Turquoise seas, ancient ruins, windswept moors, community spirit and a slower pace of life – the Isles of Scilly are a tropical dream, floating just 28 miles off the end of England.
1. Peace and quiet
Isolated, windswept and with only 2000 permanent residents, the Scillies are a haven for relaxation and escaping the rat-race. Although the islands will feel riddled when you first arrive on St Mary’s, it only takes a quick boat trip to smaller Bryher or St Agnes to get away from it all.
2. Islander experiences
There are things that are only true for small island communities – everyone knowing everyone’s business, beautiful and trusting communities and eccentric, local events. On Scilly this is truer than nowhere else I’ve ever been, and if you’re lucky enough to be there at the right time of year (2017 dates are Saturday 27th May and Sunday 25th June), you’ll catch Tresco’s Low Tide Event. The pop-up-party, which can only happen when the tide is low enough to cross the channel without getting wet, sees a flurry of fire-pits and bars and benches and music set up on the sandbar between Bryher and Tresco. This race against the tide is an experience only to be had on Scilly, and is not to be missed!
3. Caribbean-like beaches
You don’t need to fly half-way around the world to find gorgeous beaches, and on Scilly, you barely even need to walk a mile to find one. The sand is white, the water is clear and the sun is hot. Need I say more?
4. Seriously tasty food
Naturally, due to their location, goodies from the sea are abundant on Scilly. The Scillonians know a thing or two about eating too and you’ll be pushed to find bad grub on any of the islands. From home-grown vegetables sold on garden walls to fresh lobster, crab and fish on the menu of every restaurant, to creamy Scilly ice cream. Friday night fish & chips at Fraggle Rock on Bryher comes at my highest recommendation.
5. The climate
Scilly is, on average, 2C warmer than the mainland. The grass stays green all year round, tropical plants grow at every turn and a winter frost is almost unheard of. Pack your suncream, leave your wooly jumpers at home and let the good times roll!
How to get there
- Fly to St Mary’s with Skybus, like we did, year round from Newquay or Land’s End Airports, and from Exeter Airport between March and October. Prices begin at £140 return from Land’s End.
- In the high season, from spring to late autumn, you can sail by The Scillonian III between Penzance and St Mary’s, up to 7 days a week weather depending. Prices start at £90pp return.
- You’ll need to hop on a boat from St Mary’s to Bryher on your arrival. Times are not decided until the day before, so please remember to coordinate with your accommodation on the island regarding this. Single journey is £5.50pp with Tresco Boats, however they will likely charge return on the outgoing trip as you will have to return to St Mary’s at some point anyway!
Book on the Isles of Scilly Travel website, or call 01736 334220.
Want more info? Head on over to Visit Isles of Scilly for more information on events, accommodation ideas and news.