By: Blonde Two
When you fly into St Mary’s (the most populous (1800) of the Isles of Scilly) from Land’s End (or the End of the Land as I like to call it), you know when you are nearly there not just by the looming cliffs on approach to the airport (thanks to Isles of Scilly Travel for a great flight) but also by the colour of the water. Even at plane height you can tell that this isn’t just any old water, it gradually turns into a gorgeous turquoise as you move further away from the mainland.
Each morning of our recent Walk Scilly 2017 festival visit I had opportunity aplenty to appreciate the quality of this most enviable sea-water (as I have spent a lot of this winter in sea water, I consider myself to be somewhat of an expert). I got up at a prompt 07:00, lured by the lapping of the waves and the emerging daylight, slipped out of my most restful bed, donned my swimsuit and walked the whole 10 metres from the most felicitously placed Mincarlo guest house (dormer windows) down to Town Beach.
The sand on Scilly, even at 07:00, is bleached to shades ranging between pale lemon and pearl white and feels as soft on the toes as talcum powder.
The water, turquoise even at an early hour in April, feels slightly chillier than Torbay (my home swim) but is so clear that you can see the sand (on Town Beach a delicate shade of pale biscuit) even when you are well out of your depth. I had a feeling that Scilly sea might be a bit sweeter than Devon sea so I did the only sensible research thing under the circumstances, I tasted it. I was not disappointed, it did taste sweeter (but still not necessary a recommended drink).
My other Sunday water experience was a boat ride over to Bryher (B1’s favourite off-island). We were blessed with calm seas and only the most soporific of rocking all the way over (thanks to St Mary’s Boatmen’s Association). The sea was mesmerising, I could still see right to the sand on the bottom (now a turquoise tinted shade of clotted cream) and enjoyed gazing at the strands of seaweed that were suspended, not touching, but swaying like lonely dancers.
I could have stayed on the boat for a very long time, but it has to be said that the exquisiteness of Bryher and the intrigue of our Walk Scilly food forage with Rachel Lambert was worth disembarking for. More about that another day.
The Walk Scilly walking festival is in its 11th year and gaining popularity all of the time. If you want to catch this year’s Autumn festival read on!
Walk Scilly Weekend
12 to 16 October
The nights might be drawing in, but autumn’s the perfect time to explore the wilder side of the Isles of Scilly at Walk Scilly Weekend. It’s a chance to experience the islands at their most magical and discover their wild beauty on a long weekend of themed, guided walks with experts who live and breathe Scilly.
To discover more about the Isles of Scilly, go to visitislesofscilly.com. Fly to St. Mary’s with Skybus year round from Newquay and Land’s End Airports, and between March and October from Exeter Airport. Prices start from £140 return from Land’s End Airport. From spring through to late autumn, the Scillonian lll passenger ferry sails up to seven days a week between Penzance and St. Mary’s. Prices start from £90 return. To book your journey, visit islesofscilly-travel.co.uk or phone 01736 334220. Accommodation: Mincarlo, St. Mary’s – mincarlo.info.