The Isles of Scilly is somewhere we have talked about visiting for many years now. I am not really sure why it has taken so long to visit, but I am glad we waited and I am glad that we got to experience it as a family of five. We are not usually ones to plan but this year was different. We planned our Summer road trip well, with a few days in East Devon, a few days in St Agnes, a night in Penzance, before heading over to the Isles of Scilly on the Scillonian III for a five day trip to St Martin’s. The Isles of Scilly now has a firm place our heart and I am seriously suffering from the post Isles of Scilly holiday blues…I miss the slow laid back pace of life… the people….the amazing beaches…the clear turquoise waters, and those incredible sunsets. Read on to find fifteen reasons why you will fall in love with the Isles of Scilly.
Isles of Scilly
The Isles of Scilly lie just off the Coast of Cornwall in the United Kingdom. There are a number of uninhabited islands, plus five inhabited islands: Bryher, Tresco, St Martin’s, St Mary’s and St Agnes. All are so very different but all equally beautiful. We stayed at the Karma resort in St Martin’s and it was a wonderful base to explore the islands. If you are yet to visit these beautiful islands… here are fifteen reasons to head to the Isles of Scilly next year….
The beaches are out of this world and you will be fooled in to thinking you are somewhere far away. The water is a beautiful shade of turquoise and the sand is sparkling white and actually leaves a dusting of glitter on your skin. The beaches are so picturesque and the water so clear, it is like you are in the Caribbean. Some days we had the whole beach to ourselves…
Whilst we were enjoying a glass of wine one night, I looked out of the window of our Karma resort to see a number of people gathering outside on the beach with cameras. I headed outside and caught the most beautiful sunset I have seen in a long time, hues of pinks and purples and oranges that set across the sky and reflected upon the expanse of calm waters. I soon realised that this was not a one-off, the sunsets are incredible here, and you can’t help but stand there and just take in their beauty.
The isles of Scilly has been designated an area of outstanding natural beauty since 1975. During our visit we headed out with the children on a boat trip from St Martin’s in search of adventure and wildlife. The kids fell in love with those gorgeous cheeky seals….
For such a small area of land, you will be surprised to learn that the Isles of Scilly is home to a huge number of historical sites including castle ruins, monuments, burial chambers and deserted villages.
Amazing food – fresh local produce
The food is incredible. Locally sourced, beautifully presented and totally yummy. No more words needed.
Peace and tranquility
Life is busy, even chaotic at times…but not on the Isles of Scilly. The moment you step off the boat, the peace and tranquility hits you. We stayed on St Martin’s, and we instantly adopted a slower pace of life – lots of walks, coffees with a view, scouring the beach for hundreds of shells and pure uninterrupted family time.
The islands are so family friendly. The people here are friendly and welcoming. We spent many an hour chatting to the locals in the pub, on the beach or on a boat trip. They love the islands, and the relaxed way of life, and it is not hard to see why…. Head over to Tresco and you can hire a bike and a bike seat to spend the day exploring the island. Everywhere you go children are welcome. We spent an hour or two at the much loved play park, and the kids loved those beautiful beaches and the kayaks.
Wildlife and blooms at Tresco Abbey Gardens
Abbey gardens is a sub-tropical garden established in the 19th century and brimming with exotic plants and wildlife. Spring comes early, Autumn stays around longer and Winter barely makes an appearance, meaning all these beautiful plants flourish – a visit to the gardens is highly recommended.. they are absolutely gorgeous.
You can’t visit the Isles of Scilly without trying out the watersports. We hired Kayaks for the day from St Martin’s Freedom hire. We took it in turns paddling around the shore with the kids, they loved it, but we may have loved it just a little more 😉
It is so easy to visit the other islands. We stayed on St Martins’s and the boat trips and scheduled times were advertised each day in the hotel depending on weather and sea conditions. The boat trips are affordable and give you the opportunity to spend a few hours on the other islands.
Explore the islands by boat, bike or foot. If you love to walk, then the Isles of Scilly is definitely for you. There are so many beautiful walking routes and nature trails, with the added bonus that there are many places to stop, re-fuel and enjoy a bite to eat and a coffee (or two).
Everywhere you go you will find honesty stalls. Honesty stalls are dotted around outside people’s houses, by the beach, or outside the local school, selling anything from fresh produce, homemade jam, fresh flowers to painted shells. Browse the stall and pop your money in the honesty box before you go…such a beautiful concept.
Okay those who know me know I love a shop, and there are so many lovely little shops that you will come across to mooch around and make a purchase or two. There is one shop in particular I fell in love with…Fay Page. Fay and her small team are so welcoming and friendly. The jewellery is handcrafted in the Scilly Isles and absolutely beautiful. I bought a pair of earrings that I haven’t taken out since.
Wherever you go the views are incredible. Team a view with a cup of tea, a glass of wine or an ice-cream and you will be sure to fall in love with the Isles of Scilly.
Lying around 28 miles off the coast of Cornwall, The Isles of Scilly is easy to get to. You can get to the islands by the four departure points; Exeter, Newquay and Lands End for all Skybus departures, and Penzance if you take the Scillonian III passenger ferry. We took the ferry from Penzance to St Mary’s, taking advantage of the great baggage allowance and giving us the opportunity to sit back and enjoy those sea views.
So there you have 15 reasons why you will fall in love with the Isles of Scilly.
yes the Isles have stolen our hearts….
Have you ever visited the Isles of Scilly?
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Photographs copyright – Otis and Us