Our trip to the Isles of Scilly was one that has been long-awaited!

Earlier this year, I said to Lloyd how much I wanted to see more of the UK and Ireland. Case in point – living in Edinburgh a while back, I had taken it for granted and it was only after a long stint of spending as many weekends as possible in other European countries did it start to dawn on me how much of the same stuff I was travelling for was already in my back garden, so to speak.This perhaps holds true more so than anywhere else in the UK in the Isles of Scilly. As you can probably tell from my post on my first impressions of the islands here and my second photography post here, the islands are absolutely beautiful and look like they’ve just been plucked right out of the Caribbean and popped next to the UK mainland not far from the aptly named, Land’s End.

This is the first of many posts on the island as I ended up taking so many photos hopping from one island to the other but let’s start at the very begginging – How To To Get To The Isles Of Scilly!

How To Get To The Isles Of Scilly - The UK's Most Tropical Islands!

Before I start though, I would like to point out that my journey to the Isles of Scilly started off in London. That being said, unless you live right next to Exeter, Newquay or Land’s Airports, then all these steps should apply to you in one way or the other. 🙂

1.)  Take a train down to one of three airports – Land’s End, Newquay Cornwall or Exeter Airport. Exeter is only about 2 hours & 17 minutes from London so we found ourselves on the train bound for Exeter. (Remember: if you fly from Lands Ends it’s a 15 minute flight, from Newquay it’s 30 minutes and from Exeter 60 minutes).

We took the First Great Western train down to Exeter. First Great Western has almost 200 years worth of history and used to be known back in the day as Great Western Railway. I’ve travelled on FGW loads of times but this was my first time travelling in First Class on these trains and there is most certainly a marked difference! The seats are much bigger (hence why they’re 3 in a row and not 4 like in Standard), they’re cosier and they recline! It took all my willpower to try not to have a little snooze on that journey to Exeter.

 

How To Get To The Isles Of Scilly - The UK How To Get To The Isles Of Scilly - The UK How To Get To The Isles Of Scilly - The UK How To Get To The Isles Of Scilly - The UK

Actually, as it turns out, it was a lot easier to stay awake on those comfy seats than anticipated as we whizzed past the stunning British countryside. This is one of the best train journeys to go on if you want a whistle-stop tour of the south of the UK. Especially so when the weather is as glorious as it was this day!

How To Get To The Isles Of Scilly - The UK How To Get To The Isles Of Scilly - The UK

2.) Get a taxi or a bus from the train station to airport. Exeter St David’s is the train station name and it costs less than £3 for the bus and £10-20 for the taxi.

3.) Catch the Isles of Scilly Sky Bus flight over to the Island. 

How To Get To The Isles Of Scilly - The UK How To Get To The Isles Of Scilly - The UK

The flight over is spectacular for photos and for seeing the myriad of patchwork fields that make up Cornwall!

How To Get To The Isles Of Scilly - The UK How To Get To The Isles Of Scilly - The UK How To Get To The Isles Of Scilly - The UK How To Get To The Isles Of Scilly - The UK How To Get To The Isles Of Scilly - The UK How To Get To The Isles Of Scilly - The UK

The view as you arrive into the islands is also pretty spectacular but by this point, my prosecco fuelled haze was in full force and I forgot to take photos of it. I think I’ve got it on video and will have it on our You Tube channel. Failing that, I think I have photos taken on the way back home so I will show you the view one way or the other…

How To Get To The Isles Of Scilly - The UK

4.) Take a taxi or a shuttle bus from the airport to the harbour. If you’re staying on St Mary’s Island (the biggest of the islands), then you just need to take a taxi to whatever accommodation you will be staying in. We were going to be staying in Tresco so we headed for the harbour…

5.) At the harbour, take a boat heading towards your island. The boats have specific times they arrive and leave which is not overly constant so it’s worth checking when you go from island to island. On the way out, we had someone tell us where to go and what to do (they even knew our names) so it was pretty easy but when we went visiting the other islands during the week.

How To Get To The Isles Of Scilly - The UK How To Get To The Isles Of Scilly - The UK How To Get To The Isles Of Scilly - The UK How To Get To The Isles Of Scilly - The UK How To Get To The Isles Of Scilly - The UK How To Get To The Isles Of Scilly - The UK How To Get To The Isles Of Scilly - The UK

The boat from St Mary’s to Tresco was a short 8 minute boat ride. The journeys between pretty much all the islands is fairly short so it’s quite easy to get from one to the other.

How To Get To The Isles Of Scilly - The UK How To Get To The Isles Of Scilly - The UK How To Get To The Isles Of Scilly - The UK

6.) Once you arrive at your island (Tresco in our case), you then need a golf car or a pick up truck to get you and your luggage to where you need to go. You can’t actually drive on this island as cars aren’t allowed here except for the cars belonging to the island itself (though you can cycle) and, seeing as I overpacked, the truck was much welcome!

How To Get To The Isles Of Scilly - The UK

And there you have it! Your 4 – 6 steps to get you to the Isles of Scilly. Do note that there’s another option available – you can sail into the islands – the full details of which are available here on the official Isles of Scilly website so I won’t bother rehashing it here…

Home on Tresco was a beautiful little cottage called ‘Thatch’. Okay, quick confession – I have always wanted a cottage! Living in cities typically involves living in shiny relatively new buildings and I’ve always wanted a cottage in the countryside so I was pleased as punch when we arrived.

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The kitchen looks out into the private garden which is fenced off by a combination of trees and shrubs!

How To Get To The Isles Of Scilly - The UK

It even had a cute fire place which I wanted to try out (part of my dream of owning a cottage involves it having a working fire place which I could use in the cold winter months). Needless to say, it was waaaaaaay too warm to even think about using this fireplace so alas, despite how prepped and ready it was, I had to skip that part of my cottage dream. 🙂How To Get To The Isles Of Scilly - The UK How To Get To The Isles Of Scilly - The UK

I headed back outside for a spot of tea, some biscuits (which were thankfully left in the kitchen before we arrived) and cartwheels around the garden!

How To Get To The Isles Of Scilly - The UK How To Get To The Isles Of Scilly - The UK How To Get To The Isles Of Scilly - The UK

… before deciding it was probably time to head out for dinner!

By the way, the picture below shows what the ‘Thatch’ cottage looks like. It’s so unbelievably cute isn’t it?

How To Get To The Isles Of Scilly - The UK How To Get To The Isles Of Scilly - The UK How To Get To The Isles Of Scilly - The UK How To Get To The Isles Of Scilly - The UK

We hadn’t gotten round to getting bicycles at this point so we hot-footed it over to dinner (which was a great way start to see bit of the island…)

How To Get To The Isles Of Scilly - The UK How To Get To The Isles Of Scilly - The UK

Dinner was at The New Inn which is also a pub and a bed and breakfast (so old school – I love it). The New Inn is hands-down the best place to eat on the island! I usually like to try lots of new places when I go travelling but I returned here for dinner far too many times than I should admit to. 😉

How To Get To The Isles Of Scilly - The UK How To Get To The Isles Of Scilly - The UK How To Get To The Isles Of Scilly - The UK

We decided very quickly (on no basis whatsoever) that it was a red wine kinda evening…

How To Get To The Isles Of Scilly - The UK How To Get To The Isles Of Scilly - The UK

Lloyd started off with a scotch egg which has to be the best scotch egg ever! Everything about it was exactly how a scotch egg should be (with the egg still runny inside) and although I made fun of him when he ordered a scotch egg (which I usually just think of as something you get on-the-go), I quickly swallowed my words and begged for a taste!

How To Get To The Isles Of Scilly - The UK

I went with the crab meat to start which to be fair was pretty good in its own right! 🙂

How To Get To The Isles Of Scilly - The UK How To Get To The Isles Of Scilly - The UK

Mains for both of us were rather delicious steaks slathered in the tastiest sauce!

How To Get To The Isles Of Scilly - The UK

Lloyd plumped for a chocolate tart for dessert!

How To Get To The Isles Of Scilly - The UK

I went with a good ol’ favourite – waffles! (I’m hungry just thinking about these waffles!)

How To Get To The Isles Of Scilly - The UKHow To Get To The Isles Of Scilly - The UK

Finally we managed to drag ourselves away from the New Inn (but not without another bottle of Malbec) and decided to try to catch the sunset…

How To Get To The Isles Of Scilly - The UK

… which, by the way, was quite glorious! I’d only been in Tresco for a few hours at this point and I was already falling deep in love with the Isles of Scilly…

How To Get To The Isles Of Scilly - The UK How To Get To The Isles Of Scilly - The UK

Finally, I decided it was time to head back though after all I’d eaten, I wished I had one of these bad boys below to take me home! Spoiler alert – we did get one eventually – I’d been in golf carts but never driven one so to actually be able to do this was definitely something I had to do!

How To Get To The Isles Of Scilly - The UK

The walk back to the cottage wasn’t too bad though… 🙂

How To Get To The Isles Of Scilly - The UK

And so off walking we went, pleased with Isles so far and thoroughly looking forward to the rest of our stay in the Isles of Scilly!

How To Get To The Isles Of Scilly - The UK How To Get To The Isles Of Scilly - The UKHow To Get To The Isles Of Scilly - The UK's Most Tropical Island!

 



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  • BethStumbles

    Beautiful photography!
    I love the white and blue house, looks so relaxing.
    Great posts as usual,
    Beth
    https://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/bethstumbles-13058341

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Thanks Beth!!!

      I love that house too! It’s so cute. 🙂

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Thanks Beth!!!

      I love that house too! It’s so cute. 🙂

  • Nice post! A pity the pics are so grossly oversaturated that most of them are actually damaged. Hope you kept the unedited versions.

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Thanks Andreas. Different strokes for different folks I guess. 🙂 I didn’t actually do much with the photos. The islands and the day itself was quite colourful. And I’m a huge fan of colour so… 🙂
      But to your other point, yes, I’ve got the originals. I always keep all my original unedited photos. 🙂

  • Great post. I had never heard of the Isles of Scilly, so I have another spot to add to my travel wishlist. Love your account of the trip and the beautiful photos. Sharing…

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Thanks Susan. Really glad to hear that. It’s such a lovely place and I absolutely love sharing about it!

  • Sarah by the Sea

    I went here two weeks ago for my birthday 🙂
    I live in Cornwall so we just flew over from landsend and got the ferry back ^_^ I love Tresco, it’s so flipping beautiful ^_^
    I took a zillion photos cause it’s just so photogenic but you’re lucky – I would flipping love to go back and stay in a cottage! You had much better weather than we did too 😛
    Scilly is just one of those incredible places that’s right on our doorstep yet over looked ^_^ My next door neighbour is from there so I was inspired to go explore 😀

    Sarah xo | thesaltyseablog.blogspot.co.uk

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Happy Birthday Sarah! Albeit a tad late. 🙂

      I know what you mean about the photos. I took so many photos and editing them has been tough as I wanna keep them all! Haha!
      Yeah, I loved having a cottage. Only thing is that it’s fuelled my need to get one properly. (Your neighbours are so lucky by the way!)

  • MayBPhoenix

    This is so cool, I actually work on Tresco, cleaning the cottages 🙂 I don’t follow this blog all the time but occasionaly come here and always found the posts exciting and cool, so reading about Tresco from you, like not only visitor’s view, but also someone’s who’s blog posts I’ve always liked and shared, is very cool 🙂 And Thatch is just literally hundred meters away from my place 😀 Unreal.

    • HandLuggageOnly

      No way! That is so cool! It’s so nice to hear from you. It must be amazing to live and work on Tresco. Such a beautiful island. Next time we visit we must meet and you can tell us your favourite places to see on the island – we are sure you have such a wealth of amazing knowledge on the island! 🙂
      Lloyd & Yaya

      • MayBPhoenix

        I’ve only been here for five months now and it’s mostly work… 😀 But yeah, there are places I think everyone should see to really appreciate the diversity of everything that’s here 🙂 It’s not just an island, it’s a whole continent on its own, you have tropical garden, you have beaches with seagulls, you have ponds with ducks, forest on one side, vast wild moors on the other and the whole top of the island is full of rocks with the biggest waves, especially when windy 🙂 There is definitely quite a lot to explore for such a small piece of rock. I’m here until December, not sure if coming back next year, so if you manage to come until then, I’ll try to be your guide. That would be really awesome! 😀

        • HandLuggageOnly

          I would absolutely love to come back soon and that might even happen sooner than I’d realised as friends have now been pestering us to return to the islands. You’re so right about the diversity on islands. The only one we didn’t get to see was St Martin but the other islands we got to see each had their own unique character and appeal! I love how a place so small and quaint can be so big when it comes to attractions and things to do. We never had a dull day throughout and left wishing we stayed longer to see more stuff.

          • MayBPhoenix

            I’ve been to St. Martin to snorkel with seals, that was a very cool experience that I’d advice to try next time 😉 But as for others, maybe you’ll end up showing me, because I actually didn’t have that much time to explore everything properly. We only have one day off a week and that’s usually sleeping day or food shopping 😀 I think there is really surprisingly a lot to do or see, nevertheless. It’s never boring. We are staying for ten months and I don’t think we’ll check everything out. You could write some summary post then about things to do on Scilly and what you thought was best 🙂

            • HandLuggageOnly

              That’s a great plan! We should definitely do that. wow!!!! Swimming with deals sounds like so much fun! Wish we had tried that too!! 🙂
              Lloyd & Yaya

  • I’m loving your Scilly posts so much! It’s so funny seeing it through someone else’s eyes. And I agree, the food at the New Inn is in-credible! I loved the crab, it was so fresh and perfect. When I went last year I stayed at the New Inn, the rooms were lovely. My great great grandfather used to run it so it was very weird staying somewhere that my family used to live and work.

    C x | Lux Life

    • HandLuggageOnly

      It’s so nice to read comments like yours, Catherine. We can’t wait to go back. Your grandfather was a very fortunate man to run such a beautiful place on such a pristine island! Next time we go, we might have to try and stay at the New Inn. Your recommendation has definitely swayed us! 🙂
      Lloyd & Yaya

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