Pronounced "silly". Yes, yes- cue all the "silly" jokes.
We had lots of them over the weekend. It never got old.
"Outstandingly beautiful, uncrowded and unspoilt. The Isles of Scilly lie just off the coast of Cornwall but are a world apart in every way. A natural wonder, like a cluster of precious ocean jewels, where nature thrives and the soul is inspired. Everything looks and feels quite different on Scilly - simpler, kinder, more innocent. Life moves at an easier pace."
This is exactly what we felt as we vacationed on Scilly. It is such a unique place that looks like it is in the Caribbean but is actually a part of England. Our friend was the mastermind behind this holiday and we are so glad she invited us. On the outside it sounds a bit crazy- but we loved every minute.
There are a couple ways to get to the Isles of Scilly... by ferry or by private jet or helicopter. We opted for the ferry. This turned out to be a little tricky because we were also CAMPING on this holiday. So we had to get all out luggage to fit within the requirements of the ferry, yet also pack enough to camp. It was a bit tricky, but we got it all figured out! Lots of luggage!
Our ferry crossing was 3.5 hours and relatively smooth. Others in our party took the ferry the day before and had a terrible time crossing. It was very windy and the ride was very choppy. Everyone ended throwing up. If conditions are really bad, the ferry company will email you and give you the opportunity to change. I stared out the window the whole time in an attempt to not become motion sick and was fine.
We couldn't believe the views when we docked. It was like we stepped into a time period film location. There were stone cottages, crystal clear water and beautiful hydrangeas everywhere. This campsite we stayed at transported all of our luggage up the hill and to the campsite. We were so grateful for this service as it was quite a climb!
Garrison Holidays campsite was fantastic. We had big pitches for our group, wide open spaces for kids to run around, campstore on site and even fresh pastries in the morning for purchase. We loved our stay. There is a playground for the kids and is close to a couple historic walks around the garrison. The fortifications of the Garrison are very well preserved, and visitors today can walk much of the length of the Garrison Walls. Truly a wonderful place to stay!
GETTING AROUND THE ISLANDS
This part did seem a little daunting at first but do not fear! There are boats that go EVERYWHERE. All in all, Scilly’s boatmen make for a remarkable combination of island hopping capability, expertise and experience. You’ll feel safe and well informed – they always let you know about pick-up times and pick-up places – especially if the changing tides mean that you need to return from a different quay to the one you hopped off onto!
There are timetables chalked on boards at every turn, and many of the operators have their own Facebook pages and Twitter feeds letting you know the boat times. Tides mean that this isn’t like running a bus service, so always check. The good news is that all this flexibility means that the options are almost endless. There were times when we missed boats, but there was always someone willing to get us where we needed to go.
Once we know how to get to the islands... then you go! We chose a new island each day to island hop. Some of them we just did beach and swim, others we rented kayaks, others we viewed the gardens... it's all up to you how you want it to go.
We had beautiful beach and beautiful weather. The water was quite cold, but the kiddos didn't seem to mind. We rented kayaks here, but it was located on the opposite side of the island which made it tricky getting back to us. There is a delicious ice cream place on this island that you MUST try- but get there early as they sell out!
This island had the quaintest feel. We had to walk a long way to get to our beach location, Rushy Bay, but along the way there was a small old church, an art studio and a farmers market with an "on your honor" payment box. So cute.
We didn't beach here, but instead took a different approach to our day. Tresco is arguably the most "posh" of the islands. They have a more developed town center with shops, hotels and spas. The women opted for a spa treatment and then we all met up afterward with the kids at Tresco Abbey Gardens. This garden is ranked one of the best in the UK and I can concur that it deserves such a title. It was a wild island garden with lots to explore!
We stayed on St. Mary's which is probably the most populated out of all the islands. There is a lot to do on St. Mary's: hikes around the garrison, beach, hikes to a lighthouse, tours leave from here, and more. Our last day we did one last hike around the island to admire the beauty of this wild and rugged place.
Also- there is ice cream to be found EVERYWHERE on each island. Wouldn't be a British summer without ice cream everyday right?