Tiny, time-warp Tresco is an endearingly old-fashioned patch of perfection. With a mild climate, gorgeous white-sand bays and fresh cloud-scudded skies, it offers a Best of British getaway in a so-good-it-feels-staged setting. Nothing is more than 30 minutes’ walk away. The estate staff know everything there is to know about the island. They can help you hire bikes, book boat trips, charter boats, go horse riding, or join fishing trips, and they can organise grown-up tours too if you’re interested in the island’s archaeology or birdlife, for instance. Bike hire costs from £50 a person a week (£42.50 for children), including helmets. Your cottage is right on Porth beach and your bit of ocean is clear and hospitable, with no currents. If you're not a fan of swimming, go to the nine-hole golf course on Bryher island for free. Guests of Sea Garden Cottages are made temporary members of the nearby Flying Boat Club. As a member, you have access to the gorgeous restaurant and spa. There are treatments aplenty, plus a sauna, pool, Jacuzzi and steam room. Sub-tropical Tresco Abbey Garden (+44 (0)1720 424108) showcases the flora and fauna of this sunny southwestern corner of the British Isles; despite the occasional Atlantic gale midwinter and salty sea spray, lots of exotic plants thrive. Beneath palm, fern and flame trees, there is aloe, agave, eucalyptus and more. Pop over to St Mary's, the hub of the Isles of Scilly. The ‘capital’ is Hugh Town, which has a nice collection of shops, restaurants and galleries – this is also where the main quay is located. Boats sail between the islands several times a day (the hotel will have a timetable). Watch the boats come and go with an ice cream on Holgate’s Green. Alternatively, from the St Mary’s quay in the Old Town, Mark and Susie Groves of Island Sea Safaris (+44 (0)1720 422732) run day trips on their Firebrand IV, a big inflatable boat with an on-board underwater camera; they carry binoculars and waterproofs. A one-hour Island Taster tour will help you find your bearings within the Scillies.