By: Blonde One







It’s a very well known fact that Literature sometimes has a profound impact on people. As a lover of Literature I have been inspired to do things that I might not normally do because of books. Visiting the Isles of Scilly is one such thing. Many years ago I had the pleasure of teaching the book ‘Why the Whales Came’ by Michael Morpurgo to a group of teenagers. He is a children’s author local to Devon and often includes Devon and Cornwall in his books. Check him out at It’s not just me that has been inspired by this book, I know someone who has named their newborn baby Bryher, after the island setting of the book!

Since reading the book I was compelled to visit the islands and see for myself. Even after several years of visiting I still take pleasure in going to the places that Daniel and Gracie talk about in the book. Bryher, Gracie and Daniel’s home island, remains my favourite island, and I try to visit Hell Bay and Rushy Bay while I’m there. I like to write messages in the sand with shells just as they did to the Birdman.


I have been to the Bryher church graveyard and read the headstones bearing the surnames of Gracie (Jenkins) and Daniel (Pender).


One of the best things to do on Scilly (although I didn’t do it this time) is to visit the uninhabited island of Samson just like Gracie and Daniel did, to have a little explore.


I have met Michael Morpurgo on two occasions but I would love to have time to chat to him about his work in general, this specific book and the Isles of Scilly.

I would encourage you to read this book, and then I challenge you to go to Bryher and find evidence from the book for yourself.