With over 140 uninhabited islands in the Scilly archipelago it is a fascinating place to explore. You can take a number of boat trips that travel out around the various rocky landmarks that stand out from the surrounding ocean, and marvel at the wildlife and scenery that is on offer.
Whether it is to see the many different seabird species that call these islands home in the breeding season, to meet the seals that bask on the rocks and play in the waters, or to just take in the beautiful scenery and sea air, you are guaranteed to be left in awe of what can be seen in this unique UK environment. You can read about some of our unihabited islands below.
Leaving Space for our Wildlife
We look after most of the uninhabited islands within the Isles of Scilly archipelago. A careful balance is required to ensure that wildlife is not disturbed and has space to thrive. For this reason certain uninhabited islands are closed on a permanent basis and others have areas of limited access during bird and seal breeding seasons.
Please see the map below for details:
Samson is an uninhabited island that has regular boat trips throughout the summer season. There's nothing better than spending the day on a completely uninhabited island to relax yourself. Either by taking a long walk around the island to take in the sights of the diverse flora, fauna, and even old ruins, or by spending the day relaxing on the white sands or in the clear blue seas.
The island of Annet is one of our most important, as it is a vital habitat for a large percentage of our breeding seabird populations, with large numbers of great black-backed gulls, as well as shags, manx shearwaters, and storm petrels. Throughout the spring and early summer it is transformed into a pink jewel that sits out to the West thanks to the high density of thrift that grows on its' North side. It is down in this thrift that our Manx Shearwaters have built their burrows, and will return to the same burrow year after year with adults known to live for over 50 years!
Well known for its pest house, in which sailors infected with plague would be quarantined, St Helen's is a prominent landmark on the Scilly coastline. Like all of the uninhabited islands it is designated as a Special Site of Scientific Interest (SSSI) and is home to a number of different seabird species throughout the summer breeding season.
Sitting alongside St Helen's, nestled in between St Martin's and Tresco, Tean offers the perfect uninhabited island experience. With a winding and rocky coastline, and high granite tor's, you could be forgiven for thinking this island is larger than it seems. Predominantly the breeding ground for species of gull such as lesser-black backs, we ask that people take care to avoid disturbance to the wildlife on the island.
Rose Vear (Western Rocks)
Rose Vear is one of the most westerly islands in the archipelago. Best viewed from the boat when out on a Seabird Safari with St Agnes Boating, Rose Vear is now one of the best locations to see a variety of breeding seabirds throughout the summer. Guillemots, razorbills, puffins, shags, cormorants, herring gull as well as lesser and great black-backed gulls can all be spotted here. You may notice the remains of an old stone house, which provided shelter for the men who built the Bishop Rock Lighthouse between 1847 to 1858.
A spectacular island located in the North of the archipelago, and one that is closed all year round. Take a trip on a local boat to get the best views of this island, and you could see the various seabirds that can be found here over the summer months such as puffins, fulmars, guillemots, and razorbills.