The hub of island life, with air and sea links to the mainland, a cluster of shops, restaurants, art and craft galleries, banks, three churches, a museum, bike-hire, water sports and a range of accommodation from classic hotels and self-catering to friendly B&Bs and campsites.
There are nine miles of roads linking the island's communities and various coach, minibus and vintage car tours run during the summer. Alternatively, why not hire a bike and explore for yourself? If you fancy walking, there are some thirty miles of coastal paths and nature trails just waiting to be discovered. One of the most popular walks is around the Garrison that takes about an hour and offers stunning views across to all the other islands. St.Mary's has many hidden secrets and the walks around the coast and across the numerous trails that criss-cross the island are a delight with many contrasts from woodlands, heaths and marshland to sand dunes with marram grasses thick with wild agapanthus flowers from Africa.
Step inland where burial chambers and ancient monuments dot the heathland. Some of the most notable are the megalthic village at Bant's Carn and the Civil War fortifications including the 16th Century Star Castle, now converted into an hotel. Inland the Telegraph Tower stands tall on the highest point of the island and around the coast rocky promontaries jut into the ocean, serving up wild panoramas from granite pews.
Sports enthusiasts are certainly catered for on St.Mary's. Facilities include squash, tennis, golf, cycling, horse riding, sailing, windsurfing, scuba-diving and fishing. All the equipment is available for hire including wet-suits for all those maritime pursuits.
As for arts and crafts, there are many studios scattered about St.Mary's displaying very high quality pottery, paintings and crafts. If you paint or sketch yourself, the islands offer a visual delight with crystal-clear visibility and some of the most stunning views in the world.
Nestling on a sandy isthmus between Porthcressa Beach and Town Beach, you'll find a range of shops, banks, three churches, a museum, a lifeboat station, bike hire, restaurants and galleries. Holgate's Green is a delightful spot to enjoy an ice-cream and to watch the colourful inter-island launches depart, whilst the Garrison boasts gorgeous views, a 16th century Star Castle (now a hotel), and even a children's playpark.
A gentle stroll just 20 minutes walk from Hugh Town, Old Town is a delightful spot to stop and enjoy a wonderful sandy bay, with boats bobbing in the distance, artists' studios, a pub, a chocolatier and cafés. The Old Town Church graveyard is fascinating; dominated by a memorial to Augustus Smith, founder of Tresco Abbey Garden, and of interest to many as the final resting place of former British Prime Minister, Harold Wilson.
Enjoy 30-40 miles of coastal paths and nature trails, where you can discover the delights of our woodlands, heaths, wetlands, and rocky headlands. Visit the menagerie or the open-air pool, hack along the beach, or walk in the steps of ancestors through the Bronze Age village. Along the way you'll find several cafés dotted about, perfect for a relaxing coffee, delicious meal, or cream tea.