Frequently Asked Questions

Useful questions answered on a variety of subjects

To save you time we have provided replies to our customer's most frequently asked questions.
If you can’t find the answer to your question here, please contact us and we will be happy to address your concerns.

  • Are there any booking fees?

    We charge a booking fee of £20 per week, which is in addition to the weekly accommodation cost.

    You are requested to pay the booking fee at the same time as your deposit.

  • How much deposit is required?

    If the start date to your holiday is more than six weeks away, we require a 30% deposit, in addition to the booking fee, to secure your reservation.

    If the start date to your holiday is fewer than six weeks away, we require the full amount, plus the booking fee, to secure your reservation.

    Deposits are non-refundable.

  • When is the balance payable?

    The balance payment must be made no later than six weeks before the commencement of occupancy.

    We will contact you, usually by email, to remind you when the payment is due.

  • What payment methods are available?

    We accept payment in pounds sterling only and there are three ways to pay:

    1) Bank transfer from the UK or from abroad. Details will be supplied as part of the booking process.

    2) Debit card by phone. We also accept some credit cards - please specify your card provider at the time of booking. 

    3) Cheque payable to 'Scilly Self Catering'.

  • What happens if I need to cancel my holiday?

    Any request to cancel a booking must be put in writing by post or email.

    The booking fee and deposit will be retained.

    We will then endeavour to re-let the accommodation and, if successful, either the balance of the cost will not be due, or if already paid, it will be refunded.

  • How do I get to the Isles of Scilly?

    Your travel to the Isles of Scilly by air or sea can be arranged through Scilly Self Catering.

    You can fly Skybus to St Mary's from Land's End and Newquay all year round, and from Exeter during the summer months.

    Flights from Land's End take 15-20 minutes, flights from Newquay take approximately 30 minutes and flights from Exeter take one hour.

    You can sail on Scillonian III from Penzance to St Mary's between March and October. The crossing lasts approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes.

    You can also make your own way by private boat or aircraft.

    For more information about moorings contact St Mary's Harbour or Porthcressa Moorings.

    For more information about landing fees contact the Council of the Isles of Scilly who are the operators of St Mary's airport.

  • Is Scilly accessible to everyone?

    Travel to the Isles of Scilly is not ideal for wheelchair users or anyone with very limited mobility.

    That does not make it impossible - just very difficult.

    Skybus operate small aircraft so you will need to be able to board and disembark without ramped access.

    There is ramped access available on Scillonian III but once on Scilly, owing to tides, you will also need to be able to negotiate steps on a quay if you wish to visit the islands beyond St Mary's.

    We can provide wheelchairs and you can hire a golf buggy to get around, and we will make arrangements to assist you with your luggage.

    If you have any concerns regarding mobility on the Isles of Scilly, please let us know before you commit to a booking.

  • Do I need identification to travel to Scilly?

    When travelling on Skybus or Scillonian III, you will need a valid proof of identity.

    Children aged 15 and under do not need identification when accompanied by an adult.

    You will require at least one form of photographic ID from this list:

    • Passport
    • Photographic driving licence
    • Citizen card
    • Bus pass issued by your local council
    • Government, Armed Forces or Police identity card>
    • Isles of Scilly Travel Club photo ID card
  • Can I bring my car to the islands on the boat?

    Scillonian III carries foot passengers only.

  • Where can I leave my car on the mainland?

    When travelling to Scilly by boat from Penzance, we recommend either Scilly Parking or the IOS Parking Company.

    Secure parking is available at Land’s End Airport. The cost is £6.50 per day when booked in advance or £7.50 per day if booked on day of departure. We can arrange this on your behalf when booking your flights.

    Please visit the websites for Exeter and Newquay airports for detailed information on parking facilities.

  • Can I bring my pets to the islands?

    Dogs are welcome on the Isles of Scilly and you can sail from Penzance with up to two dogs per adult. The cost per dog is just £10.00 each way.

    You can fly with your dogs from Land's End and Newquay airports. Skybus will provide an RSPCA approved crate measuring 90cm x 60cm x 60cm, which is suitable for one large or two small dogs. The cost is £40 each way per crate (not per dog).

    For more information or to enquire about other types of pet, please visit Isles of Scilly Travel

    Please also be aware that dogs are not permitted on Porthcressa, Porthmellon and Old Town beaches between 1st May and 30th September.

  • Does the train meet the boat or aircraft?

    Skybus provides a shuttle service from Penzance Station to Land’s End airport, which can be booked and paid for when booking your flights through Scilly Self Catering.

    Penzance quay is a short walk from the station, but if you have heavy luggage and require assistance you will find a taxi rank immediately outside the station with cars waiting to meet every train.

    Newquay railway station is about five miles from the airport and there are usually taxis waiting outside. The A5 bus service also runs between Newquay town centre and the airport.

    Exeter St David’s Station is also about five miles from the airport. You will need to take a taxi or a No.56 bus to the airport. Taxis are usually waiting outside the railway station but you can book in advance online.

  • How much luggage can I bring?


    Two items of hold luggage are allowed, up to a maximum combined weight of 15kg per passenger.

    Passengers may use a joint allowance but no single item should weigh more than 20kg.

    Maximum size of hold luggage is 50cm x 30cm x 75cm.

    You may also bring a small bag as cabin luggage, up to a maximum weight of 3kg.

    Maximum size of cabin luggage is 30cm x 15cm x 15cm.

    If you are in any doubt about an item you would like to take on board, contact the Skybus travel centre on 01736 334220.

    Excess luggage is charged at £3 per kg and space is limited.

    Arrangements may have to be made for your excess luggage to follow on a later flight so check with Skybus in advance on 01736 785233.

    If you are bringing a electric wheel chair/buggy you will need to call Skybus in advance to ensure they have sufficient space and weight allowance on your flight. You do have to book it in advance. Call them on 01736334220.


    Scillonian III:

    Two items of hold luggage are allowed, up to a maximum combined weight of 25kg per passenger.

    Passengers may use a joint allowance but no single item should weigh more than 20kg.

    Maximum size of hold luggage is 85cm x 60cm x 40cm.

    You may also bring one small bag as hand luggage, up to a maximum weight of 5kg.

    Maximum size of hand luggage is 40cm x 55cm x 20cm.

    You may also bring items such as bicycles, boats, musical instruments, fishing rods and windsurfing equipment, but these must be booked as hold luggage. To book non-standard items and excess luggage, call 01736 334220.

  • What happens if my flight is delayed?

    In the event of bad weather, Skybus require you to check in as normal. This is so as many people as possible can be accommodated on each aircraft when flying resumes.

    If the weather has not improved by the early afternoon, Skybus may decide to offer you a transfer to Scillonian III, in which case they will transport you by road from the airport to either Penzance or St Mary’s quay. You can refuse the transfer to the boat in which case they will offer a transfer you to a different date when seats are available to fly. There are no charges for these transfers. They will also offer you a complete refund but you then have to find your own way off the islands.

    Air passengers leaving St Mary’s by boat will be transported by road to the appropriate airport so they can collect their car.

    If you cannot fly because of technical problems, Skybus will arrange for a new aircraft to take you to your destination as soon as possible.

  • What happens if the boat is cancelled?

    This is an extremely rare occurrence, and in such circumstances you will be contacted by the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company who will advise you on your options. The options being to transfer to a flight but this would be at extra charge to you or transfer to another date at no charge. All assuming seats are available.

  • Do you provide travel insurance?

    We do not provide travel insurance although we recommend that you obtain cover as you would for a typical holiday abroad.

    Isles of Scilly Travel, who operate Skybus and Scillonian III, provide a range of insurance packages.

    More information is available on their website.

  • How do I find my way from the airport?

    When you arrive at St. Mary’s Airport, friendly drivers from Paulger’s Transport will be waiting to greet you and take you anywhere on the island.

    They will establish which property you are staying, bring you down and book your return pickup for 1 hour before your flight time.

    2018 rates are £4 per adult and £2 per child each way.

  • How do I find my way from the quay?

    When travelling by Scillonian III, you can find directions to your holiday home on this website.

    Go to the dedicated page for your holiday home and either refer to the Google map or download and print the information sheet which contains a map and written directions from the quay to the door.

    Most accommodation is within walking distance of the quay but if you do require a taxi we recommend you book it in advance.

    Local taxis include

    DJ Cabs 01720 423775

    Scilly Cars 01720 421128

    Toots Taxi 01720 422142

  • Is there luggage assistance available?

    If you are travelling by air, drivers from Paulgers Transport will be happy to assist with your luggage.

    Boat passengers do not have to wait to collect their luggage. Local haulier Island Carriers meet Scillonian III daily and deliver all clearly labelled luggage anywhere on St Mary's for a charge of £1.50 per item. A note will be left with details of how to pay.

    A return service can be booked in person at the Island Carriers office or by calling 01720 422662.

  • What time will the accommodation be available?

    All accommodation is available for occupancy from 4pm.

    If you plan to arrive earlier, please let us know as we may be able to arrange for you to leave your luggage inside the premises while it is being prepared.

  • How are the keys made available?

    The keys to your holiday home will either be in the front door lock, or inside on the kitchen or dining table.

  • Are bed linen and towels provided?

    All bed linen and one bath towel and one hand towel per person is supplied.

    If you are staying for more than one week, a change of bed linen and towels will be delivered on the regular changeover day.

    Tea Towels are also provided.

  • Do all holiday homes have Wi-Fi?

    Most do, but not all, so you will need to check the facilities for your chosen holiday home.

  • What is provided as standard in my holiday home?

    Your accommodation will be equipped with bedding and pillows (unless stated otherwise in the property description), crockery, cutlery and cooking utensils. One hand towel and one bath towel are also provided per person.

    Our entire holiday home portfolio comprises self-catering accommodation only, which means you will need to bring your own provisions. Owners are not required to leave any supermarket items on the premises although many choose to leave a small selection of essentials, such as toilet rolls or cleaning products.

    Some owners also choose to provide a welcome pack but this is left entirely at their discretion.

  • Do older homes meet modern standards?

    Traditional Scillonian cottages ooze charm and character but many were built before the exacting standards of current building legislation. Some granite buildings, for example, pre-date the standard installation of damp proof courses and cavity insulation.

    Bathrooms and kitchens have in some cases been imaginatively designed and placed in buildings where before there were none. They are of course fitted to modern standards and subject to regular safety checks.

    While we make every effort to ensure our holiday homes are of the required standard to meet our customer’s expectations, damp patches may occasionally appear, especially after a long wet winter or through condensation if windows have not been left open to allow air to circulate.

    Please also bear in mind that many traditional cottage features may include low ceilings with beams, steep stairs, or uneven tiled floors. If these present a problem for any member of your party then do let us know so we can help you to find accommodation better suited to you and your party.

  • How enclosed is an 'enclosed' garden?

    An enclosed garden means that walls, hedges and fences surround the garden.

    This does not necessarily mean that the garden can contain dogs or children. Smaller dogs may be able to escape through a hedge or under a gate and larger children may be able to climb over a fence.

    If you require further information about a particular garden, or are concerned if it is suitable for your pets or children, please let us know immediately.

  • What time do I vacate on departure day?

    We ask guests to leave no later than 10:00am to allow us sufficient time to prepare the accommodation for the next arrivals.