gordon stokes photography

Sand and beaches of the Isles of Scilly

The Isles of Scilly are mainly made from a granite outcrop that is the last one of chain stretching from Dartmoor, through Bodmin Moor, the bit around Redruth, and Penwith (the Land's End peninsula). Only Atlantis lies beyond! Being made of granite its sand is quartz with varying amounts of shell mixed in - sometimes none

Gugh Bar, St Agnes

Gugh Bar connects the island of Gugh to St Agnes at low tide. It's a dazzling white in the sunshine.


Wingletang, St Agnes

Wingletang sounds like a made up name but it's a real place - another tombolo (what would be an island joined to another by a sand bar). The sand looks like crystalised sugar, but it's not!


Periglis, St Agnes

Periglis is the most south westerly bating beach in England. It's known as Mermaid's Beach because there's lots of mica in the sand which leaves people who sit on it with shiny scales attached to them. Unfortunately mica doesn't show up very well in photos!


West Par, Samson

West Par on Samson is small, secluded and seldom visited. Unless you've got your own boat you can only get there when boats run to Samson, or the tide is so low that you can walk from Tresco. I think this is the beach that Gracie and Daniel landed on in Michael Morpurgo's "Why the whales came".


Landing beach, Samson

The Landing beach on Samson is where most of the boats land. With beautiful white sand it stretches round a dune headland. You can't beat it really.


Rushy Bay, Bryher

Rushy Bay is at the South end of Bryher - besides when it's used to land boats from St Mary's at extreme low tides, it's pretty secluded and quiet, being nearlyhalf a mile from any habitation. It's the beach that Gracie and Daniel would sail their boast on in Michael Morpurgo's "Why the whales came".


Stinking Porth, Bryher

Stinking Porth is where a lot of seaweed is washed up - hence its name as the seaweed decomposes. But it's not always like that by any means.


Popplestones, Bryher

Besides having a lovely name Popplestones is a lovely beach, curving round and with a narrow neck of water leading into it.


Pentle Bay, Tresco

Pentle Bay is a long white beach on the East side of Tresco looking toward St Martins, Tean and St Helens. Like Wingletang it has large grained crunchy sand


Appletree Bay, Tresco

Appletree Bay is on the west side of Tresco - the sand and view are magnificent, though sometimes is seaweed covered


Lawrance's Bay, St Martins

I think Lawrance's Bay has the whitest sand I've seen besides on Vatersay and Barra. It's a long beach that goes out a long way at low tide to what's called St Martin's Flats


Little Bay, St Martins

Like Periglis (above) Little Bay has a lot of mica in places. It also has lots of broken mussels, which are the black bits you can see. And it's a lovely isolated beach, over the back of St Martins, a little cove next to St Martin's Bay.


Pelistry, St Mary's

The beaches at Pelistry form another tombolo that goes to Toll's Island. More white sand and quite grainy


Bar point, St Mary's

Bar Point is the beginnings or the remnant of a low bar that goes out underwater towards St Martin's.


Innisidgen, St Mary's

Innisidgen is more noted for its neolithic or bronze age entrance graves, but these sit above a lovely beach


Town Beach, St Mary's

Not all the beaches in Scilly are white. Town beach in Hugh Town, although being the main harbour and full of boats is fairly golden


Porthminick Beach, St Mary's

And Porthminick near 'Old Town' is also multi coloured. I think the picture to the right was taken there, but I'm not sure


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© Gordon Stokes, 1980-2018