star castle hotel

Photos courtesy of Star Castle Hotel








The strategic location of the Scillys has determined much of their history. Star Castle was built in 1593 during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I as a needed defense against Spanish attacks after the defeat of their armada.

In 1643 the Prince of Wales (the future King Charles II) took shelter here when he was being hunted by Cromwell and his parliamentary army. The famous Royalist privateer, Sir John Grenville, later made the castle his headquarters until it was overtaken by Admiral Blake. The Cavaliers also took command at one time. Almost 300 years later, another Prince of Wales—the short-lived future King Edward VIII—officiated at Star Castle’s opening ceremony as a hotel in 1933.

Pamela’s Perspective

Sunsets can be spectacular here, so ask for a west-facing room.


Star Castle Hotel

A 16th-century castle


St. Mary’s
Isles of Scilly
TR21 0TA
Tel: ++44 (0)1720 422317
Fax: ++44 (0)1720 422343
Hotel website
Reserve with

Fast facts

30, including 9 rooms in the castle, 3 singles in guard houses, 18 in garden annex

Rooms in castle: £179–299
Rooms in garden annex: £158–386
Garden Suite: £210–439
Rates include breakfast, and VAT
Specials available

Open: all year

Getting there

The Isles of Scilly are located several miles off Land’s End in Cornwall. They can be reached by plane, helicopter, or boat from Penzance. Ask the hotel for special rates on transport from the mainland.

What to do

On site: indoor swimming pool; grass tennis court
Nearby: boating; golf; diving; windsurfing; horseback riding; bicycling


The name Star Castle perfectly suits this Elizabethan fortress. Its 18-foot broad ramparts are in the form of an eight-point star surrounded by a dry moat.

Standing high on Garrison Hill on the island of St. Mary’s, the castle’s view of the sea and islands is stunning. It is just a five-minute walk west of Hugh Town.

You have a choice of two types of accommodation. The guest rooms in the castle are in keeping with its ancient character. Some have ocean views, and two—the King Charles II Room and the Francis Godolphin Room— feature canopy beds, modern bathrooms, and dark wood beams across whitewashed walls. The more modern Garden Apartments (which housed soldiers during WWII) have French windows opening onto verandas with spectacular views of the sea. These rooms are on the grounds of the property—not in the castle itself.

You have a choice of two restaurants. The Conservatory Restaurant is outside, surrounded by glass and shaded by a grapevine. With its proximity to the ocean, seafood is prominently featured. The second restaurant is situated in the former officers’ mess. Vegetables are grown in the castle’s own gardens.

Something special

curlicueGorgeous views