The Isles of Scilly is an archipelago of five inhabited islands; and numerous other small rocky islets (around 140 in total) lying 28 miles off Lands End - the most South Westerly point of the British Isles. The five inhabited islands consist of (in order of size) St Mary's, Tresco, St Martins, St Agnes and Bryher, the total population is just over 2000.
The climate is warmer than mainland Britain, and the islands rarely have frost or snow, while the exposure to the Atlantic winds means spectacular winter gales lash the islands from time to time. These contrasts in climate can be clearly seen on Tresco where the lush Sub-Tropical Abbey Gardens on the sheltered Southern end of the island contrast with the low heather and bare rock sculpted by the wind on the exposed Northern end.
The islands have been inhabited since Stone Age times, with people living from the land and the sea. In recent years tourism had become he major source of occupation, but fishing and farming still play an important role.