The Isles of Scilly

The Isles of Scilly

The Isles of Scilly

Tourist Information, The Secretary, Isles of Scilly Tourism Association, Jenford, Bryher, Isles of Scilly. 0720 22049.

A scattering of rocky islets and islands, only five of which are inhabited, is all that is left of that legendary land, ruled over by King Arthur, Lyonesse. All that remained when it sank deep into the Atlantic is what we now know as the Isles of Scilly. There is a prayer that was said in homes on the islands when the storms got up to the effect 'if there be a wreck may it come on Scilly'. The reefs and rocks have gathered their toll of ships over the centuries, particularly in the days of wooden hulls, when to end on these rocks was a sure death. More recently there was the Torrey Canyon which ended up on the Seven Stones Reef to the north east. The climate is mild and the flowers bloom 'a season and a half ahead of the mainland', the gardens and hedges coming to bloom as early as February. Day trips are popular from Penzance by boat (21/2 hours from Penzance) or helicopter.

Places to Visit by Car, Coach or Boat

St Mary's is the main island although it is only 3 x 2 miles. Hugh Town is the 'capital' and it is from there that you must get on the slow rickety old coach and tour the island. The Star Castle is now a hotel but it is part of The Garrison from which you can see the flashing lights of Bishop Rock, Round Island, Peninnis, Wolf Rock, Longships, Pendeen, Tater-du and the Lizard.

Tresco is one of my favourite islands. It is a private estate leased by the Duchy of Cornwall to the Dorrien-Smith family whose ancestor, Augustus Smith, built the Abbey and started the remarkable sub-tropical garden in 1834 which surrounds Tresco Abbey and Pool.

There is one very good hotel (where they run special weekends for gardeners) and a first-class pub which serves decent food at lunchtime and caters for children. The remains of Cromwell's castle, King Charles Castle, the cave at Pipers Hole and the collection of carved figureheads from old shipwrecks at Valhalla are all points of call on a day tour. Each morning a flotilla of pleasure boats leaves Hugh Town quay bound for the other islands but that is for those who stay on the islands. There is a speedboat which will whisk day visitors around the islands.

Alton Towers

British Rail News 2015

These rights and privileges were resented by some of 'The Town' who rebelled against 'The Gown' and many of those rights were eventually abandoned.

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