Those in the know about British travel, take an annual pilgrimage to the Isles of Scilly. Of the 1500 or so islands in the archipelago only five are inhabited and after a short flight with Isles of Scilly Travel from the mainland to St Mary’s, the other islands are accessible by boat just ten minutes or less apart. The serene waters and warm climate provide an idyllic retreat for visitors and a safe, quiet lifestyle for the islanders.
We stayed a night on Tresco, the most luxurious of the islands, and the best geared towards holidays. There are a host of accommodation options, from traditional self-catering cottages scattered across the island, to rooms in the quaint New Inn pub. The Sea Garden cottages are a great for minibreaks, stylishly decorated with panoramic views of the sea. There are easily accessible facilities for guests on Tresco, including a wonderful spa with an indoor swimming pool and a list of relaxing ila treatments to book for a special treat.
Tresco Abbey Garden is the most famous tourist destination on the island, and for good reason. The verdant and lush garden is plant paradise. Thanks to the warm climate the soil is suitable for a host of exotic species, which are selected from all over the world by the garden curator Mike Nelhams (who has worked at the garden since 1984). Whatever time of year you visit there is always a range of magnificent colours to admire from plants such as bright yellow Australian Banksia and deep blue Echiums from La Palma.
There are plenty of local independent restaurants and cafes to choose from when it comes to meal times. The eateries celebrate the produce from the surrounding ocean and land, with the freshest seafood, and beef from the Tresco herd of Limousin-cross cattle which graze on 160 acres of prime pasture. For relaxed and tasty food visit the Ruin Beach Cafe, where we enjoyed a sumptuous evening feast of wood-fired pizzas and lobster, and a delicious breakfast the next morning.
During the day amuse yourself with sea-based activities, hire a bike for cycling round Tresco, or take a short boat ride to another island. Bryher is a beautifully rugged and remote escape or try the isolated and artistic St Agnes. For something extra special book in to luxurious Hell Bay Hotel (on Bryher island), and don’t miss their communal feasting experience at the Crab Shack.
Published by: Simon in Cornwall