The year ahead in the Isles of Scilly includes festivals, pop-up events, gig rowing championships and arts, film and walking festivals


Plan your trips to the sub-tropical tip of Britain with our 2016 planner


Great Scilly Spring Clean 20165 and 6 March

Annual beach-clean and tidy-up before the new season gets underway.


Daymark Music Festival 201625 to 27 March

The second Daymark Music Festival, running on St. Martin’s for three days over the Easter weekend and centred at the Seven Stones Inn, which was newly-reopened in spring 2014.

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Low Tide Experience8 April

gig race into St Mary's, Isles of Scilly. May 2012.

gig race into St Mary's, Isles of Scilly. May 2012.

A pop-up seafood feast and fizz event in the channel between Tresco and Bryher. Visitors making the special low-tide walk between the islands will be able to stop and enjoy a seafood fire-pit feast, a bar serving ales and bubbles, stalls selling island wares and games including croquet and boules, and even try their hand at clamming with local fishermen.

World Pilot Gig Championships 2016 – 29 April to 2 May

This is the 27th year that the event has taken place and each year it grows in size, with crews attending from as far afield as the Netherlands and the USA and, for the first time this year, Bermuda.

Pop-up Seafood Feast and Fizz8 April 2016

The hospitality teams on Tresco and Bryher will set up, hold and pack away a pop-up seafood feast and fizz event in the channel between the two inhabited islands. For more than 350 days a year this super-temporary venue is under five metres of water but on 8 April visitors making the 20-minute walk between the islands will be able to stop in the middle to enjoy a bar serving ales and bubbles, stalls selling island wares, a seafood firepit feast, games including croquet and boules and even have a go at clamming (digging for razor clams) with Scillonian fisherman.

Low Tide Experience Between Tresco and Bryher Islands8 April - exact time subject to tides

How? Already the only place in England that, on approximately three occasions a year where the spring tides are at their most powerful, you can walk between the two islands of Tresco and Bryher (without getting too wet). To hold an event, the low tide has to be 0.3m or below. There’s something vaguely biblical about traversing a stretch of land where once there was sea. And rightly so. This in an astronomical event involving monumental forces, which for a short period of time change the world as you know it.

For more information about walking between the islands visit:

What is a spring tide?

Spring tides are caused by syzygy. Syzygy (Scrabble word score 25) describes the alignment of three celestial bodies in a straight line. Tides are caused by the gravitational actions of the sun and the moon upon the Earth. Only when these three are in syzygy does a spring tide occur. The sum force of both the sun and the moon increases the amount of water displaced at high and low tides. These are known as spring tides.

PLUS: the famous Isles of Scilly puffins arrive at the end of April and leave around mid-July.


NEW! Isles of Scilly Arts & Literature Festival – Throughout May

This month-long celebration of local arts and culture spana all five islands. The inaugural Arts & Literature Festival, including Art Scilly Week and the Scilly Folk Festival, will see the islands come alive with an eclectic mix of open studios, literary events, folk music, ale festivals, and a packed programme of hands-on courses and workshops with many of Scilly’s resident artists.

PLUS: Low Tide Experience – 7 May


Isles of Scilly Swimrun: ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Championship UK Qualifier – 18 June

This ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Championship qualifying race will be the first ever held in the UK, with 100 pairs from Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, the Netherlands and Germany chasing eight spots for the championship race in the Stockholm archipelago on 5 September.

Tresco Triathlon 2016 – 26 June

Annual event taking competitors on a 0.3-mile swim, 12-mile cycle ride and 3-mile run, around the island of Tresco.


NEW! The Islands’ Regatta26 to 29 August

Join Scilly’s inaugural Islands’ Regatta on St. Mary’s over the Bank Holiday weekend. A four-day celebration of amazing maritime heritage includes a colourful Parade of Sail, tall ships and a sailing regatta of Redwings. Plus, live music and entertainment, pop-up stalls and beach activities.


Taste of Scilly -Throughout September

Savour the flavours of the islands at the first Taste of Scilly food and drink festival. You’ll be able to sample a wide range of food and drink as the islands bring together bakers, growers, brewers, fishermen and chefs for foodie nights, cooking demonstrations and more.

Scilly Swim Challenge 2016 -10, 13 and 14 September

The swim challenge returns with more than 150 participants swimming and walking between Scilly’s main islands in one day. Followed by a more leisurely two-day challenge.

PLUS: Low Tide Experience – 18 September


St. Martin’s Film Festival 6 to 9 October

Third annual film festival, taking place at the Seven Stones Inn on St. Martin’s.

Walk Scilly Autumn Weekend 2016 13 to 17 October

Experience the splendour of Scilly in the autumn months. The nights might be drawing in, but the islands are alive with birds and wildlife, and the softer hues give rise to breathtaking sunrises and sunsets. October is a magical time to enjoy a long weekend of themed, guided walks across the Isles of Scilly.

PLUS: The scented narcissi season also starts in October.


Scilly Christmas Festival 201623 December

Late night shopping with drinks and nibbles, carol singing and live music, as well as festive demonstrations, street stalls and children’s activities.