Beach combing for cowrie shells and snorkelling in turquoise waters on the Isles of Scilly

If catching that first glimpse of the sea makes your heart sing; if you love to take gulps of salty air; if the breaking of the waves is like music to your ears: you will find the Isles of Scilly to be paradise. On this stunning archipelago you are never far from a breathtaking sea view or a deserted golden beach.

During our stay, we found that most of our adventures took us in the direction of the sea: a quiet wander along the shore before breakfast; a mid-morning snack perched on rocks with a view of the waves; a picnic lunch amongst the dunes; a lazy afternoon spent paddling and snorkelling; a sunset wander along the beach, watching the light glitter over the ocean as the crepuscular rays cut through the clouds.

The children made sandcastles, hunted for crabs and watched the distinctive Red Wing dinghies sailing in the bay. I wandered amongst the wild chamomile flowers, breathing in their sweet scent. My husband patiently added to the stone cairns along the shore: there is something for everyone beside the sea.

For all of us, beach combing became an obsession: we amassed such a huge collection of shells and seaglass that the children created their own  museum. We searched endlessly for cowrie shells on Bryher’s Rushy Bay and Tresco’s Appletree Bay, but to no avail. Next time, we all agreed. Next time.

To discover more about the Isles of Scilly, go to There are Skybus flights to St. Mary’s all year round from Land’s End and Newquay Airports, and between March and October from Exeter Airport. From spring to late-autumn, the Scillonian lll passenger ship sails up to seven days a week between Penzance and St. Mary’s. For travel information, visit

Laura’s trip to the Isles of Scilly was complimentary as part of a press trip kindly organised on our behalf. Thank you to Visit Isles of Scilly for arranging such a memorable trip.

Images by Laura Pashby

About the Author

Meet Laura

This was kindly shared by Laura Pashby, a freelance writer, editor and photographer. Laura loves long golden evenings, hand-picked posies, and nice cups of tea. She lives in Gloucestershire, in a house full of boys, and blogs here, where she weaves together the words that make up her world and illustrates them with her photographs.