An island of amazing beaches
Blessed with some of the finest beaches in Scilly, St. Martin's is a quiet island of great beauty. Small flower fields which lead down to sandy sheltered beaches and crystal waters are enchanting. Wild and beautiful heathland offers excellent views from Chapel Down, the second highest point in Scilly. Old kelp burning pits, once the mainstay of the people, are still visible, as is the daymark built in 1683 by Thomas Ekins to warn shipping. It is a rendered granite circular tower 16 feet in diameter and 21 feet high, set back to conical termination making it 36 feet high. The island has a hotel, guest houses, self-catering cottages, a camp-site, several small shops and sub-post office, a pub (The Sevenstones Inn) and cafes.
There are three main settlements on the island - Higher Town, Middle Town and Lower Town - in addition to a number of scattered farms and cottages, with a total population (2001 census) of 142. There are quays at Higher Town (the Higher Town Quay, used at high tide) and at Lower Town (the Hotel Quay, used at low tide). A bakery, St. Martins Bakery, is located at Higher Town.
There is a regular boat service from St. Martin's to the other main islands. Frequent trips are run to the Eastern Isles, home of seal and bird colonies, to the other uninhabited islands such as St. Helen's, Nornour and Ganilly, and even to the Bishop Rock Lighthouse. Fishing trips from the island enable visitors to spend a whole or half day at sea, catching fish such as mackerel, pollack and even shark.
There are two churches on St. Martin's: the Anglican church of St. Martin's and a Methodist one. The church is thought to have been built on the site of a former 11th or 12th century chapel and associated graveyard. The present building was erected in 1683 by Thomas Ekins steward to Lord Godolphin. It was initially much smaller, being only 20 feet in length, but was enlarged in 1821 by the Reverend George Woodley. In 1866 it was damaged by lightning and during 1867 had to be almost re-built by Augustus Smith. The AS monogram appears on the bell turret.
The St. Martin's Vineyard and Winery established in 1996 is on the south facing slopes of a tenancy farm originally used to produce bulbs and cut flowers. It is the most south-westerly vineyard in England.
The Daymark Music Festival is held at Easter each year.
Little Arthur Cafe
Polreath Tea Rooms
The Seven Stones Inn
The Isles of Scilly St. Martin's Vineyard
St. Mary's Bryher Tresco St. Agnes The Uninhabited Islands