Now as daft as the name of this place may sound, it is real. The amount of puns you could make out of this place is endless but other than the humorous name, its one of the most stunning places I’ve visited.
The 5 inhabited islands are situated around the South-West coast of England with the mainland being St Mary’s. This means when you need a food shop you have to take the local boat over to St Mary’s to get your essentials. The only knowledge of public transport is the boat which hops you over to islands at certain times of the day. It’s a completely peaceful and easy going way of life over there. When I went, back in 2014, we camped by the sea on the island called St Agnes and at the time only had 2 cars, this is how remote it is.
How We Got Down There
As me and my group of friends were only 15 and 16 at the time I have to admit the adults organised a lot of it although when we started our journey we were alone. But it started with getting on the train to London and from their all six of us with our massive backpacks and tents trying to get through the London underground. I was that person who just stayed at the back and let everyone else work our the tube as it confused me too much and would have accidentally led us to Scotland if it was down to me (I have 0 sense of direction).
When we finally made it through the underground taking it in turns carrying the tent (pretty sure I just let the boys carry it the whole time actually) we finally got on the train and arrived in Penzance (photo to the right). My first vivid memory of getting there was walking out on to the street and seeing a big ass rat scurry into the bushes. But all ratty things aside, it was a fairly quaint seaside town. Considering we had our travelling rucksacks on which felt like carrying another human we walked for what seemed like hours to get to the youth hostel which was situated up a rather large hill. Probably why I hate hills. Once we’d checked in and left our bags we realized how ravenous we all were and so ordered a classic dominoes for the best nutritional intake after our hike.
The next morning we then went for another ‘hike’ (why is the legal age to drive 17 or did we not think to get a taxi?) to the ferry for the trip over the water to St Mary’s harbour. We didn’t get much time to look around here at first as the little boat taking us over to St Agnes was ready. Once we got off we waited for our big bags to be loaded into the trailer and drive away to the campsite, finally we were free to run around like headless chickens. Now this was unfair that the 4 boys got a the big tipi with roll mats and a nice open floor whilst us two girls got the 2 man standard tent. Still we made the most of the tipi whenever we could and all the cooking utensils it came with including the camping stove. Most night the girls cooked but one night we let the boys give it a shot and my god. The pasta our friend put in a pan was with limited water and so hardly cooked with it all stuck to the bottom of the saucepan and I cant exactly remember what else they did apart from a lot of carbohydrates which we said “thank you, mmm its lovely” but then made fun of and laughed about later.
There’s also an annual boat race during spring time which we went and watched. It’s called the World Pilot Gig Championships and my god the atmosphere as you’re bobbing along on a boat watching the race is ecstatic.
This was where we spent most of our time exploring this little island. It has so many rock formations which you can clamber over for ages not acknowledging your death could be with one slip of the foot and into the rocks and sea below. The best Cornish Pasties hands down which you had to get early morning or else they’d be sold out by
lunch time in the local shop. Masses of open fields which we played ‘Zombie” in one evening and I was so nervous as I had no stamina and so ashamed to not be able to catch anyone as I was slow. A few lovely cottages with flowers strewn all over the front. A tiny shop with snacky foods and the pasties, and another shop with souvenirs, jewelry and bags. The bay with the pier where we all jumped off into the sea (you can see to the right) which is also where the little boat drops you off and picks you up.
An area of shallow waters full of marine life and fish that try to attack you (honestly when I was snorkelling it kept swimming very ferociously at me, I was scared even though it was only the size of my hand) and seal everywhere. A pub which we used for wifi to update our friends making them as jealous as possible and obviously the campsite which is directly by the sea. We were honestly about 3 meters away from the start of the waves as you can see in this photo and the tipi which is what we hired.
As this is the mainland there’s a lit more hustle and bustle about the place. With the main docking area for the boats being here there’s a lot of tourism. Its still a tiny island with lots of beach, little cafes, clothes shops and ice cream stalls. With the population still only being 1,800, its a lot busier than the other islands. The beach is still vase and expanse with clear blue water with a tropical esc look. If you ever come and need a food shop or any other essentials for survival then this is the place to go.
When you arrive on the white sand beach with crystal clear water that’s warm and look around at the palm tree’s, you really cant believe this belongs to the British isles. My most vivid memory of this island are Abbey Gardens because of the ridiculous abundance of colours. We also went all around the island and found Cromwells Castle which was crazy to think this was here in such a small place. If you love exploring and need some peace and tranquility then this is the one.
This place is renown for some of the best beaches in possibly the world. I gave Tresco’s
beaches every description of a beach you want to hear but this, this has the best beach. It also has a lovely bakery in which on an extremely hot day we bought sandwiches and warmed pastry’s, then sat on the beach for a few hours until the boat came back to pick us up.
I have so many more memories of this place but there’s too many to say. I definitely will be coming back here as soon as I can because it really is paradise. If this inspires you to go and you to go and you have any questions of how of how to get there and what do then feel free to ask, i’m more than happy to respond or you could check out the website: https://www.visitislesofscilly.com