The World is full of exhausting beauty, from it’s very core to it’s outer layers, The world is blessed with many wonders, a lot of which still remain a tight lipped secret.
About 36 miles off the coast of Cornwall, lies to me, one of the best kept secrets of the UK. A small cluster of islands, peacefully sitting in the Atlantic ocean, each one very different to the other.
The Isles of Scilly, ah, just saying the name takes me back to a good place in my mind. A summer filled with beauty, friendships, razor clam digging, swimming amongst phosphorescence, a small island festival and walking from island to island during spring tides.
I had spent three years flirting with the summers of Northern Spain until I decided that enough was enough, that there was more of the world to see. I had no clue where to go, I only knew It needed to be equally or even better than my amazing summers, falling in love with the Costa Brava.
Cue a job in the Isles of Scilly, a seasonal job I found at the very last minute online. I handed in my notice at a short term job I was doing in Stratford upon Avon, the birthplace of William Shakespeare and packed my bags for a summer of adventures.
An 8 hour train journey, a stop off in South Wales for a Mexican themed birthday party, 2 nights stationed in Penzance and a 3 and a half hour ferry journey on a flat bottomed boat (the waters in to Scilly are rather shallow) and I had arrived. Well I had arrived to the main Island, St Mary’s at least. From here I was told to look out for a boat named ‘The Spirit’ and to hop on for the final 15 minute journey to St Agnes, the small island I was going to call home for the next 4 months.
I may be biased yes, but to me St Agnes was the best of all the islands. It had the rugged coastline, the small hidden beaches and a great community. After setting foot on the small quay for the first time, I inhaled the fresh sea air and I finally felt at ease for the first time in a while.
I had no idea what was in store for me and just how much the Isles of Scilly would change me and my life. Just a short walk around the island and you feel like you are miles away from the ‘real world’ and as for still being in the UK? In the height of summer, the clear turquoise waters, warm air and lush greens can make you feel like your holidaying in the Caribbean.
My new boss was always telling me of all the staff that she had seen come and go over the summers and how love always blossomed here. I didn’t doubt her, how could you not have a summer romance here, nearly every evening was welcomed in by a heart stopping sunset and my evenings would usually consist of fire’s on the beach, watching the silhouettes of yachts and small fishing boats bobbing slowly from side to side.
St Agnes is a small island, consisting of one small yet marvellous pub, a post office/shop, a farm and campsite, a newly renovated community hall and small building consisting of a pool table and some gym equipment. The rest of it? The rest of it is filled with woodland, rocky coastlines and sandy beaches. It connects to the smaller island ‘Gugh’ which itself has nothing but one house situated on it. At low tides, you can walk between the two islands on a piece of sand called the ‘Sand Bar’. Be careful how long you walk on Gugh though, as at high tide, the Sand Bar becomes covered and you will soon find yourself stranded.
There is so much that happens on these islands, so much to explore, to experience and to fall in love with. Each island is blessed with it’s own ‘personality’ and offers much more than you would expect.
There was the day of the St Agnes festival ‘Aggy Fest’ in which I had spent all day enjoying and volunteering at the bar. After the bar was nearly drunk dry, I was forced to drink ale and started to enjoy a new kind of drunk I hadn’t experienced before ( I don’t usually drink ale!). The music stopped and everybody went their own separate ways. A small group of us went down to the sea, as after a very hot and calm day, it was the perfect time to see the phosphorescence. Every single movement of my arms and legs in the water was complimented by a bright green glow and as I walked out of the water, along the quay, even my footprints were glowing green. No words can really explain the feeling and beauty of that moment, without sounding corny and cheesy.
The Isles are every photographers, bird watchers, walkers, runners, food lovers, ale drinkers, sailors and adventurers haven and dream. It has to be seen to be believed.
Want to Visit?
How to get there: Skybus or the Scillonian from Cornwall.
Time of year to visit: March-October.
Best Places to Eat: High tide – St Agnes, Juliet’s Garden – St Mary’s and Dibble and Grub – St Mary’s.
Best Places to Drink: Turk’s Head – St Agnes, Outside Terrace at the Hell Bay Hotel – Bryher.
Best Places to Stay: Troytown – St Agnes, Hell Bay Hotel – Bryher.
Things to see and do: Abbey Garden – Tresco, Gig Racing, Boat trips to Samson and the Western Rocks.