An absence of cars, swathes of sandy beaches and a tropical garden to get lost in: Tresco Island is packed to the gunnels with old-fashioned family fun.
The joys of staying here include wrap-around views of the gin-clear ocean, St Martins and the Eastern Islands, which emerge atmospherically on the horizon. Days are spent exploring sheltered coves, picnicking on the rocks, going on a shipwreck trail, cycling the quiet roads, kayaking, eating fresh fish and hanging out with family and friends. Food: Guests on a dinner, bed and breakfast tariff eat at the Ruin Beach Café, which serves a Mediterranean-style menu. Those self-catering are limited to supplies from the Tresco Stores, which is costlier than the mainland, but also look out for farmer’s roadside stalls.
Nine new one-bed cottages, alongside 16 larger properties, form the Sea Garden Cottages, and each of the cottages has a roomy living area complete with a sofa bed. Seven larger properties sleep up to 10 and are available on a self-catering basis. Strollers and travel cots are available, babysitters are on hand and there’s an indoor pool and Jacuzzi.
Price: One night bed and breakfast in a one-bed Sea Garden Cottage; from £160 per person. Children under 12 years are charged at 70 percent of the daily rate. Children under 12 years occupying a sofa bed are charged £50 each daily. A larger cottage starts from £1,615 per week on a self-catering basis.
How to get there: Skybus flights to St Mary’s Airport go from Exeter, Newquay and Lands End airports. You can also take the Scillonian III from Penzance, which sails Monday to Saturday and takes 2 hours and 40 minutes to reach St Mary’s. Once there, you can take a 20 minute boat trip from the main quay St Mary’s.