St Mary’s, Isles of Scilly
St Mary’s is the largest island (2½ miles by 1¾ miles), and the main population and economic centre; home to about three quarters of the population, with facilities that you would expect from any small town (Hugh Town); hospital, doctors & dentist, shops, Co-Operative, butchers & bakers, newsagent, Post Office, chemist, restaurants and banks (Barclays & Lloyds TSB which has a cash point).
Hugh Town is also home to one of St Mary’s most popular beaches, Porthcressa which is only minutes from Peninnis Farm. The town is protected by the Garrison which was part of the 17th century fortifications of the area. There is a popular walk around the Garrison which boasts panoramic views to the other islands as well the centre piece of the Garrison, Star Caste, along with a children’s play park and football pitch. A gentle stroll from Hugh Town takes you past Peninnis Farm to Old Town which has a perfect beach, small church and houses the islands’ school.
St Mary’s provides a great base from which to explore the other islands. There is only 6 miles of roads but over 30 miles of paths and nature trails across the island, ideal for exploring so you can leave the car on the mainland as well as the stress of driving and explore by foot, bike, bus or golf buggy!
St Mary’s is an island of hidden treasures set in a land of contrasting scenery. As you explore ‘up country’ you will encounter sand dunes, whose marram grass covered moulds are enhanced by a profusion of wild African agapanthus flowers. Walkers will love the profusion and diversity of fauna and flora that can be found in the woodlands, heaths and marshland ecosystems of the island.