Bryher may be just one and a half miles long by half a mile wide, but it’s a beautiful island full of vibrant contrasts. The heathland of Shipman Head Down is a wonderful place to watch the Atlantic rollers pound against the granite cliffs of Hell Bay, whilst calm, sheltered sandy beaches like Rushy Bay, Green Bay and Popplestones are perfect for paddling, sunbathing, or a relaxed evening BBQ watching the sun go down.
The most rugged of the inhabited islands, Bryher is the perfect place to enjoy untamed Scilly. There are no roads, just small tracks criss-crossing the island used by just a few 4x4s and tractors. The island is dotted with honesty stalls selling everything from fresh fruit and veg to seafood, and from homemade fudge to local crafts. Our campers always comment on the wonderful sense of freedom on the island; children can roam free – which means adults can relax!
Bryher is a truly special place. It’s even where former Children’s Laureate Michael Morpurgo set some of his most successful books, including Why the Whales Came, The Wreck of the Zanzibar and The Sleeping Sword.
Scilly for me and for most who visit it becomes an annual habit, one that is very hard to break, largely because we have no wish to break it. We spent the first couple of days exploring Bryher, our island - I was already feeling a kinship. Everywhere we stopped and simply stared, from Rushy Bay to glowering Samson, from Popplestones out to the Scilly Rocks, from Hell Bay out across the open Atlantic towards America. On one side of the island, dunes and gently shelving soft white sand, the sea lapping listlessly; on the other, grim grey cliff faces where the sea surged and seethed, waiting only for the next storm, it seemed. We could have tea at the Vine Cafe, an ice cream for the children at Fraggle Rock, and a bottle of Chablis on Green Bay as the sun set, watching the oystercatchers taking off, or a gig - a traditional, six-oared working boat - rowing up the Tresco channel. It was strange. On every other island I felt like a visitor. Back on Bryher I felt I really belonged.
Whether you’re looking for a fun family holiday or a quiet retreat away from it all, Bryher is all about the simple pleasures: spending time together and making the most of the beautiful island. Campers always comment that a holiday on Bryher is always relaxing, but never boring!
To discover what you can do on Bryher and the Isles of Scilly, see the ‘Things to Do’ page.
Whether you fancy a fresh pizza cooked in a wood fired oven, delicious pub food made from fresh local ingredients, a hearty Sunday roast, or a seafood feast on a BBQ on the campsite, Bryher has plenty of options when it comes to food…
Stocking everything you could need for your camping holiday, from essentials like fresh fruit and veg, milk, meat and daily baked bread to little luxuries like pasties and homemade cakes. They also stock a selection of camping equipment, toys and beach gear. Click here to order online and they’ll deliver to the campsite on your arrival. Top tip: try the Scillonian Tattie Cake – it’s delicious. Tel: 01720 423 601
The Pender family have been fishing on Bryher for generations – and now no fewer than three generations of the family are involved. Find Island Fish in ‘the town’ for a range of lobster, crab and wet fish, as well as lobster and crab gaps (perfect for a picnic), crab quiche, lobster salads and fish pie. Top tip: order in advance or just pop in and see what’s available that day. Tel: 01720 423 880
A small working farm situated towards the southern end of Bryher, keeping the honesty stall stocked with a wonderful range of island-grown fruit and veg. Among the highlights are the delicious strawberries, free range eggs and juicy plum tomatoes. Ruth and Graham are hoping to get small herds of pig and cattle soon too! Top tip: check the stall daily – there’s always something new.
Just down the hill from the campsite is Bryher’s only pub, named a ‘best British boozer’ by Jamie Oliver. Serving coffee and cakes, great lunches and delicious evening meals, Fraggle’s kitchen uses local produce wherever possible. Top tip: Friday night is Fish & Chip night. You can’t book, and it’s very popular, but it’s worth the wait! Tel: 01720 422 222
A family-run cafe in ‘the town’ in what was originally the Vine Farm flower and bulb shed. Serving hot and cold drinks, breakfasts, light lunches, homemade cakes and cream teas. Delicious home-cooked meals are served several nights a week (booking essential) Top tip: book in for one of Cath’s Sunday roasts – ‘generous portions’ doesn’t cover it! Tel: 01720 423 168
Samson Hill Pizza
Delicious pizzas, topped with fresh local ingredients and baked in a woof-fired oven. The dough is made by hand, the rich tomato sauce is made using Bryher tomatoes when in season, and toppings include island herbs, vegetables and Cornish meats. Pizzas served on Mondays and Fridays. Top tip: the Cornish Yarg, Cornish Blue and Mozzarella pizza is to die for!
Hell Bay Hotel
Non-residents are welcome at Bryher’s only hotel, on the western side of the island. Pop in for morning coffee, lunch, afternoon tea or an evening drink in the bar. Non-residents are also welcome for evening bar meals, or to dine in the 3 AA rosette restaurant, but booking is essential.Top tip: check the specials board to see what the chefs have made of the day’s local ingredients. Tel: 01720 422 947
The Crab Shack
Located near Hell Bay Hotel this rustic shed offers more than meets the eye. There’s just three dishes on the menu: Bryher crab, mussels and scallops. The only additions are wine, coffee, crusty bread, fries, mixed salad, a cheeseboard and Eton mess. Prepare to get messy as you crack the crabs yourself! Top tip: booking is absolutely essential and places get booked up months in advance. Tel: 01720 422 947