Journey to a hidden treasure of the British Isles
Journey to a hidden treasure of the British Isles, an archipelago off the Cornish coast boasting azure seas and almost tropical climes. Travel by overnight sleeper train from London to discover the glorious Islands of Scilly.
Meet your Tour Manager at the First Class Lounge at Paddington Station. From here you will board the Riviera Sleeper, a rail service that runs through the night to Penzance, staying in sleeper cabins for the duration of the journey.
After an evening spent riding the rails, today you arrive in Penzance, the most westerly town in England and a gateway to the beautiful Isles of Scilly. Transfer to Penzance harbour in time to board the direct ferry to St Mary's.
Alternatively, some departures will take a short flight to St Mary's.
The Isles of Scilly are a group of islands located just 35 miles off the coast of Cornwall, yet feel a million miles away from much of Britain, with coastlines drenched in swathes of pristine beaches, and a fascinating indigenous wildlife.
St Mary's is the largest of the Isles of Scilly, although it only covers an area of 2.5 square miles. The island offers up the truly picture-perfect scenery the Isles of Scilly are known for, with pretty coves, sandy beaches, and lovely blue waters.
Check into your hotel for the next 3 nights in Hugh Town. Hugh Town is a perfect base for your explorations of the islands, with an abundance of lovely shops, quaint churches, restaurants and pubs as well as the town's very own museum. Hugh Town also offers 3 lovely beaches, perfect for a meandering stroll - Porthcressa, Town Beach, and Porthmellon beach. The coastline of St Mary's offers an escape away from the activity of the town centre.
Enjoy a full day exploring the stunning island of St Mary's today. Embark on a fascinating guided walking tour that introduces you to some of the region's most prestigious beauty spots.
Make a visit to Harry's Walls, a fascinating unfinished fort dating back to the 16th century. Continue through the nature trail of the Lower Moors, a verdant area of wetlands, to the quaint village of Old Town, thought to be the oldest settlement on the island. The church here, St Mary's Old Church, is famous as the final resting place of former Prime Minister, Sir Harold Wilson, who was a resident of Hugh Town.
You have the option to continue exploring this afternoon, taking in the incredible views of St Agnes from Peninnis Head lighthouse, before returning to Hugh Town. Pause en route at the Grade II listed Buzza Tower windmill and the islands' intriguing Bronze Age burial chambers.
Today you visit Tresco*, the second largest of Scilly's Isles, for one of the highlights of your tour - a visit to the incredible Abbey Gardens.
First opened in 1834, the gardens are home to the ruins of a Benedictine abbey dating back to 964 AD, and are Grade I designated. The 17-acre, sub-tropical gardens benefit from a mild climate, and tall hedges and walls shelter it from the wind, making it a haven for sun-loving plants from all around the world.
The collection of flora here is as diverse as it is beautiful, and you enjoy some time at leisure to wander along the exotic lined pathways, soaking up the beauty of this enchanting Scillonian attraction.
*Weather and schedule dependent.
Take the ferry to remote St Agnes* today, the Scilly's southern-most populated island. You have a day at leisure in this delightful destination to explore at your own pace.
St Agnes offers an idyllic mile of remote beaches and also boasts a welcoming pub, keeping the island's 72 inhabitants refreshed all year round. Perhaps enjoy a stroll along the beautiful beach followed by a leisurely drink? You could visit the island's main landmark, its pretty white lighthouse which stands at the highest point on the island and dates back to 1680. Other sights of note here include Nag's Head, a distinctive ancient standing stone, and Troytown maze, a historic formation made from pebbles and thought to be the work of a lighthouse keeper from the 1700s.
Later, return to St Mary's where you join the ferry to Penzance. Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant, before joining the Riviera Sleeper train for your overnight journey back to London.
Alternatively, fly to Lands End today and return by First Class rail to London. You arrive in London on the same day, when your tour will conclude.
Your holiday ends this morning as the train pulls into Paddington Station. From here, you are free to make your own way home.
Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We will write to you around 10 weeks before your departure date with the precise meeting times for your tour group.
Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.
of travellers would recommend this tour
based on 4 verified reviews
A well-run tour, somewhat spoiled by the weather
Too short duration for amount of travelling. Returning to Paddington late on last day really meant staying in London overnight rather than travel by overnight sleeper!. Hotel very good with great meals and service
A very organized leader able to manage all eventualities
Professional tour manager, well organised transport links and local tours. Excellent holiday.
All travel arrangements -rail sleeper and ferry worked well. Accommodation very comfortable and staff helpful. Tour manager excellent. Guide very good. Interesting stress free time. That’s a good holiday.
Mix up with cases and rail trip back no food available.
The quality of the food in the hotel ( Tregathen’s hotel) was very poor, the meals at Penventon, Redruth and at Black’s restaurant were excellent! We were very disappointed that Rail Discoveries told us an untruth about rail work preventing us from using the sleeper train when it was an administrative error.
A bit disappointed not having the experience of travelling on the night sleeper to Penzance. Although the the Hotel in Redruth was excellent. The food in the StMarys Hotel could have been a bit better. Everything else was perfect. Excellent tour guide, and walking guide on the Islands. The trips were well organised. Enjoyed the holiday very much.
the sleeper train was a disaster we were not permitted to use our original allocated sleeper cabin,a health and safety issue.we were eventually put into Kevin's cabin after they made into double ,Kevin went elsewhere and one of the train wheels under the cabin had wheel flats so it was banging all the way to Penance, no sleep that night
Well organised. Excellent tour manager
Journey to a hidden treasure of the British Isles