Travel to the Isles of Scilly
By air or sea - the journey is worth it
To arrive somewhere special, anywhere in the world, the trip is always worth it regardless of the distance, cost or time spent along the way. It is often the fulfilment of an ambition and therefore a unique experience and an adventure in itself.
A spectacular scenic flight to the Isles of Scilly on Skybus is a world-class offer and there is something magical and so authentic about travelling to an island destination by boat, particularly when you first see the islands silhouetted on the horizon before gradually forming in front of your eyes. However you travel, the frisson of excitement is something that will live long in the memory.
Getting to the Isles of Scilly is easier than reaching a lot of island destinations in the UK despite being further from the mainland than most and this owes to the fact there are four departure points rather than just one. You can take a boat from Penzance or fly from Exeter, Land's End and Newquay.
Reaching these departure points has never been easier. In recent years we have witnessed substantial improvements to the road network in Cornwall, in particular to the A303 and A30. There are also excellent train links to Penzance from most parts of the country, including a sleeper service from London, and this year there are no fewer than 22 connecting flights available throughout the British Isles to Newquay and Exeter, from as far north as Aberdeen and as far south as the Channel Islands.
If you are wondering why you cannot fly direct from further afield than the available departure points it is because the runway on the Isles of Scilly is not long enough to accommodate large aircraft. The longest runway is 694 metres compared with 3,052 metres at Birmingham or 3,902 metres at Heathrow.
Please bear in mind that you cannot bring your car across on the boat. You wouldn't need it anyway. The islands are small so you are never far away from wherever you want to go and there are comprehensive details of how to get around the islands in our Things to Do section. We also have information on secure parking in and around Penzance. For those driving to the air departure points we recommend the airport car parking facilities.
If you are travelling a long distance to reach a departure point then we recommend you consider an overnight stay on one or in some cases both legs of your journey, especially if your well earned break is a week or longer. Why get stressed if the traffic is congested, the train is late or your flight to Newquay is delayed and you might miss your connection?
The Isles of Scilly can also be affected by poor weather conditions that can delay flights, just like any offshore destination in the world.
These things don't happen very often but factor in the possibility by planning accordingly so you don't have to worry about it. You are supposed to be on holiday and relaxing so we have set out what we call the stress-free option in our flight connections pages, which we hope you find helpful. Also included are links to timetables from the various operators.
Travel information for yachts and private aircraft
For those wishing to travel to the Isles of Scilly in their own small aircraft we recommend you contact St Mary's Airport for advice and instructions while yacht owners looking for a secure mooring should contact St Mary's Harbour, Porthcressa Moorings or Tresco Estate for more information and details of how to book in advance.