Scilly Ranks Highly In ‘Top UK Islands’

harbour sunsetSt Mary’s has been listed third in Tripadvisor’s ‘Top 10 UK Islands.’

The popular tourism review website says the island is “a postcard-perfect jumble of castles and coves” and mentions our ancient stone structures, lush gardens and breathtaking wetlands.

Jersey came top in the list, followed by the Isle of Wight.

But Executive Director of the Islands’ Partnership, David Jackson, says Scilly has done well for our small size, coming in above popular Scottish islands like Arran and Orkney.

He says the ranking is partly based on the number of reviews and the score submitted to Tripadvisor.

David says we only have around 5,000 visitor comments, whereas Jersey has 90,000 and the Isle of Wight has 60,000.

“It shows the strength and quality of the reviews we’re getting,” he says, adding that those aren’t just for the island itself, but for the hotels and restaurants too.

It gives us a good profile and hopefully “puts us on the radar” with a few more people, says David.

Last week was David’s first Walk Scilly festival since taking up his new job on the islands.

He says he was impressed by how well it went and believes there’s “a real momentum” building behind the event, given the number of tickets that were sold before the start.

Most of the 25 walks were sold out, with an average of around 20 participants on each, and people taking part were “glowing” in their praise.

He says visitors are coming especially for the walks, staying the whole week from Saturday to Saturday. That’s important, he says, because it fills a gap between the Easter school holidays and the busier season starting in May.

The Partnership estimates that with each visitor spending around £350 on accommodation, food and drink, and activities like boating, the event could be worth around £200,000 to our economy.

David says they’re also hoping to repeat last year’s first Autumn Walk Scilly, probably in late September, although they haven’t set a date yet. Walk Scilly 2016 will run from Saturday 9th April to Friday 15th April.