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OS grid reference :- SV 881430

Bryher, Isles of ScillyThe tranquil island of Byher, which lies to the west of Tresco, is the smallest of the five inhabited Isles of Scilly.

The island has a total length of 2 kilometres (1.2 miles), and a maximum width of 1 kilometre (0.62 miles) including Shipman Head, which rises to 42 metres (138 ft) at the northern end of the island, The high tide cuts Shipman Head (pictured left) off from Bryher but it is accessible at low tide. Most of the roads on the island are dirt tracks and sandy/grassy coastal paths.

Known in Cornish as Breyer, meaning place of hills, the coast line of the island is extremely varied, battered by Atlantic waves on the rugged north west side, it has calm sandy beaches to the south east, such as Rushy Bay, with its white sands and views towards the uninhibited island of Samson. Bryher is an island of dramatic contrast.

The infamous Hell Bay (below left), an Atlantic facing cove on Bryher, became a notorious place for shipwrecks in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In the centre of the island is Bar Quay, which was built in 1990 by volunteers for the television programme Challenge Anneka. It is known to many islanders as 'Anna-Quay'.

At the southern end of Bryher is Rushy Bay, situated on its southern tip and Samson Hill, with a coastal path or hill top track, both of which offer views to Samson and the magnificent statuesque granite mounds of Castle Bryher and Maiden Bower and on to Bishop Rock Lighthouse. Samson Hill was the site of the birdman's cottage in the film "When the Whales Came", based on Michael Morpurgo's novel and filmed on the island in the 1980's.

Bryher, Isles of ScillyVaried accommodation is available to tourists. The luxurious award winning Hell Bay Hotel is located close to the coast on the west side of the island. There are guesthouses, self-catering cottages and a campsite.

In the north of the island are the Fraggle Rock Bar, hailed by Jamie Oliver as one of Britain's best "boozers" and Vine Cafe. The Golden Eagle Gig shed on the west coast is the studio of the artist Richard Pearce.

Two quays are used by boats which take tourists between Bryher and other islands, including St Mary's and Tresco. On some low tides it is possible to walk between Bryher and Tresco and even Samson, the uninhabited island to the south. There is also anchorage for small yachts in the channel and Green Bay. The safe clear waters around Bryher makes it an ideal location for diving and snorkeling.

All Saints church on the island boasts beautiful stained glass windows created by Oriel Hicks on St.Mary. The earliest reference to a permanent church on Bryher occurs in 1742, it also served the community on Samson. The church was enlarged in 1822 by the surveyor Christopher Strick.

Bryher Island Eastern Islands Gugh Island Nornour Island
St. Agnes St. Helen's St. Martins St. Mary's

The Landscape of Cornwall