If you read my blog you will probably remember we spent an amazing week in the Isles of Scilly near the end of summer, I shared some snippets with you as well as ticking it off my 40 things to do before 40 post. So why so long to share what we got up to in more depth? Well to cut a long story short I had some major issues with my laptop this year, the hard drive failed twice and a virus pretty much made my external hard drive as useful as a brick so after many panic attacks I have finally managed to retrieve nearly all the images and videos *cue dancing in the kitchen*. What a better time to share this amazing trip when it's starting to feel cold and your dreaming of your future adventures, making plans for next year and looking for some inspiration, well I can tell you that the Isles of Scilly is by far the most exotic destination we have ever been to in the British Isles and I hope you enjoy me series of posts about this unique place.
I'm going to start at the beginning because as mentioned briefly before in previous posts we had a pretty eventful journey down to Cornwall. To get to the Isles of Scilly you need to either take the ferry from Penzance or you can fly with Skybus from either Exeter, Newquay or Lands End, we decided to fly from Lands End and take the ferry back, that way we would experience both. As it's a pretty long drive from Cardiff to Lands End we decided to split the journey and spend one night at a Travelodge in Tiverton, located just off the M5, meaning the next day wouldn't be too stressful and we should of arrived in Penzance and the stunning Godolphin Arms with enough time to walk across the causeway to St Michaels Mount and have some time to explore the fishing town of Marazion. Although as any seasoned traveller knows things don't always go to plan and thats okay, its all part of the adventure.
|My eldest and me enjoying our walk around Spreyton while stranded without a car|
Everything was going fine as we headed down south past Exeter and we were making good time then suddenly there was a bang and that was it, our car was pretty much dead, we lost all power and the ability to change gears, we couldn't even make it to the closest services. So two hours later, after standing on a hard shoulder with two kids, whom initially thought it was pretty cool had now lost any novelty of the situation. The AA finally arrived around midday and towed us to a small village garage in the middle of nowhere, literally surrounded by farming fields and tiny country lanes and no shops in sight with four very hungry people (note to self, always have a day's worth of snacks on you at all times).
|The only pub in Spreyton, very pretty, but closed the day we were there.|
It quickly became apparent the car could not be fixed so around 1pm we called a car hire agency who said they would be with us around 3pm, bearing in mind we had set off at 10am and had not yet had anything to eat for lunch we decided to walk a mile down a country lane into the small village of Spreyton to find somewhere to eat and came across a beautiful old pub which was unfortunately it shut as it was Monday. We did however find a small village store open and made the best of some bread and cheese with some local ciders, the owner was so helpful and let us borrow her knife to make some sandwiches and we sat outside among some beautiful flowers looking across open fields, it was actually quite lovely. We eventually got picked up by the car hire agency at 5pm and finally made our way down to Penzance and a lovely hotel room waiting for us after what was possibly one of the longest days ever, we opted for room service and crashed out, together and happy.
In the morning we visited St Michaels Mount (I've written about that Here) and then headed to Lands End airport for our quick flight with SkyBus over to the Isles. Unfortunately the weather was not in our favour with a heavy fog coming in and most of the flights being grounded, but even though the airport is very small there is a nice little coffeeshop which kept us going. We still had hope we would make it to the Isles as the flight before us took off a couple of hours later than planned, but then not long after we were all informed that that was to be the last flight of the day. Luckily the airport helped in finding us some very last minute accommodation - The Quay House in Hayle, so again with hours of waiting with two young children for the second day in a row we made our way to the hotel knowing that no matter what we would be getting the Scillonian in the morning and landing in St Mary's around lunchtime.
Even though we were getting to the Isles a day late we were really excited to board the Scillonian and happily waved goodbye to Penzance and headed out into the Atlantic ocean. Once we had set off my eldest was keen to explore the ship, which even though it's not very big it's really well equipped with two cafes serving up some good coffee and light meals as well as a quiet room at the bottom of the hull and a small gift shop with all things Scilly. For the first hour we all really enjoyed the trip, especially sitting up on deck and taking it all in, as we hit open water things started to get a little rough which was really initially was exciting and although I have taken many boat trips and been fine for some reason the rough sea really got to me on this trip, perhaps it was a bit of a chain effect
among passengers feeling ill, so I would highly recommend taking anti seasickness tablets if you plan to visit the Isle by ferry. Regardless of that its a great way to travel and the view of the Isles as you get closer towards St Marys is truly magical.
Our holiday had only really just began but it felt like we had already gone on a mammoth journey, which to me is what travelling is all about, the adventure. Even though the Isles are only 28miles off the Cornish coast somehow this made is all feel further away and put into perspective how these communities at time can become quite cut off from the rest of the world during bad weather. Once we landed in St Marys we had a about 45mins to spare while our bags were transported of the Scillonian and put onto one of the small inter-island ferries as we were headed off the St Martins and The Karma Hotel. We made use of our time by picking up a map of the islands as well as stopping into the Quay cafe and having our first taste of some Scilly pasties (it is Cornwall after all!) I have to admit from the first moment I stepped foot on St Marys I was smitten, this archipelago was everything I thought it would be and more.
|The smaller inter-island ferry and St Martins in the distance|
Over the next few weeks I will be sharing posts about our amazing time on St Martins, our stay at The Karma Hotel, our day trip to Tresco Island and the stunning Tresco Abbey Gardens and what we got up to while staying on St Marys. We also managed to fly back to Lands end with Skybus which was an incredible experience in itself. If your looking for some serious staycation inspiration then do come back and check them out.
Thanks to the Isles of Scilly for inviting us to explore this magical place.