The island of Bryher is the smallest of the inhabited islands in the Isles of Scilly, but offers sheer wild beauty one day, and calm and tranquility the next. At just one and a half miles long by half a mile wide, approximately 80 people call it home. The name ‘Bryher’ comes from the Cornish word ‘Breyer’, meaning ‘place of hills’—of which the island has seven.
From lazing on white sandy beaches and exploring rocky coves to hiking up granite hills for amazing views, Bryher has a lot to offer for those looking for a tranquil setting. The island has a network of walking trails dotted with stalls selling fresh local produce, from local vegetables and farm eggs to fresh seafood and superb island fudge.
If you plan on visiting Bryher, it may be worth watching the film adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s Why the Whales Came, which was filmed on the island and stars Helen Mirren and David Suchet.
Crossing the channel
If you time your visit right and the tides are at an extreme, it is possible to walk across the channel at low tide to the neighbouring island, Tresco.
The infamous Hell Bay is an Atlantic-facing cove and became a notorious place for shipwrecks throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. In spring, the cove may be tranquil, but in winter storms, it really does live up to its name.
A picture-perfect white sandy beach with calm waters, perfect for a lazy day with a picnic. Beachcomb for cowrie shells with views of Samson and St Mary’s.
One of Britain’s smallest bars located on the east of the island, offering tasty lunches, light snacks and cream teas.
Bennett’s Boatyard and Bryher Boatyard
These boatyards offer boats and kayaks for hire, and you can pick up supplies from the island chandlery to spend the day exploring the beauty of Bryher’s coastline.
If you want to experience Bryher’s wild side, Shipman Head is where you can see the huge Atlantic waves pound the western rocky shore—a real experience in the winter months.
The highest point on the island and the perfect place to take in arguably the finest sunsets of the archipelago.