England, Europe

The Isles of Scilly

England Europe

When you tell people you went to the Isles of Scilly, they think you mean Italy, as in Sicily. No, the Isles of Scilly are in fact an archipelago off the Cornish coast in southwest England made up of many different islands. If I’m honest, I’d never heard of this ‘last piece’ of England myself, until a family friend decided to move there about 5 years ago and I was privileged to be asked to attend her wedding last August and little did I know what a treat I was in for…

How to get there? I must admit, I was hesitant about attending the wedding, not for not wanting to share the special day but how we would get to the Island. You have two options, plane or boat. I’m not fussed by either but when you find out the plane holds less than 10 people along with being restricted to the size of your suitcase, and the ferry is older than you and takes 3 hours to get there, I was reluctant. In the end, the plane won, you can catch a flight from Newquay to St Mary’s Island and it takes 30 minutes to get there! Albeit I was petrified the whole 30 minutes, the views of Cornwall were amazing.

Where to stay? We stayed at the Atlantic on the main Island, which is St. Mary’s. It’s a small hotel combined with a pub, and when booked in advance, you can get great deals. Our room was on the top floor and built into the roof, and we had two windows, one facing the small high street and the other over looking the bay. Beautiful!

What to do/what to see? As we began to walk around St. Mary’s, you understand what a tight-knit community the islands are. For instance, no one locks their car; they even leave the keys in it in case one of their fellow inhibitors should need to borrow it! You listen to conversations on the island and everyone knows everyone and the staff at St, Mary’s airport knew we were coming for a wedding. There is only one supermarket on the Island for all of the Isles, and if there’s bad weather and the ferries can’t get across, tough! I’m not usually one for being friendly with my neighbors, but here there is such a loving warming feeling and I started to be drawn in.

A must is to visit the Turks Head pub on St. Agnes Island; you all pile on a small boat and make way to the Island. After everyone’s eaten, you all pile back on the boat to watch the sunset and the silhouettes of the other islands appear.

Visit Tresco, known as the luxurious Island and walk around the beautiful gardens. Every corner you take leads you down another beautiful path filled with trees and flowers. If you’re lucky enough, you might even see a red squirrel.

This is definitely a place I am desperate to go back to. If you search online, you’ll find there are so many more islands to discover. We stayed 4 days and 1 of the days was spent at the wedding, I would definitely recommend 5 days exploring the best kept secret of England. It’s a gem.

Contributed by Terri Louise Beck