Copyright © Ross Griffiths Photography
Porth Hellick is a fine almost circular beach just to the northeast of the Airport on the east coast of St. Mary's, Isles of Scilly.
Southeast-facing, the beach is backed by a ridge of sand richly covered with a covering of sand tolerant coastal plants such as Sea beet, Yellow horned poppy, Sea Sandwort, Rock Samphire and Wild Carrot.
The upper beach is of coarse pale golden sand which lies behind a more rocky seaweed strewn area uncovered as the tide goes out.
The beach is quite sheltered as it lies between Giant’s Castle, the site of an Iron Age cliff fort, to the south, and Porth Hellick Point to the north.
Porth Hellick is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and lies within the Isles of Scilly Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and Isles of Scilly Heritage Coast
The cove is the site of the grave of Sir Cloudesley Shovell, Admiral of the Fleet who was washed up here in late October 1707.
After fighting at Toulon, Shovell's flagship, 'HMS Association', was wrecked on the Outer Gilstone Rock, southeast of Peninnis Head. The ship struck the rocks at 8 pm on 22nd October 1707 (Julian Calendar). The flagship went down rapidly with the loss of her entire crew of about 800 men. Three other large ships, the third-rate HMS Eagle, the fourth-rate HMS Romney and the fire ship HMS Firebrand all sank that evening.
Sir Cloudesley Shovell's body, along with the bodies of his two stepsons and that of Captain Edmund Loades of the Association, were washed up on Porth Hellick Cove the following day.
Shovell was temporarily buried on the beach here but the body was subsequently exhumed by order of Queen Anne and finally laid to rest in Westminster Abbey on 22nd December 1707. A small memorial marker marks the site where he was washed ashore.
✔ Flora and Fauna
✔ Sandy beach
✔ Easily accessible
✔ Interesting geology
✘ Seasonal dog ban
OS Explorer Map 101: Isles of Scilly
This map is part of the Ordnance Survey's Explorer series designed to replace the old Pathfinder map series. At 1:25,000 scale this detailed map shows a host of attractions including gardens which are open to the public, nature reserves and country parks as well as all official footpaths, bridleways, roads and lanes. Other facilities covered include: camping and caravan sites, picnic areas and viewpoints, selected places of interest, rights of way information for England and Wales, National Trail and Recreational Path routes, and selected tourist information. The series is aimed mainly at the experienced map user but can be used by tourists and locals alike.
Stay at a nearby Holiday Park and keep the kids amused all day! Parks in the vicinity include those at:
Plenty of hotels are available locally. Consider those in the local towns: