Words by Victoria Bond
Globally much has changed since 2019, however the enduring appeal of the Isles of Scilly, a tiny cluster of wild little islands just 28 miles off the Cornish coast, has not. An important part of my role is arranging media trips to Scilly, which involves creating interesting, inspiring and dynamic itineraries for journalists, which encapsulate the stories of these islands and their people.
Putting these itineraries together and working with the local businesses and residents, many of whom have generational links to Scilly, is a privilege. What surprises people the most when visiting for the first time, is the diversity within such a small archipelago and the different character each of the five inhabited islands have, shaped by centuries of individual heritage, history and culture – whilst also very much being part of a collective island community.
The beautiful turquoise waters that surround the islands are a daily part of Scilly life. With each island in such close proximity to one another it’s entirely possible to start every day with a new island-hopping adventure; tuck a map into your pocket and stroll down to St Mary’s quay to scroll the blackboard for the daily boating schedule. No matter which island you choose to stay on, it’s easy to explore all of the others. Jumping on and off the colourful boats, with a cheery and knowledgeable boatman, it’s very much an adventure exploring Scilly’s authentic charm and discovering each island’s distinct character.
In addition to the day-tripping schedule, there are lots of excursions and opportunities to explore on the water; including the wonderful Wildlife Safaris. Depending on the time of year, you’ll spot dolphins, puffins, cormorants, razorbills and many other seabirds – plus the guarantee of a friendly Atlantic grey seal popping up to say hello.
Whether you choose to stay at the newly refurbished New Inn, a short walk from the famous Abbey Garden on Tresco; a brand-new Seafront Lodge at Tregarthen’s Hotel on St Mary’s (opening Spring 2023) or pitching a tent at the idyllic Bryher campsite, Scilly is the antidote to a busy life, it offers freedom; uncrowded, unspoilt and unplugged.
Victoria Bond has been managing the PR for Visit Isles of Scilly and working with the Islands Partnership, the destination management organisation for the Isles of Scilly, for nearly four years.