Bryher sits right on the western edge of Scilly a balance of heathy hills topped by granite carns and low-lying fields with houses that crouch with their backs turned against the weather. During storms, waves crash into the cliffs of Hell Bay sending cascades of spray right over the island. The southern coast of Bryher gains some protection from the Norrard Rocks and around Popplestones, Great Par and Rushy Bay the coast is a beautiful synthesis of wild carn-topped hills and softly curved sandy bays making this the most beautiful coastal scenery in Scilly.
All the Scillonian off-islands have experienced periods where they’ve been abandoned completely by humans and Samson is the most recent example; it was last abandoned in the mid 19th century. The roofless and ruined houses lend it a wistful air, a reminder of how precarious living on this beautiful western margin can be. Nevertheless, it’s a hugely attractive isle and it remains so vividly locked in your memory that even many years later, when you recollect a visit, you’re drawn back with a startling intensity to the carns, the tombs and the sparkling sea.