21. Isles of Scilly: Bryher and Merlin's Handiwork - 5 miles circular - OS Explorer 101
Relatively easy going.
Bryher, is one of the smaller occupied Scilly isles, but what it lacks in size it makes up for with stunning landscapes, great art, delicious food, and my favourite island pub, Fraggle Rock.
Taking the morning ferry from St. Mary’s quay (£12 return) you’ll be dropped off at The Town (it's a hamlet really).
From the beach head inland to the first building on your right. Island Fish café’s crab and lobster is a treat not to be missed in whatever form it comes. It’s so popular they often sell out early. To avoid disappointment put your order in as you pass. By the time I called-in they only had potted crab, but it was great potted crab and I forgave them.
Now continue up the road to cross the island to Hell Bay Hotel. The best Westcountry artists past and present are on display here and we always call to take peek. A free treat, and the tea's good too. You might even see someone famous.
On the way you’ll pass another café and a little shop/post office that sells virtually everything, including plastic ponchos for a couple of quid if it happens to rain. And sometimes it pours!
The hotel is the perfect place to start your trek around the island. My map doesn't show the trail from here because the coast path is obvious.
We went anti-clockwise, skirting the beach of Great Porth before turning west to circle Heathy Hill. Here, alongside striking views out to an ocean littered with island rocks (a sailor's nightmare) you’ll find a couple of trees festooned with hammock nets, ladders, buoys on ropes and other makeshift swings. A pop up playground if it takes your fancy.
Moving off this spit of land you come to a delightful beach.
A perfect swimming spot if you can bear the water which is considerably colder than waters of Devon and Cornwall. Toe first is a good rule. Wear a wetsuit is a better one. Otherwise, just relax on the soft fine sand and soak up the atmosphere.
After the beach the path leads inland and joins the road you came down. Rather than retrace your steps take a lane on your right back to the coast and turn left. It also comes to the ferry pick-up point but is a pleasant diversion and passes the island's little church. A cutie.