer a more varied and specialised choice of boat trips. Details are to be found on the blackboards in town and on the quay.

  Other 'Scilly' things to do
There are many attractions and entertainments on offer - details can be found in the apartment Information Files as well as on various noticeboards displayed in town. There is an excellent Museum on St. Marys together with a Pottery, a Stained Glass Workshop, and many excellent Artists Studios. For more energetic visitors, the islands offer horse-riding, sail-boarding, windsurfing, diving and sailing. For the more laid-back among you, there are peaceful beaches and quiet coastlines to explore. Or perhaps you might simply want to sit and absorb the beauty of Scilly - occasionally Time itself almost seems to stop!

  The Isles of Scilly Tourist Information Office
There is a Tourist Information Centre in Hugh Town which offers an excellent and professional service to visitors. Here, amongst other things, they display daily weather reports and tide times, operate a Vacancy List for the island accommodation and keep a selection of leaflets and booklets covering a whole range of subjects both here and on the mainland. You will find a visit to the TIC early in your holiday very interesting and informative. There are two island publications. 'The Scillonian Magazine' produced bi-annually and very comprehensive in its coverage of island matters. The other is a free monthly publication called 'Scilly Now and Then'.