SPONSORED: Enjoy island life on the Isles of Scilly
Each activity and experience on the Isles of Scilly comes with its own stunning view.
The Isles of Scilly are just 28 miles off the coast of Cornwall and are officially recognised as an area of outstanding natural beauty.
There are five inhabited islands and over 100 smaller ones. One of these, St Agnes, is the southernmost point in Britain, and all the islands are gently warmed in the currents of the Gulf Stream. In fact, the Isles of Scilly are the first place that spring arrives in the UK.
The islands are fringed with beaches – white sands with hardly a footprint on them and dazzlingly blue seas. Turn inland and you’ll find each one criss-crossed with miles of trails and paths. Depending on the island, you can explore the footpaths by bike or horse. You might head out on a guided nature walk or just ramble on your own, taking a gentle stroll from beach to artisan café to enjoy slow cooked, local food. You could also choose to watch grey seals playing in the crystal-clear ocean. Every single moment is one for you to delight in.
Just over 100 years ago, the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company established a regular ferry link between the islands and Penzance on the mainland. In the beginning, most of the traffic was made up of islanders on business, or flowers and vegetables being transported to the mainland.
By the 70s, the Isles of Scilly had become a significant holiday destination; Harold Wilson, the British prime minister, had a summer home here. People from Cornwall and Devon went every year on their annual holiday. If you go back to visit the Scillies once, so they say, you will return every year.
Today, the islands are just as stunning as ever. In fact, their wild and unspoilt beauty is perhaps now rarer and more appreciated. That’s not to say that the Isles of Scilly are untouched by the passage of time, as they now offer almost everything that a holidaymaker could wish for.
The inter-island boats will take you from one island to another. Island hopping becomes a pleasure in itself, with the captain and crew pointing out birds and wildlife, along with some historic sites.
If you wish to cross the water under your own steam, paddle-boarding and kayaking have become popular and equipment can be hired from several places. Pull on a wetsuit and you can dive with the seals, a truly memorable and heart-warming experience.
If all that activity and fresh air has given you an appetite or a thirst, the islands have plenty of restaurants and artisan cafés where you can enjoy the freshest seafood and slow cooked, locally sourced delights. You might choose to visit the local vineyard or treat yourself to a gin school experience where you will develop your own gin recipe.
Whether you visit for the day or stay a little longer, you will never forget your time on the Isles of Scilly. The island life becomes a part of you and you become a part of the island’s story.
However you choose to travel to the islands, by Skybus from Land’s End, Newquay or Exeter airport, or sail on the Scillonian ferry from Penzance, the journey will surely be as memorable as the destination.