Location of Well Lane Cottage

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A quintessential Scilly Isles cottage, Well Lane Cottage is conveniently located in the heart of Hugh Town, in easy walking distance of shops, restaurants, and the town’s two beaches - Porthcressa Beach and Town beach, an ideal choice for family holidays, mixed age groups or those not wishing to rely on a car.

Whilst staying in this holiday cottage, don't miss the gig racing on Friday nights (in May the World Gig Racing Championships are held here and there is a real festival atmosphere - when the dozens of gigs leave St. Agnes you almost imagine that you are witnessing a Viking invasion!) and there are also slide shows, touring drama groups and plays.


Scilly Isles beach and flowers

Well Lane is a quiet, pedestrian lane only a few minutes from Hugh Town's main quay, where 'The Scillonian' docks and from where you can take boat trips to the off-islands - a 'must' during your holiday in the Scilly Isles.

The Isles of Scilly are an archipelago set off the southwestern tip of England, about 28 miles from Land's End in Cornwall. As well as numerous rocky islets, there are five inhabited islands each with their own unique character: St. Mary's, Tresco, St. Martin's, St. Agnes and Bryher.


St. Mary's is the largest island in the Scilly Isles, 3 miles across with a circumference of about 10 miles. This is where the passenger ferry, The Scillonian, lands, as do flights from the mainland. There is a delightful little town, Hugh Town, which has some excellent restaurants, pubs and cafes, a selection of shops, galleries, a craft centre, a fascinating museum, several beaches, a golf course, a sailing centre and the famous Star Castle which dates back to Elizabethan times.

Hugh Town from Buzza Hill

If you like walking, Scilly is the place for you; there are some truly beautiful walks on St. Mary's, around the coast and also inland. One of our favourite walks, and only a few minutes away from Well Lane Cottage, is The Garrison Walk, about a 40 minute stroll around the fortified walls of Star Castle from where there are magnificent views to the off-islands and also sheltered little nooks to have a peaceful picnic. At the town end of the walk, don't miss 'Jingles' and 'Belle', two reindeer who live in a small paddock, but are given daily walks along the beach! Another easy walk is through the centre of the island via the tiny hamlet of Holy Vale, to Pelistry Bay, a quiet, tranquil beach of soft white sand with access at low tide to Toll's Island, a little rocky outcrop covered in wild flowers. There is a small colony of seals that reside in the bay and these can be easily seen bobbing up and down in the clear blue waters. This is a good place to find seashells and smooth seaglass and, if you are very lucky, the tiny pink cowrie shell.

A further walk not to be missed during your stay at Well Lane Cottage is along the west side of the island to Halangy Down where there is an ancient village and burial chamber. En route, stop at Juliet's Garden, a restaurant and café serving really good food all day (the fresh local crab is particularly delicious) and the views are quite outstanding; it is so easy just to forget time and lurk here for hours! In summer when the Agapanthus are in flower, you are literally surrounded by a sea of blue – it has to be seen to be believed. One more walk must be mentioned, the one which leads to Old Town Bay via Penninis Head. It is slightly more challenging but the turf is springy and there are plenty of opportunities to stop and marvel at the granite rock formations or the crashing sea below. Old Town is an ancient settlement dating back to medieval times with a few cafes, a pub and a tiny church (the candlelit Sunday Epilogue Service in the summer months is very special) and it is here, in the peaceful graveyard, that Harold Wilson was laid to rest.

There is so much to see and do on St. Mary's but we must not forget the off-islands, which can be visited daily. Little passenger boats with names like 'Britannia' and 'Kingfisher' offer trips to Tresco, St. Martin's, St. Agnes, Bryher and the uninhabited island of Samson, as well as special trips to watch sea birds (including puffins in spring) and seals. Everyone seems to have their own favourite island, which isn't surprising because they are all so different, not only in their topography but their unique character.

Tresco is probably best known for its long, white sandy beaches and world famous tropical gardens. The garden is laid out in the grounds of Tresco Abbey and is packed full of plant specimens from around the world including: Protea, Dicksonia, Strelizia, Agave and Date palms. To the north of the island lies the 17th century Cromwell's Castle and nearby is King Charles's Castle built in the mid 16th century.

St. Martin's has one of the most stunning coastal paths on the islands above Great Bay and the long, sandy beach below has fine and excellent swimming. There is also a winery, an award winning bakery and Churchtown flower farm as well as cafes and a pub.

St. Agnes is our favourite off-island; there are so many interesting things to see, including the 18th century Troy Town maze, an ancient well, weird rock formations, 17th century lighthouse, picturesque cottages, abundant wild and exotic flowers and an inland lake which attracts many passing migrants (birds, that is!). There are also evening boat trips from St. Mary's to have a meal at The Turk's Head pub on St. Agnes. The pub is situated near the quay and there are glorious views across Porth Conger to The Gugh and other islands.

Bryher is a small island but with magnificent scenery made famous by the Michael Morpurgo novel 'When the Whales Came'. The north is wild and windswept and the sea comes crashing in at the aptly named Hell Bay. South of there are quiet sandy beaches and the Hell Bay Hotel which has an excellent restaurant. At certain times of the year, at lowest tide, it is possible to safely wade from Bryher to Tresco.

Sampson is a very different island again. There was once a small population eking out a poor existence and surviving off limpets and gull's eggs, however their way of life became unsustainable and they were evacuated from the island in the mid 1800s. The ruins of their cottages can still be seen and if you look carefully, you may find piles of limpet shells. It is possible to have the island to yourself and have only the birds and ghosts of islanders past for company – a very special and atmospheric place.

Getting There

Plane sailing to the Isles of Scilly!
Isles of Scilly Travel fly from 4 UK airports and sail from Penzance to St Mary's
Book by phone on 0845 710 5555 or Book Online at www.islesofscilly-travel.co.uk