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Left: the view from our St Martins win- dow overlooking Tean Sound to Tresco


1. The lifeboat station, Hugh Town, St Mary’s, from the Star Castle Hotel


island. We chatted our way across (everyone is so friendly, and it feels rural, not seaside resort). Here are the 17 acre exotic Abbey Gardens, (due to a milder climate and more sunshine than the mainland) and the Valhalla museum of ship-related things – we loved the figureheads. The friendly birds hopped around us as we ate our home-made crispy piz- zas at the Ruin Café. Expect to see a lot of walkers armed with binocu- lars. Bird watching is a ‘thing’ here, as it’s on migration paths. Tresco used to be idyllic, but it now seems over- developed, with what seemed to be Norwegian housing estates, and the beaches felt ‘closed off’. The New Inn was still there, serving lush Troytown Farm ice cream from St Agnes (an island to visit next time). It seemed rude not to have one. As a hurricane was heading in


we spent our last night on St Mary’s, at the stupendous 4* Star Castle Hotel. It’s OLD (Charles II sheltered here) but luxurious, shaped like a star, (yes, really), privately owned by Robert Francis’ family for genera- tions, and replete with fine dining you’d be pressed to beat in London, all made us forget the storm outside. Next morning we had the heated pool to ourselves, sadly had no time for golf on the most southwesterly UK course, so popped downtown to sightsee, enjoyed a fresh crab salad at The Deli before checkout with the helpful hotel staff, and we were whisked back to the airport. Mrs Francis was absolutely charming and it felt like saying farewell to a family friend as we departed. These islands are great for family holidays or short getaways, or why not sail your yacht there? Thank you, beautiful islands, for


a delightful rest. We’ve more to see and do - next time...


2. Evening sun on St Martins 3. A byway on St Martins 4. Cattle grazing on Tresco 5. Voyager of St Martins - our transport 6. Portcullis at the Star Castle Hotel PHOTOS ©FLEUR BURLAND SULLY


TRAVEL INFORMATION: www.islesofscilly-travel.co.uk Star Castle Hotel, St. Mary’s: www.star-castle.co.uk (dogs welcome) Karma St. Martin’s, St. Martin’s: www.karmagroup.com (dogs welcome)


Fly: There are Isles of Scilly Travel Skybus flights year-round from Newquay and Land’s End Airports, and from Exeter Airport March - October. Prices start from £140 return (dogs welcome)


By Sea: From spring through to late autumn, the Scillonian lll passenger ferry sails up to seven days a week between Penzance and St. Mary’s. Prices start from £90 return. (dogs welcome) To book your


islesofscilly-travel.co.uk or phone 01736 334220.


A SELECTION OF EVENTS: Isles of Scilly Festival– Throughout May In May, the Isles of Scilly host a celebra- tion of local arts and culture. This new festival, including Art Scilly Week and the Scilly Folk Festival, will have an eclec- tic mix of open studios, literary events, folk music, and a packed programme of hands-on courses and workshops with many of Scilly’s resident artists. The Islands’ Regatta– August 26 to 29 Scilly’s inaugural Islands’ Regatta is a four-day


heritage, with a visit from a Royal Navy Type 23 Frigate, a Parade of Sail and clas- sic boats such as the tall ship Spirit of Falmouth. Enjoy the Redwing Champion- ships, follow the Around Island Race, and see the Red Arrows display. Taste of Scilly – Throughout September The first Taste of Scilly food and drink fes- tival, bringing together bakers, growers, brewers, fishermen and chefs for foodie nights, cooking demonstrations and more.


www.visitislesofscilly.com celebration of its maritime journey, visit www.


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