By: Blonde Two
So here I am sitting on the quay on St Mary’s (the most populated of the Isles of Scilly). The sky is blue, the breeze is gentle and the tide is very low. The Scillonian is in and by three o’clock this afternoon I will be sailing away on her, waving farewell to a place that has surpassed expectations and taught me so much about this beguiling place. I have the Walk Scilly walking festival to thank for that.
Blonde One told me that the Isles of Scilly defied description. I listened, but didn’t understand; now I do. I am struggling to find suitable phrases, there are many well-used travel terms available but none seem to suit this very original place:
A slice of paradise maybe? Well it is certainly that, but paradise would be too unattainable and not for the likes of me. Scilly is the approachable side of paradise, that lesser known area of paradise where you are welcome just as you are.
A warm welcome perhaps? The welcome is indeed warm, but it’s not overly-gushing and therefore feels much more genuine. The people of Scilly will not verbally over-enthuse at your arrival, but they will look after you in a manner that will surprise you. If they appear to know your needs before you know them; it is because they do. The best thing that you can do when you come to the Isles of Scilly (because by the time we Blondes have finished you will be booking your tickets for April’s Walk Scilly festival) is go with the flow. Life here has a flow; it is a good one, so why not be part of it for a while.
A home from home possibly? Talk to regular visitors and you’ll find out that they come back to Scilly year after year because they feel at home here. After just four days, I do too. It’s hard to define. I’m watching the tide flow underneath the boats towards Town Beach and I realise that home and relaxation are inextricably linked. Just as the sea creeps in under boats, relaxation seeps into your pores when you visit the Isles of Scilly. Don’t try stopping it; you might as well try to stop the tide.
I’ve been here as part of the Walk Scilly Walking Festival. It has been a busy but wonderful experience (and I do mean an experience full of wonder). I have seen seabirds, eaten gourmet food, eaten foraged food, bounced around islands on moonlit boats, gone back in time, experienced a warm Scilly welcome and learnt so much about this fascinating place.
I can’t wait to tell you all more, but in the meantime, there is the tide to watch and a community to thank before I step on the Scillonian for the journey home. So thank you Scilly, you are a new discovery for me and I hope to come back soon, very soon!
To discover more about the Isles of Scilly, go to www.visitislesofscilly.com. There are Skybus flights to St. Mary’s all year round from Land’s End and Newquay Airports, and between March and October from Exeter Airport. From spring to late-autumn, the Scillonian lll passenger ship sails up to seven days a week between Penzance and St. Mary’s. For travel information, visit www.islesofscilly-travel.co.uk. Accommodation: www.carntop.co.uk, www.star-castle.co.uk.