The Isles of Scilly with Miriam Darlington

7 days
goat guide

DATES Sat 29th June 2024
- Sat 6th July 2024

8 days and 7 nights

Outstanding beauty, uncrowded and unspoilt - all words to describe these mystical, ancient Scilly Isles off the Cornwall Coast. Many people go to explore, but few are lucky to join Miriam Darlington, who we are privileged to have guiding her first WalkingWomen Trip next summer. She is a leading nature writer and she lived on Scilly and is passionate to share her love of every inch of these 5 inhabited jewels in the Atlantic Ocean. Do join us on an incredible, exclusive, once in a lifetime extraordinary trip - we have only 10 spaces on this small group trip.


Dates: Saturday June 29th to Saturday July 6th

Guide:  Miriam Darlington a specialist nature writer who lived and worked on the Isles of Scilly for five years and now loves bringing groups here to discover this hidden gem for themselves. She is an avid bird lover and has written extensively about owls as well as other aspects of nature. Recently the rare tropical red-footed booby has been spotted in the Isles of Scilly area so we hope this trip will bring many wonders.

If you would like some of Miriam’s work   The Wise Hours by Miriam Darlington

Walking Grade: 2 Goats – we grade this two goats as the distances are up to 18km and we want you to get the most from these walks to discover each of the 5 Scilly Islands. Walks will be at a slow pace as you take in all the wonderful scenery and wildlife around you. Miriam is a gem and such a specialist that she will be sure to give you insights that you just wouldn’t get to hear about on your own.

If you want more information about our goat levels please read on Goat Guide

Base: Tregarthen’s Hotel, Garrison Hill, St Marys, Isles of Scilly, TR21 OPP

The hotel is near the sea and just yards from the quay where you can catch a boat to explore the other islands. All of our 10 rooms have a sea view either over the harbour, over the water to the off islands or across the roofscape of Hugh Town towards Porthcressa Bay. We will allocate on a first come first basis. The hotel restaurant serves local produce and at the end of the day you can relax and immerse yourself in its charm. There are few better places to pause and soak up the views.

All evening meals will be in the hotel except for one evening when we hope to take a boat, departure usually at 6pm to St Agnes, giving plenty of time for a stroll as well as a meal on the island. (this is weather dependent)

How to get there:

Isles of Scilly, also called Scilly Isles, lie just off the coast of Cornwall.

The Scillonian ferry goes daily from Penzance to St Mary’s and on the 29th June it departs at 8am arriving into St Marys at 10.45am. If not driving you might like to take an overnight train from London Paddington to Penzance getting you there in time for your departure. The return journey on the 6th July is at 14.30 from St Marys, arriving back into Penzance at 17.15.

You can also take the Skybus from Land’s End which takes about 20 minutes to get to St Marys. There are several flights daily. You can also fly from Exeter, journey time takes about an hour.

Our hotel can offer a 10% discount on the Scillonian or Skybus (standard tickets only)  Let us know if you will be travelling this way and we can arrange. 

You also have the option of flying one way and taking the ferry back.

To check out 2024 Routes and Fares please take a look here Scilly Travel

We advise booking travel as early as you can. If you would like to discuss your travel please do call us on 01784 664063 and ask to speak to Sara

Arrival: for 15.00 check in, settle in and a short orientation walk. There will be a briefing with your guide at 18.00 followed by a welcome dinner together.

Departure: After Breakfast. If your ferry or flight isn’t until later in the day the hotel will store your luggage for you.

Price:£ 2600 per person for this very special holiday to include:

  • Expert Naturalist Guiding
  • Ensuite room with sea views for solo occupancy on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis
  • Lunches on walking days – these may be packed lunches from the hotel or in one of the island’s wonderful cafes
  • All evening meals included – 1 evening we hope to take an evening supper boat to St Agnes (weather dependent)
  • Local transport and boat journeys to visit the 5 inhabited islands ( there are 140 others not inhabited)
  • Entrance to Tresco Abbey Gardens
  • A special local Cream Tea

If you can bring a friend/partner and share a room there is a discount of £100 pp and the price is £2500 per person . We will discount your final bill once you have paid your deposit.

Not included:

  • Travel to the Isles of Scilly
  • Drinks
  • Any additional excursions not on the itinerary
  • Anything not mentioned above


Download the brochure »



The Isles of Scilly lie just off the coast of Cornwall and a world apart from everywhere. They are a natural wonder,like a cluster of ocean jewels, where nature thrives and the soul is inspired. This is a prefect destination for our WalkingWomen wanderers.

Sara was there this year planning and preparing and we were delighted to find Miriam to guide locally having lived and worked on the island. She knows all the islands little secrets.

In her words

“ I feel like this is the perfect place for women to gather and have adventures; the whole archipelago is enchanted with layers of fascinating history and ethereal beauty and although rugged in places, walking the coast gives you a warm sense of safety, a feeling of being connected to yourself, far away from the harsh realities of the outside world. This is a place that I feel brings people into mindfulness as they walk, enfolded by the Atlantic yet within reach of its utter wildness. I’m a keen bird watcher and often volunteer for wildlife trusts surveying bird populations. I will explain happily about all the seabirds, as well as the song birds that live here and are remarkably tame. Expect to be wowed by the weather, be immersed in the elements and come home well-fed, refreshed and exhilarated “

If you want to take a sneak peak do take a look at this short video..

Watch About the Scilly Isles

Recently the red footed booby has been spotted in the area and we hope to show you so many varieties of birds on this trip.

Read about the Red Footed Booby Bird



Our itinerary which may be changed subject to availability, weather and tides. Boat timings can change due to tides so please prepare to be flexible. You can trust that our guide will give you the best experience you will ever have of these islands.

Your guide Miriam will brief you each morning.

We visit all five inhabited islands of this charming archipelago, staying on the main island of St Mary’s as our base, and walking the coast of each isle to absorb the beauty, flavour and idiosyncrasy of each.

Day 1 Arrival on St Mary’s and check in at the lovely Tregarthen’s hotel. Early evening stroll (1-1.5 hr) around the Garrison to take in the atmosphere and look out to sea. You will have the chance to sample traditional  local ale in the Mermaid pub next to the hotel – or your tipple of choice!

Day 2 St Agnes. 10.15 depart from St Mary’s Quay on boat trip to the neighbouring island of St Agnes. We will spend the day walking around St Agnes for approx 16km/10 miles  with refreshment stops. 25m elevation.

We return to St Mary’s on the 4.15pm ferry.

This island has intimate landscape and poignant history. With this circular walk you really feel you are at the very tip of the British Isles, far out in the Atlantic, with views of the jagged Western Rocks, the Puffin island of Annet, and the iconic Bishop Rock Lighthouse. Tide permitting, we will  begin by walking the short distance across the soft white sand bar to Gugh, which is cut off from the main island at high tide. We’ll rejoin the main island and walk at a leisurely pace for around 4 hours with stops for the very special refreshments to be found here. We’ll pass nesting gull colonies, standing stones and bronze age burial chambers, as well as some extraordinary granite rock formations named The Devil’s Punchbowl and the Nag’s Head. We’ll pass Beady Pool, where hundreds of years ago a Spanish vessel was wrecked, casting her cargo of exotic glass beads ashore. We’ll take in Wingletang Down and St Warna’s Well, and make for a cream tea at The Lighthouse Keepers Cafe. Ice creams from Troy Town Farm’s small Jersey Herd (each of the 12 cows has a lovely name) are also a must. If any of these happen to be closed (unlikely) the fantastic Turks head pub, right by the quay where the boat leaves for St Mary’s, also provides sustenance and beverages, locally brewed ales, gin or the special hot chocolate.


Day 3 St Mary’s: 18km/11 miles with 205 ascent – a circular walk around the island. 4-5 hours walking at a gentle pace. 

Walking from the hotel we spend the entire day walking around the circumference of St Mary’s. We will stop for our picnic lunch and maybe a tea and cake stop at Juliet’s garden with its spectacular views over St Mary’s.

The trail has some small sections that are road with sparse traffic and the rest is mainly a coastal view with soft grassy or earthy paths, rocky outcrops,low cliffs and some sandy beaches. You are unlikely to encounter many people. This is a beautiful walk with serene views of the sea, some historic sites and a nearly continuous horizon of surrounding islands.

Day 4 Option day. Choose a rest day where you could walk up to the spectacular Penninis promontory to see the Pulpit rock, and return via Old Town Church. Or other possible trips: either to visit the fascinating Tresco Abbey Gardens or if sea legs are feeling brave, the Bishop Rock Lighthouse. For Bird enthusiasts, there is a possible Seabird Special  trip with the possibility of seeing dolphins, Atlantic grey seals, puffins, razorbills, shearwaters and fulmars. Birds galore. Warm clothes, waterproofs and binoculars recommended.

There is an option to include a trip to Tresco Abbey Gardens (this is included in the cost of your holiday) and then spend the remainder of your day at leisure.

Day 5 10.15 depart from the quay for St Martins. Walk around the entirety of this spectacularly atmospheric isle which is approx 6 miles/9.65km with 47m elevation. You can expect to walk for 5 hours

This is a spectacular walk around arguably the most beautiful of the inhabited islands. Once landed, we’ll walk at a gentle pace for around 5 hours to soak up the magical wind-swept seclusion of the island. To the sound of waves and nesting oyster catchers, we’ll cover most of the 6 miles/9km of coastline, viewing the stunning white sand beaches and rugged rocky coast that rises to the highest point where the striking landmark of the red and white striped Daymark stands. With an elevation of 47 metres there are a few steep climbs, and some rocky areas. The landscape is mostly grassland with heather and bracken moorland. There are some fascinating, mysterious ruins and prehistoric remains on Chapel Down from where, on a good day, you can see the mainland in the distance to the East.
This is a glorious walk and if there is time we’ll be able to sample local cake at the Little Arthur cafe or tea in the hotel and a little beachcombing on the white sands before boarding the boat to take us the 20 minutes ride back to St Mary’s.


Day 6 10.15 to Bryher. The walk around Bryher is approx 5 miles/ almost 8km which will take approx 4 hours with refreshment stops. There is 32m elevation.

This is the smallest island but it has a very big heart. We’ll head uphill, north over grassy heathland to the rugged wilds of Shipman Head and one of the largest Bronze age burial sites in Western Europe. The north and west coasts are exposed to the full power of the Atlantic, with dramatic rock formations and cliffs, and the aptly named Hell Bay. We’ll look out for seals at Droppy Nose Point, skirt the gentler parts with the sands of Rushey Bay, and round the base of Samson Hill – of the famous book by children’s author Michael Morpurgo – with views out to the abandoned island of Samson. We’ll potentially pass Veronica Farm that sells world renowned traditional fudges of many flavours, and hope for a crab sandwich or seafood snack on our return. If there is time before the boat leaves we’ll pop in to see the beautiful stained glass windows in the tiny All Saints Church, depicting ocean wildlife.


Day 7 Final day! Walk around the north coast of Tresco approx 8 miles/10.8km with an elevation of 44m.

We are just across the narrow sound from Bryher on the sophisticated island of Tresco. This second largest island has its own helipad, and is home to the fabulous Tresco Abbey gardens that we can see about visiting on the option day. Much of the island is more neatly tended than the other islands, giving it a more cosmopolitan feel, as it is privately owned, but it still has plenty of drama and wild beauty to offer. We’ll pass the ruined Cromwell’s castle and climb up onto some of the prettiest heathland coast you might ever see. There are plenty of cosy spots to linger here, amongst the mounds of thrift, gazing out into the swirl of the Atlantic, and back over to Shipman’s Head on Bryher. We’ll walk down via the Tresco Hotel and see if there are drinks to be had, perhaps sit looking out over the dazzle of white sands and turquoise waters of the stunning archipelago of islets towards St Martins. We’ll continue along the sandy undulations of the coast, passing the pine woods that shelter the sub tropical gardens. The gardens are a subtropical paradise with specimen trees and varied plants from all over the southern hemisphere, and even a small population of red squirrels. The gardens merit a separate morning’s visit all on their own. We’ll return along the stunning white sands to our pick-up at the quay, and home to the hotel for are farewell evening meal.

Day 8 Departure day. Hankies recommended! There will be promises of return.



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The Isles of Scilly with Miriam Darlington
DATES Sat 29th June 2024
- Sat 6th July 2024

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