Pentle Bay, Tresco, Scilly Isles, Cornwall
Photo by Vaughan Ives

Continuing in our series of Hidden Beaches I thought I'd share a particular favourite.  One which has a special place in my heart as I honeymooned here.  

Pentle Bay in Tresco and the Isles of Scilly could almost be anywhere other than England.  Its white sand and intensely blue sea give it an almost tropical look, but this beach is in fact on Tresco in the Isles of Scilly, almost 30 miles south-west of Land's End. The water here is safe for swimming, which is tempting since the Isles have an unusually warm climate for Britain, and the beach is a great spot for collecting sea shells or just lounging on the sand.

There's lots to do elsewhere on the island. Tresco Abbey Gardens have a large and diverse collection of tropical plants some that you would think shouldn't belong here like Stralizias or Bird of Africa whose natural habitat is South Africa and some of which flower throughout the winter despite having no protection from the elements. It is also home to figureheads salvaged from ships which were wrecked on Tresco's shores and beautiful sculpture. The safe waters around the island mean it's ideal for water sports.

Visitors can also Island hop to Bryher where further accomodation is available or day trip to some of the other Islands such as St Martins and St Mary's.

This is also a keen sailing ground and you will see sailing visitors both from Britain's mainland and from further afield such as France.  For those there are laundry facilities available on the island together with a small supermarket.


There are two hotels on the Island, the aptly named Island Hotel which offers beautiful family accommodation and also has a heated swimming pool.  The other the New Inn, is a comfortable public house and is a popular lunchtime and evening destination and overlooks New Grimsby Bay. Even better are the various houses and cottages available for rental. Some of the most luxurious options on the island are the Flying Boat Cottages, well-designed beachfront houses which can sleep up to 10 people, and the lovely Sea Garden Cottages. For more cottages to rent on Tresco, try i-escape orwww.tresco.co.uk.


You can sail across on a Ferry which runs daily or alternatively use the Skybus.  Sadly the Helicopter service which ran from Penzance no longer exists.