Scilly Isles


October 8th– 17th 2020

A chance to visit the most beautiful islands in Britain, full of wonderful coastal scenery, exotic sub-tropical vegetation, and abundant wildlife.

Our sixth visit!


Provisional costs: £1300 in single occupancy, £1200 for people sharing. Cost will come down if a large number of people book



The annual members’ trip to the Isles of Scilly has become an Observatory tradition and the next one is planned for October 2020. The trip is suitable for birders of all abilities and levels of interest. For keen birders, we will be visiting at the best possible time to catch the rare birds for which these islands are famous. For the lesser mortals there is plenty to see anyway, plus the chance to catch at least some of the rarer birds and for non-birdwatchers, the five inhabited islands offer wonderful walks / cycle rides on quiet lanes and coastal footpaths.

We will travel by overnight coachfrom Sandwich to Penzance on Thursday October 8th, to arrive ready for the two-and-a-half-hour ferry crossing to the Scillies on ‘The Scillonian III’ on the morning of the 9th.  There is a good chance of seabirds on the crossing and animals such as porpoises, dolphins and even Minke Whale. Arriving at Hugh Town on the main island of St. Mary’s, we will transfer to our hotel, Tregarthen’s, which overlooks the harbour and has fabulous sea-views towards the off-islands of Tresco and Bryher.

During the week we will explore all of the main islands and their different habitats, marvelling at the sub-tropical vegetation which is such a feature of the Scillies, even at this time of the year; the pure whitebeaches; granite cliffs and the turquoise seas.  The weather on The Scillies is always mild, but it can be wet and windy at times, too. There is no strenuous walking involved but you will need to be reasonably fit and active to tackle some of the coastal walks. The trip would also be suitable for non-birding spouses, partners or friends.

The Scillies have regularly featured in wildlife, historical and other television programmes in recent years.Non-birding highlights include the world-famous Tresco Abbey Gardens and there is much of historical interest to look out for, from Bronze Age burial sites to Second World War fortifications.

We will leave the Scillies on ‘The Scillonian’ on the afternoon of Friday October 16th, travel back by overnight coach and arrive back in Kent on the morning of Saturday October 17th.


We will be staying on a half-board basis atthe Tregarthen’s Hotel which overlooks the harbour in Hugh Town, the main town of The Scillies. This will give us easy access to the shops, banks, cafes and restaurants in Hugh Town itself, while also being very close for boarding the launches which will take us to the ‘off-islands’.Over the past years, Tregarthen’s have always looked after us very well – the service is good and the food too!


If I can get about 25 – 30people in total, then the holidaywill cost approximately £1300per person for people in single occupancy and £1200per person for couples or other pairs of people prepared to share a twin-room at the hotel.

Please note:

  1. These prices may change, depending on any increases in transport or hotel costs and also on how many people sign up.
  2. A donation to Sandwich Bay Bird Observatory general funds is built-in to all SBBO Holiday prices.

The cost would cover:

Coach travel to and from the Bird Observatory to Penzance in Cornwall and return; ferry trip on ‘The Scillonian III’ from Penzance to St. Mary’s on the Scillies and return; half-board accommodation for 7 nights at the Tregarthen’s Hotel;the cost of three trips to any of the four main  ‘out-islands’ and gratuities to the coach drivers and hotel staff.

It would NOT include:

Any other boat-trips you chose to make to the ‘off-islands’; admittance to Tresco Abbey Gardens or other sites; alcoholic or other drinks at the hotel or the cost of your lunch-time meals. (There are many nice eating-places to choose from on most of the islands or you can buy food from the shops in Hugh Town).


At this stage I already have about 13 Observatory members ‘signed up’ for this trip.

I need to have a definite idea of who else is interested so I am looking for names, contact details

If you wish to discuss the trip further, I am happy to talk to you!

My mobile phone number is: 07813 296 471, my home number is 01304 366 007 or I can be contacted by e-mail via the Observatory’s e-mail address:

 Ken Chapman

January 8th 2020