Designated: December 1974
This scattering of tiny granite islands 45 km off Land's End is the smallest of all the Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) with the heritage coast stretching around the complete archipelago.
In terms of the variety, environmental quality and beauty of its coastal landscape, the AONB is unique. It ranges from white quartz sand beaches with jewel-green shallows to dunes and sheer rugged cliffs. In the lee of the Atlantic gales, sub-tropical gardens, brilliant with rare trees and flowers, contrast with the low bare inland heather plateau.
Scilly is famous as a landfall for rare migrating birds and in particular, the uninhabited off-islands shelter some of Britain's most important bird populations. The warm clear lagoons between the islands are home to seals and porpoises and the intertidal zones are an exceptional marine habitat.