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 beginning – How To To Get To The Isles Of Scilly!
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. 🙂
Also, if you’re interested in what to do when you visit the Isles of Scilly, this post here has a complete guide and itinerary on what to see, do and eat on the islands. 😀
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.
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!
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.
The flight over is spectacular for photos and for seeing the myriad of patchwork fields that make up Cornwall!
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…
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.
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.
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!
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.
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. 🙂
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!
… 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?
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…)
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. 😉
We decided very quickly (on no basis whatsoever) that it was a red wine kinda evening…
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!
I went with the crab meat to start which to be fair was pretty good in its own right! 🙂
Mains for both of us were rather delicious steaks slathered in the tastiest sauce!
Lloyd plumped for a chocolate tart for dessert!
I went with a good ol’ favourite – waffles! (I’m hungry just thinking about these waffles!)
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…
… 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…
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!
The walk back to the cottage wasn’t too bad though… 🙂
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!
READ MORE: If you’re wondering about what to do see, do and where to eat when you visit The Isles of Scilly, check out this post here.