British Isles Slow Travel

Where to stay in Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly

Your comprehensive guide to the best places to stay in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly from the author of the Bradt guide.

Kirsty Fergusson is an award-winning travel writer who grew up in the West Country and recently spent several years living in the far west of Cornwall. She is also the author of the latest edition of Bradt’s Guide to Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. Here, Kirsty shares the where to stay in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

The places to stay listed below are a personal selection of B&Bs, campsites, self-catering properties – and one or two very special hotels – that struck me for their location, friendliness or character, or a mixture of all three. These listings are far from exhaustive; for a really comprehensive selection, you might like to look at the accommodation page of Visit Cornwall.

Launceston Castle in Cornwall
Once nicknamed ‘Castle Terrible’ due to its dark past, Castle Launceston is today a tourist attraction © Studio George

Launceston & the North-east


The Beach at Bude

Bude, EX23 8HJ • 01288 389800 •

Luxury, boutique hotel in a contemporary New England style, with views over the surfing paradise of Summerleaze Beach. A cool cocktail bar and fine restaurant have put the hotel on the London map, but it remains friendly and unpretentious and the suites are an excellent choice for families of all ages.

The Beach House

Widemouth Bay, EX23 0AW • 01288 361256 •

With direct access from the garden to a long, sandy beach, and a lively bar-restaurant overlooking this gorgeous prospect, this is one to remember. The ten rooms have been refurbished to high standards, but prices remain reasonable.

Mill House Inn

Trebarwith, PL34 OHD • 01840 770200 •

A small hotel, in a deep wooded valley setting, with lovely gardens. It’s just a 15-minute walk from one of the north coast’s best beaches and a short drive from Tintagel. Eight unfussy, comfortable rooms, including a family room sleeping up to six, offer remarkably good value.


The Old Rectory

St Juliot, Boscastle, PL35 0BT • 01840 250225 •

Thomas Hardy stayed here while working on the restoration of the church just down the lane and one of the rooms, named after him, has a splendid ‘thunderbox’ in the bathroom. Traditional comfort and exceptional breakfasts.



01628 825925 •

Three miles north of Bude, a cluster of pretty, whitewashed cob-and-thatch cottages and mill have been sensitively restored by the Landmark Trust. Gathered around a millstream in a sheltered valley, the hamlet is wedged between a woodland nature reserve and an unspoilt, pebbly beach at Duckpool. Last-minute offers are temptingly priced.

Pencuke Farm

St Gennys (near Crackington Haven), EX23 0BH • 01840 230360 •

A small, organic, family-run working farm with two barn conversions (sleeping eight) and a smaller cottage (sleeping three) as well as two shepherd’s huts (sleeping four or two) is perfect for families and is dog-friendly, too.

The Gull Rocks in Cornwall
The Gull Rocks (or Carter Rocks) were recently made famous by the BBC One show Poldark © Ian Woolcock

Mid-Cornwall north: the Camel Estuary to Holywell Bay

There are some very swanky places to stay in this region which do not really fall within the Slow remit. However, special mention should be given to Mawgan Porth’s Bedruthan Hotel, much loved by exhausted parents for its terrific programme of morning, afternoon and evening activities for children from babies to teens, and its very grown-up sister hotel next door, the Scarlet – positively the last word in green luxury and eco-architecture.


Lewinnick Lodge

Pentire Headland, Newquay, TR7 1QD • 01637 878117 •

A luxury boutique hotel in a spectacular clifftop location: each room has huge windows overlooking the sea, a discreet amount of hi-tech gadgetry and loads of space. The restaurant offers some of the best dining in Newquay.



Tregunna, Wadebridge, PL27 7HU • 07748 432013 •

A peaceful 18th-century farmhouse with two rooms and a shared bathroom. Close to the Camel Trail but off the beaten track. Offers log fires, a beamy sitting room and breakfast cooked on the AGA.


Moyles Farm

St Minver, Wadebridge, PL27 6QT • 01208 862331 •

Upmarket cottages and barn conversions with enclosed gardens and two luxurious shepherd’s huts in a very secluded rural spot, yet within easy reach of Rock and Polzeath’s surfing beaches. Dogs welcome by arrangement.


Cornish Tipi Holidays

Tregeare, Pendoggett, St Kew, PL30 3LW • 01208 880781 •

A wonderful, wooded spot with its own clear-water lake in a disused quarry – perfect for swimming, fishing or messing about in the boats and canoes provided. Three sizes of tipi are available, sleeping up to seven – some grouped together, others scattered singly or in pairs among the trees. All have their own fire pits for outdoor cook-ups and campfires.

Helman Tor in Cornwall
Helman Tor is home to geological oddities and ancient archeological sites © Helen Hotson

Bodmin Moor

There are some spectacular camping opportunities around the Moor, ranging from luxury yurts to no-frills wild camping spots. Two of the best are included below.


Bodmin Jail Hotel

Scarlett’s Well Rd, PL31 2PL • 01208 822844 •

A sensitive, multi-million-pound conversion of a historic building with a grim history brings boutique luxury accommodation and dining to Bodmin. Each en suite bedroom is composed of three former cells, arranged on three floors around a central atrium … it sounds weird, but the reality is rather beautiful and very stylish.


The London Inn

School Hill, St Neot, PL14 6NG • 01579 326728 •

Three luxurious and beautifully decorated rooms are a new addition to this superb village pub that is rapidly acquiring a name for good dining, too. Closed in winter.

The Old Deer House (formerly Cabilla Manor)

Mount, near Warleggan, PL30 4DW • 01208 821224 •

The explorer and writer Robin Hanbury-Tennison and his wife, Louella, have handed over their Georgian farmhouse to son Merlin, and moved to the contemporary comfort of a super new building in the grounds of the old manor. The friendly, old-fashioned hospitality and comfort remains unchanged.


East Rose Farm

St Breward, near Blisland, Bodmin, PL30 4NL • 01208 850674 •

Just across a very pretty stretch of moorland from South Penquite Farm (see below). The seven cottages, sleeping from two to six, offer reasonably priced accommodation – and easy access to the farm’s well-stocked fishing lake and the Camel Trail.


South Penquite Farm

Blisland, Bodmin, PL30 4LH • 01208 850491 •

An idyllic moorland farm with free-ranging ducks and chickens and eco-sensitive laundry facilities and showers. It’s perfect for families, offering safety and freedom for young campers, while bushcraft courses are always popular with older children. Yurts can be hired and there are two bunkhouses, ideal for hikers or cyclists looking for an overnight roost. Hot drinks and breakfast rolls are available in the morning during school holidays and at weekends.


Greyhayes, Row Hill, St Breward, near Blisland, Bodmin, PL30 4LP • 01208 850670 •

Glamping doesn’t get much better than this: three luxury yurts, set well apart for privacy in glorious oak-fringed meadows, offer double beds, crisp linens, log burners, barbecues, hammocks and den-making stuff. And all within easy walking distance of the village shop and pub!

The docks at Looe, Cornwall
Southeast Cornwall is home to many beautiful coastal towns, including Looe (pictured) © Ian Woolcock

Southeast Cornwall


Coombeshead Farm

Lewannick, PL15 7QQ • 01566 782009 •

A beautifully restored Georgian farmhouse and outbuildings provide very upmarket comfort amid 66 acres of rolling meadows and woodland. Lots of attention to detail in choice of linens and furnishings in the nine bedrooms. Not suitable for under-12s or babies, but a small self-catering, cottage offering two double bedrooms, is available for families. The restaurant is a destination in itself, supplied by the farm’s own beef herd, kitchen garden and bakery.

Talland Bay Hotel

Porthallow Hse, Bridals Ln, Killigarth, Looe, PL13 2JB • 01503 272667 •

Luxury accommodation with a stylish, quirky character (eye-catching artworks and designer fabrics), glorious gardens overlooking sea and beach and a very welcoming approach to canine companions: sausage breakfasts and chicken dinners for well-behaved four-legged diners are provided.



Herodsfoot, Liskeard, PL14 4RD • 01503 220225 •

In an idyllic spot, upstream from Fowey, farmed by the Tamblyn family for 150 years, there are three self-catering cottages and a yurt. Wellness and meditation courses are offered throughout the year.

The Old Luggage Van & The Travelling Post Office

Railholiday Ltd, Haparanda Station, Nut Tree Hill, St Germans, PL12 5LU • 01503 230783 •

St Germans is a working railway station on the main line from Plymouth to Penzance but quiet, flower-filled corners have been found for cosy, quirky self-catering accommodation in lovingly restored railway carriages with all sorts of vintage detail. Only a short step away from Port Eliot, the village pub and shop.

Spring Park

Rezare, PL15 9LX • 07805 990302 •

Paddy and Kitty offer a delightful range of shepherd’s huts, gypsy caravans and cabins, plus a barn conversion and a Scandinavian-church-inspired ‘tin tabernacle’. Expect vintage furnishings, picnic hampers, proper bathrooms and happy, welcoming hosts. Each comes with its own outdoor space. Great fun and reasonable tariffs.

Treworgey Farm

Duloe, Liskeard, PL14 4PP • 01503 262730 • or

Two luxury shepherd’s huts, with their own bathrooms, , are suitable for couples, while the holiday cottages are perfect for families. This is a working farm, with ponies and farm animals, a bucolic setting and beaches just a few minutes’ drive away.


The Old Coach Hse, St Martin, Looe, Pl13 1NZ • 01503 262671 •

Off-grid but without compromising comfort, the Old Coach House stands within a gloriously preserved nature reserve, just a field away from the coast path and 300m above its own private beach. Sleeping six in two rooms, accommodation can be extended by hiring the adjacent studio or adding a tent or two. Well-behaved dogs welcome. Highly recommended for those wanting to get away from it all en famille and giving a taste of how easy it could be to adapt to a life less dependent on energy-guzzling machines and WiFi.


Bush Farm Wild Camping

Saltash, PL12 6QY • 07875 557160 •

Pitch anywhere you like on this idyllic, dog-friendly farm.

Hawkins Battery

The Earl’s Dr, Maker, PL10 1JB • 01752 823234 •

Unchanging, secluded and well off the beaten track, the static caravans have a loyal following that come not just year after year, but decade after decade. The site also offers no-frills camping, a prized spot for hikers and cyclists in the know.

Highertown Farm Campsite

Lansallos, Looe, PL13 2PX • 01208 265211 •

Lansallos is a tiny, unspoilt village and the small campsite sits in a field between the church and gorgeous beach. Washing and drying facilities have been created in a restored barn. Run in a relaxed way by the National Trust (though be sure to reserve a place during school holidays, as it is popular with families), it relies on the decency of the campers to make it work.

Golitha Falls, Cornwall
The River Fowey flows through the Fowey Valley into the picturesque Golitha Falls © Helen Hotson

The Fowey Valley & the Cornish Alps


Fowey Hall Hotel

Hanson Drive, Fowey, PL23 1ET • 01726 833866 •

Spacious and comfortable, with a country-house style. Families come here to unwind, as the hotel is very welcoming to children and close to the delightful sheltered beach at Readymoney Cove as well as the town’s numerous pubs, shops and restaurants.


The Dwelling House at Fowey

6 Fore St, Fowey, PL23 1AQ • 01726 833662

Just one lovely bedroom, if you can nab it, right in the centre of Fowey. On the ground floor a terrific café and courtyard garden do everything right.

Foye Old Exchange

12 Lostwithiel St, Fowey, PL23 1BD • 01726 833252 •

Quirky but comfortable accommodation in the centre of Fowey. Three double rooms, one with a four-poster, plus, downstairs, a remarkable collection of telephones and telephone-abilia. Nearest parking is in the (paying) car park on the outskirts of Fowey.


Bodrugan Barton

Mevagissey, PL26 6PT • 01726 842094 •

Choose from wooden, no-frills ‘pods’, cottages or a large barn conversion on this friendly, family-run working farm, within walking distance of a delightful secret beach. Mevagissey is on the doorstep and Heligan is a short drive away. A great place for families, groups and budgets of all sizes.

Caerhays Estate

Caerhays, PL26 6LY • 01872 500026 •

Twelve cottages and houses, some beautifully converted from estate buildings, set in glorious parkland, close to a delightful cove and sandy beach. The Fish Sheds (sleeps six) and Lime Kiln (sleeps two) are right by the beach, while the Lodge and Rabbit Warren are in the lovely gardens. The Vean is a luxury country house, sleeping 16, furnished to suit the Georgian elegance of the building.


Court Farm Camping

St Stephen, PL26 7LE • 01726 823684 •

A campsite for star-gazers: the low level of light pollution has led to the creation of an observatory on the farm, which runs regular events for would-be astronomers. The quiet camping field is very much in tune with the family ethos of sensitive, sustainable land use. Don’t forget to bring your torch.

Lombard Farm

Mixtow, PL23 1NA • 01726 870844 •

Glamp above the River Fowey in a cabin, shepherd’s hut or yurt. A beautifully presented, family-run idyll above the river, perfectly sited for outdoor activities including canoeing, biking or just feeling close to nature.

Porthkidney Sands Beach, Cornwall
With so much coast, you’ll never want for places to swim, such as the gorgeous Porth Kidney Sands beech © Ian Woolcock

The Mining Heartland


Driftwood Beach Chalet

Gwithian Towans, Hayle • 01326 567838 •

A wooden chalet, built in the 1930s, has been lovingly renovated to create a bright and airy living space with lots of retro touches. Not big or posh, and set among other chalets, but it sleeps a family of six comfortably. Twenty minutes’ walk from Gwithian beach.

Godolphin House

TR13 9RE • 0344 800 2070 •

Atmospheric six-bedroom splendour in a historic house sleeping 12 with private garden space. Enter through a pillared portico that runs along the façade to find linenfold panelling, a grand formal dining room and all mod cons, including a contemporary stand-alone bath. The gardens and vast estate are all to be enjoyed as well.


Beacon Cottage Camping

Beacon Dr, St Agnes, TR5 0NU • 01872 552347 •

Orchards and paddocks provide ample space for family-friendly camping on a working farm spread over the lower slopes of St Agnes Beacon. Sea breezes, spectacular views and farm eggs and milk for sale. All within easy reach of Chapel Porth, while Trevaunce Cove is a couple of miles away.

Mount Pleasant Eco Park

Porthtowan, TR4 8HL • 01209 891500 •

With impeccable green credentials and stunning views, the site hosts the odd festival as well as yoga workshops. A superb vegetarian café is a destination in itself and it’s a short stride down to the beaches.

The coast at St Agnes, Cornwall
St Agnes is famous for its industrial archaeology, being a populated area since pre-history © Tim Woolcock Photography

Truro & the Fal Estuary

Upmarket hotels and self-catering cottages are plentiful in this area. Various B&Bs and campsites are listed on Falriver.


Hay Barton

Tregony, Truro, TR2 5TF • 01872 530288 •

Elegant, grown-up accommodation (no under-12s) on a working farm on the Roseland peninsula, within easy reach of the beaches. Three luxurious en-suite bedrooms, plus a one-bedroom self-catering cottage which can be added to the B&B accommodation if available. Croquet available in the pretty garden.


Come-to-Good Farm

Feock, TR3 6QS • 01872 863828 •

A glorious, rural spot, close to the thatched Quaker Meeting House of the same name. With a barn, shepherd’s hut and small campsite offering simple, rustic accommodation, it’s all about the lovely surroundings and tranquillity. The farm keeps sheep (lambing courses are offered) and chickens and children are encouraged to collect the breakfast eggs.

St Anthony Head Cottages

TR2 5HA • 0844 800 2070 •

Four small holiday cottages converted from former officers’ quarters look over the sea to Falmouth.


Treloan Coastal Holidays

Gerrans, Portscatho, TR2 5EF • 01872 580989 •

Year-round mobile home options and clifftop pitches close to long sandy beaches on the Roseland peninsula. All types of campers are catered for here – from coast-path walkers (dogs are allowed) to large families and caravanning types. Children can help feed chickens and guinea pigs, while adults exclaim over the sublime views – and proximity to the gastronomic delights of Portscatho.

Kynance Cove, Cornwall
Historical visitors to Kynance Cove include Alfred Tennyson, Algernon Swinburne, and Queen Victoria © Ian Woolcock

Southwest Cornwall: the Lizard Peninsula


Housel Bay Hotel

Lizard, TR12 7PG • 01326 567500 •

The grand old hotel , built by Silvanus Trevail for the Victorian gentry on the cliffs a short step from Lizard village, is being slowly refurbished by new owners. Some rooms now offer a contemporary styling and comfort, while others are yet to lose their 1980s-style bathrooms. The views out to sea are stunning and the restaurant/bar eating options are superb. Perfect for walkers, nature-lovers and gourmets.


The Old Temperance House

St Keverne, TR12 6NA • 01326 280986 •

Four characterful, comfortable rooms (three double, one twin) in a historic house between the pub and church, overlooking the popular village square. Cornish cream breakfasts will set you up for the day exploring the rugged coastline, easily accessed by footpath from the village.


Kestle Barton

Manaccan, Helston, TR12 6HU • 01326 567838 •

Three beautifully converted ancient barns, a lovely old farmhouse and Kestle Cottage, sleeping from two to eight. The architecture here has won awards but guests are just as pleased with the proper cooks’ kitchens, luxurious bathrooms and comfy beds and sofas. All the houses have access to the gallery’s gardens, orchards and flower meadow. Green credentials include rainwater harvesting and underfloor heating using wood chip, and there are wood-burning stoves throughout. All profits go towards funding the arts at Kestle Barton.

Kynance Cottage

Next to Kynance Cove Café, TR12 7PJ • 01326 290436 •

Sleeps two plus two small children right next to one of Cornwall’s loveliest beaches. Expect it to be busy on sunny days – especially as there’s a popular café close by – but enjoy the early mornings and evenings when the true magic of the cove is restored.


Mawgan, TR12 6AF • 01326 221224 •

Upmarket holiday rentals in beautifully renovated cottages sleeping two to eight on a historic estate with impeccable green credentials. Lovely walks on the doorstep; a tennis court, heated outdoor swimming pool in the old walled fruit garden and fully equipped gym complete the idyll.


Henry’s Campsite

The Lizard, TR12 7NX • 01326 290596 •

A legend among barefoot campers – perfect for old hippies and young travellers. The coast path and beaches are on the doorstep, as well as the pubs and shops of Lizard village. Evenings are enlivened by camp fires and sing-alongs.

Penmarth Farm

Coverack, TR12 6SB • 01326 281339 •

Static-caravan rentals and spaces for tents on a small, eco-friendly farm that offers basic facilities. It’s a short step along the coast path to the Terence Coventry Sculpture Park; a steep path leads down to the village.

St Michaels Mount, Cornwall
The tidal island of St Michael’s Mount is linked by causeway to Marazion © Helen Hotson

Penzance, St Ives & the Penwith peninsula

The useful website Cornwall Far West, not affiliated to the tourist office, is used by owners of all types of accommodation in Penwith to advertise their stuff. The site has an excellent interactive map, particularly good for finding out-of-the-way campsites and B&Bs. Another useful resource is Book Penzance.


Chapel House

Chapel St, Penzance, TR18 4AQ • 07810 020617 •

A Georgian house transformed into an elegant boutique hotel with a relaxed atmosphere. Susan Stuart has really pulled it off: it’s billed as a hotel, but from the moment you walk through the front door, you feel as though you’re in a private home … six double rooms and a generously proportioned living room are light, bright and beautifully furnished without compromising on comfort. Downstairs in the kitchen a supper club brings Penzance’s cultural soul to life, and outside a terrace offers great views over Mount’s Bay. There are also two very modern duplex suites.

Gurnard’s Head

Near Zennor, St Ives, TR26 3DE • 01736 796928 •

A fine pub with very comfortable rooms and a renowned restaurant. Set between granite moorland and coastal scenery, with wonderful walks on the doorstep, and it’s just a short hop to Zennor and St Ives. Dogs are welcome to stay, too.

The Old Coastguard

Mousehole, TR19 6PR • 01726 731222 •

Fourteen comfortable, stylish bedrooms, nearly all with views over the sea below, and a restaurant serving seriously good food. Everything is top quality, at prices set to woo locals, not just tourists, as you would expect from the Inkin brothers who also run the fabulous Gurnard’s Head.

Primrose Valley Hotel

Porthminster Beach, St Ives, TR26 2ED • 01736 794939 •

An eleven-bedroom family favourite, close to the beaches and town centre. A new mezzanine apartment offers a self-catering option. All rooms have simple, elegant furnishings using natural materials. Parking available.


Bosavern Guesthouse

St Just, Penzance, TR19 7RD • 01736 788301 •

Country house comfort on the edge of the lovely Cot Valley, close to Land’s End. Eight rooms, offering a variety of accommodation. It’s well placed for Land’s End Airport, and exploring the wild Penwith peninsula. Minimum stay two nights.

Ednovean Farm

Perranuthnoe, TR20 9LZ • 01736 711883 •

Beautiful gardens, stunning sea views and vintage-style luxury make this a very special B&B. Easy walks along the coast take you to Prussia Cove or St Michael’s Mount.


The Abbey

Abbey St, Penzance, TR18 4AR • 01244 356666 • or (search for ‘Abbey Villa’)

A luxurious country house-style Georgian townhouse, previously owned by 1960s fashion icon Jean Shrimpton. Her delightful sense of decorative style still pervades the rooms, which have open fires, and the seven en-suite bedrooms. Perfectly placed for exploring Penzance and the Penwith peninsula.

Boscrowan Farm

Heamoor, near Penzance, TR20 8UJ • 01736 332396 •

Two cottages on a pretty smallholding, sleeping two and four, just three minutes’ walk to the village shop and pub.

Castallack Farm

Mousehole, TR19 6NL • 01736 731969 •

Two dog-friendly cottages, sleeping two and four, in a lovely rural spot, close to Mousehole and Lamorna. Converted from single-storey granite barns to provide cosy, comfortable accommodation in a peaceful location on a small working farm. Perfect for walkers and anyone looking for a quiet spot in which to relax or explore the Penwith peninsula.

The Summerhouse Cove Cottage

St Loy, St Buryan, TR19 6DH • 01736 810010 •

There’s nothing basic about this romantic, Scandi-style hideaway in beautiful subtropical woodland gardens running down to the coast path and a sheltered cove. Luxuries include fast broadband and a welcome box of groceries including salads from the garden when available. Shorter breaks are available outside the main season.


Land’s End Hostel

Trevescan, Land’s End, TR19 7AQ • 07585 625774 •

Good-value, spotless rooms within easy reach of the coast path and Land’s End. It sleeps 14 in four rooms with shared kitchen and bathrooms; one double has its own en suite. One ‘B&B’ room with en suite and breakfast included is a recent addition; a family room is due to open in September 2023. Breakfast baskets can be ordered.


Into the Woods

Chy An Goverrow, Lamorna, TR19 6XW •

Part of the nationwide Woodland Champions Club, formed in 2017 to help landowners create and manage woodland and open it up for members of the public to use. Here, in a secluded valley, a bell tent offers an authentic, off-grid, no-frills escape from the outside world.

St Mary's Harbour, the Isles of Scilly
The World Pilot Gig Championships are held in Hugh Town on the May Day bank holiday © Andrew Roland

The Isles of Scilly

A comprehensive list of accommodation from campsites to upmarket hotels can be found at Visit Isles of Scilly. By far the greatest number of B&Bs and self-catering cottages are to be found on St Mary’s (though many of the B&Bs are being transformed into self-catering apartments these days). Accommodation of all types is very limited on St Agnes, Bryher and St Martin’s. The tourist information centre has a finger on the pulse of all availabilities, late deals and out-of-season offers; the Facebook group ‘Isles of Scilly Late Availability Accommodation’ is an excellent resource, too.

If looking for a cottage rental on Tresco, you can contact the island office directly on 01720 422849.

There are only four campsites spread across the islands – one each on St Mary’s, St Agnes, Bryher and St Martin’s. Reserving a pitch is essential, especially during the school holidays. Note that during the pilot gig championships in April/May, every bed and tent pitch is reserved months in advance.


The Atlantic

Hugh St, Hugh Town, St Mary’s, TR21 0PL • 01720 422417 • • Feb–Nov

A small, friendly hotel with a lively bar-restaurant, popular with locals, that overlooks the harbour. There are 21 rooms, many with harbour or sea views. Cooked breakfast included in room rates.

Hell Bay Hotel

Bryher, TR23 0PR • 01720 422947 •

A multi-award-winning treat for lovers of remote beauty who wish to retain all the sybaritic comforts of a small, modern hotel. Facing the wild Atlantic coast but only a step away from tranquil, turquoise waters that separate the tiny island from Tresco. Great food and a convivial ‘crab shack’ in the garden attract foodies from far afield.

Karma Hotel

Lower Town, St Martin’s, TR25 0QW • 01720 422368 •

The only hotel on St Martin’s offers upmarket luxury, a spa and fine dining. It’s just about as close to the beach as you can get, and less than a minute’s walk from the passenger ferry. Everything else (pub, shop, bakery, tea room, winery) on the island is a ten- to 25-minute stroll away.


95 Watermill

St Mary’s, TR21 0NS • 07760 661627 •

A romantic shepherd’s hut, offering the last word in luxury, set in an idyllic garden in a sheltered corner of the north end of the island. Outside there’s a fire pit, seats and hammock; inside a huge bed, crisp linens, miniature kitchen and instant hot-water shower room. Wow.

Little Arthur Crofter’s Cabin

St Martin’s, TR25 0QL • 01720 422457 •

A tiny, no-frills hideaway sleeping four, plus a summerhouse with bunks in the garden. An incredible roost for budget-conscious families, pioneer types or get-away-from-it-all writers.

Troytown Farm

St Agnes, TR22 0PL • 01720 422360 •

Two cottages suitable for families and a studio on a small dairy farm, just a step away from the beach. There’s a small, no-frills campsite, too, along with a farm shop, happy cows and fabulous ice creams. Nothing on the island is more than a few minutes’ walk away – and a 30-minute stroll to even emptier white beaches leaves you feeling like Robinson Crusoe.


Longstone Lodge

Holy Vale, St Mary’s, TR21 0NW • 01720 422410 •

A stylish hostel in the rural centre of St Mary’s has a variety of immaculate, beautifully designed en-suite rooms offering real value for money for couples, singles and families. The roomy kitchen and dining area make for convivial evenings. Homemade frozen meals are available – or there’s a great café offering lunches and the occasional dinner or lobster feast.


The Garrison Campsite

St Mary’s, TR21 OLS • 01720 422670 •

Campsite with far-ranging views and good amenities. Bringing camping gear to the Isles of Scilly is not all that easy – especially if travelling as a family (the campsite will transport your gear from the harbour though, if need be). But here, if you wish, you can just bring a sleeping bag, as tents sleeping either two or up to four people, equipped with everything else you need, are provided on site at reasonable prices.

More Information

For a comprehensive guide to both Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, purchase a copy of Kirsty Fergusson’s travel guide.

Offering in-depth exploration of both frequently visited and less-well-known destinations that will interest locals as much as newcomers, it is written in a friendly, engaging style and includes up-to-date listings of the best (and sometimes least obvious) places to eat, drink and sleep, appealing to all budgets.