Isles of Scilly AONB

Cornwall, England

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About the Isles of Scilly

This is the smallest AONB in the UK. The islands form an archipelago with a total population of just 1,960, around 95% of whom live on St Mary's, the largest of the islands. It is situated in the Atlantic Ocean around 45 km (~27 mi) off the Cornwall coastal town of Land's End. The area was designated in 1975 for its exceptional wildlife, especially rare migrant birds.


The Islands have a temperate Oceanic climate. Influenced by the North Atlantic Current, they rarely see snow or frost and have one of the mildest and warmest climates in Britain. Conversely, the Atlantic can bring dramatic gales from time to time in winter.

Fauna and Flora

Scilly’s positioning off the mainland of England makes it the first available stopping point for birds migrating from North America and Siberia and it often attracts extremely rare species – and the bird watchers who come to observe them. The smaller, uninhabited islands of Annet and Samson have large colonies of terns.

Species unique to the area include the Scilly Shrew and Scilly Bee; and it is the only place in Britain to find the Lesser White-toothed shrew. But it is also of international importance for its population of Atlantic Grey Seals.


The Scilly Isles derives around 85% of its economic revenue from tourism and activities centre on the superb opportunities offered by its natural environment.


Main activities include bird watching, fishing, observing local flora and fauna, underwater safaris and wind surfing.

How to get there

The islands are linked to the mainland by land and sea. The only airport is on St Mary’s. There are passenger ferries from Penzance.

Landscape Photography
Horse Riding
Horse Riding
Wildlife Watching
Cornwall, England
Latitude: 49.924704, Longitude: -6.297966

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