There are five inhabited islands here and many more that are completely empty, ranging from a jagged rock when the tide is in to beautiful sleek sand spits and your own little empire when it is out. Beach combers, adventurers, boat lovers and wild swimmers will find much to be happy about.The hotel food is stunning, most bedrooms face that sea view and the staff are the friendliest. You’ll also find the family’s modern art collection on the walls of the sitting room, including a Barbara Hepworth. Have a drink and an amuse bouche here before heading for the sea-facing dining room – try and time supper with the sunset.Splash in the pool, wander along the lanes to discover honesty shops selling honey, homemade fudge and fresh veg, an art gallery or two, cafes and a little post office that sells everything. Boats go to other islands most days – ten minutes to Tresco for the tropical gardens, a bit further to St Mary’s which is livelier.