Sailing the Isles of Scilly
- Vessel: Pilgrim of Brixham
- Where: Falmouth, Cornwall
- Duration: 8 days
- Embark: Port Pendennis Marina, Falmouth - 20 June 2023, 12:00
- Disembark: Port Pendennis Marina, Falmouth - 27 June 2023, 12:00
Explore the beautiful archipelago of the Isles of Scilly on classic boat Pilgrim of Brixham from Falmouth.
Join the magnificent Pilgrim of Brixham in the bustling maritime port of Falmouth for a once in a lifetime sailing holiday to the Isles of Scilly.
You’ll be setting sail along the rugged south coast and crossing a 28 mile stretch of the Atlantic in order to reach the near-tropical archipelago of the Isles of Scilly. The 12+ hour passage is well worth what awaits – with a tranquil week island-hopping in some of the clearest, warmest waters the UK has to offer. Walk barefoot on glistening white sandy beaches, spot marine life and seabirds galore and experience the charming history of the UK’s most southerly archipelago.
- Open water sailing
- Island hopping
- Wildlife watching
- Traditional wooden boat
Your Sailing Area
Pilgrim’s journey, anchorages and activities will be determined by the weather and tides so no two trips to the Scillies are ever the same. No matter how many times you visit via this passage, the sight of this archipelago will always take your breath away and fill you with a huge sense of achievement for the journey you have taken – unlike arriving by plane in just 15 minutes! (Please note, if the weather is not in favour then an alternative sailing plan will be decided to explore the wonders of the coast of Cornwall instead.)
Sailing with Pilgrim of Brixham requires no previous experience but we do recommend that you have a zest for adventure to make the crossing to the Scillies! The crew will be on hand to show you the ropes as you get involved as much or as little as you’d like.
Discovering the Islands
After you’ve spotted the classic Cornish landmarks of the Minack Theatre and waved goodbye to Land’s End, some tropical scenery is in store for you on the Isles of Scilly.
These stunning islands feature large stretches of deserted white sandy beaches, dramatic rocky coves, stunning seascapes, amazing archaeological sites, beautiful walks and scenery along miles of coastal and country paths and nature trails. Remember to pack your swimsuits too, as the Isles of Scilly boasts some of the clearest water in the UK which makes for beautiful open water bathing.
Spend your days with a fine balance of fair wind sailing and onshore exploration. The sunny and mild weather means you’ll be able to laze about on the beach with a book or enjoy a quiet walk around one of the many uninhabited islands before returning to the comfort of Pilgrim for dinner.
Out of the 55 islands, just 5 are inhabited and each has its own distinct character. Tresco is home to a beautiful botanical garden, which has some exotic rare plants unable to grow anywhere else in the UK. Sampson has been uninhabited since 1855, is known as the haunted island and is steeped in folklore. The beaches of St Martins are some of the best in the world and Brhyer is dotted with lagoons and rocky outcrops. St Agnes is the artisan island bursting with creativity while St Mary’s is the “capital” with the largest population. Dependent on the weather you’ll be able to visit where you like, as each of them is accessible easily by boat.
The Isles of Scilly are a haven for wildlife, especially migratory seabirds who often nest here. It’s a birdwatcher’s dream, so bring your binoculars and your guidebook. You’ll most likely encounter seals somewhere along the way as they love the rocky shores, and you may be lucky enough to be joined by dolphins as you make the sea crossings there or back. Puffins are some of the Scillies most famous inhabitants, but they’re increasingly rare these days so keep those eyes peeled.
All voyages for Pilgrim of Brixham
Pilgrim of Brixham
Guest berths: 10 Rig: Gaff Rigged Ketch
Pilgrim of Brixham, built in 1895, is a traditional gaff rigged ketch that is one of a handful of remaining wooden sailing trawlers that were built in Brixham. Pilgrim and her iconic red sails were once part of a large fishing fleet operating out of Brixham, which used to be the principal fishing port in the country. Her survival is testament to her quality, with many similar Victorian fishing vessels having a life span of less than 20 years – and the main reason for her survival is thanks to funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the South Devon Coastal Local Action Group and many individual donors and volunteers.
The Pilgrim Story
After spending many years under different owners in Scandinavia, in 1999 she was brought home from Denmark back to Brixham. After significant restoration work, a few mishaps along the way and a hefty dose of community spirit, Pilgrim was returned to her former glory above decks, and brought up to modern standards below.
Today, as a charter vessel, the Brixham community still rallies around Pilgrim, with local crew, experienced and skilled volunteers performing maintenance and making the Pilgrim of Brixham operation run like clockwork. VentureSail is incredibly proud to have a hand in getting people aboard this historic vessel to not only experience how magnificently she sails, but also to see how passionate those that sail her are. Join Pilgrim on voyages around Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, or experience maritime festivals on this incredible vessel.
Deck planMore about Pilgrim of Brixham
Life on Board
Sailing with Pilgrim of Brixham is perfect for all types of traveller – from solo adventurers to couples and families, her crew are well versed in adapting the sailing to suit guests. From over-night sailing that are great for beginners to longer passages across the English Channel, sailing with Pilgrim of Brixham is certainly to suited to all capabilities.
Pilgrim of Brixham is rigged to sail with up to seven red sails, and believe it not, previous sailing experience is not necessary. All our guests are very welcome to join the crew including novices who can quite literally learn the ropes! Learn some simple navigation, help to berth alongside and of course hoist those iconic red sails. Those with experience will especially enjoy and appreciate the scale of Pilgrim of Brixham’s rig and seeing how these big old vessels perform under sail. You can even take the helm – but don’t panic, you’ll always be doing things under the watchful eye of your skipper.
If you’re after a relaxed cruise on board a classic vessel, then we, of course, cater to that too. Bring your book and binoculars and sit back, relax and enjoy the ride!
Sleeping and Relaxation
Pilgrim of Brixham’s voyages are all-inclusive so all meals; breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, tea, coffee and soft drinks are included in the ticket price. Although there is a dedicated chef onboard, working together is at the heart of everything Pilgrim of Brixham offers, with all her crew part of a volunteers trust.
Above decks with her traditional rig and impressive tiller, there is plenty of space to sit back, relax and enjoy the maritime views. Below decks has been recently renovated with a modern wet room and sleeping quarters split into a communal six berth as part of the saloon and a communal four berth cabin sitting adjacent to the saloon.
- All inclusive (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks. Soft/hot drinks)
- All bedding (pillow, sheets & duvet)
- Full crew plus tuition
- Marina and fuel fees
- All tender trips to and fro the boat
What’s not included
- Any flights
- Transit hotels
- Travel to and from the boat on the day of joining/leaving
- Travel insurance
- Sailing Insurance (Please read our Sailing Insurance page for more information)
- Crew tips
- Personal expenses
What COVID policies are in place for sailing with Pilgrim of Brixham?
There are currently no Test & Sail policies in place for the 2022 season.
Are meals included?
Yes - meals will be as locally sourced as possible and freshly prepared. Food is often a real hit on Pilgrim.
Can you cater for dietary needs?
Mostly, but please let us know before booking if you have any special needs.
What language is spoken on board?
What are the sleeping arrangements?
There are 6 berths in the main saloon, with 4 in a cabin at the front of the ship, and 4 at the back (these are usually crew bunks)
Do I need to tip the crew?
Tips are not mandatory but are welcomed by the crew!
Is there an age limit?
Standard policy is no under 8's but please check for private charter.
Do I need to be a seasoned sailor?
Not at all. We give everyone who joins us on board the choice to do as much or as little as they like, whether they know how to or not.
Are bedding and towels provided?
All bedding is provided but please bring your own towels.
How many toilet/showers does she have?
Two for guests
Is there WIFI?
No, but you should typically be able to reach 3G/4G from the shore.
Can I charge my phone/camera?
Yes, we have UK 3 pin mains sockets onboard. We also have a few USB sockets for charging phones.
Are there life jackets provided?
Are waterproofs provided?
There are some for emergencies but please bring your own.
Will I be sea sick?
Everyone reacts differently but we recommend if you are at all worried to take some medication 24 hours before departure.
From: Port Pendennis Marina, Falmouth
To: Port Pendennis Marina, Falmouth
To see where the ports are, along with your likely sailing area, please view the sail area & highlights.
You can leave your car at any of the Long Stay car parks with a weekly or overnight ticket. You can pay using the JustPark app on your phone which can be easier. Try Church Street TR11 3RQ or The Dell TR11 3HP.
There are direct trains with Great Western Railway to Truro from Plymouth, Exeter St Davids, Cardiff Central and London Paddington. Once at Truro station you will need to change onto the Maritime line to Falmouth Docks. Port Pendennis Marina is a 5-10 minute walk from Falmouth Docks station.
The quickest way into the county during the spring/summer months, Newquay Airport requires taking either a taxi to Truro Train Station for the onward rail travel, or a taxi direct to Falmouth.
STAY IN FALMOUTH:
There are plenty of places to stay in Falmouth. Try The Red House Guest House, The Lerryn Hotel or The Falmouth Hotel.