Posted by: paulgilders | August 2, 2012

Cornwall and the Scilly Isles

After taking a very pleasant ferry trip from Roscoff to Plymouth, we had three days of cycling through Cornwall to reach Penzance. From Penzance, we were due to join my family for a week in the Scilly Isles.

We decided to follow one of the national cycle routes, thinking that it would be both safe and easy, but cycling through Cornwall is extremely exhausting. The bike route took us through tiny lanes, little villages and cliff tops, but cycling up gradients greater than 20% was no fun.

We pushed up the side of the harbour in Mevagissey, stopping for a breather every 20 metres.

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We saw plenty of pretty cows…

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We also had one complete day in the tent due to heavy rain, but amazingly the English summer started on the day of our departure to the Scilly Isles. We had a pleasant boat journey on this often unpleasant stretch of water to start a holiday within a holiday.

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We camped all week on a quiet, grassy site just 1/2 km from Hugh Town and close to the apartment where my sister, brother-in-law and parents were staying. Their apartment had beautiful views over the harbour.

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For those readers unfamiliar with the Scilly Isles, it is an archipelago of islands about 20 miles off the coast of Cornwall. There are 5 main islands, but many other smaller islands and rocky outcrops that make it both a beautiful and dangerous sailing destination.

The islands are teaming with traditional sailing boats.

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Transportation between the islands is mostly provided by the boatman association, who have a small fleet of boats – many of them of traditional wooden construction.

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We particularly enjoyed the island of Tresco.

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Poppy found a beautiful starfish, but despite much looking, we didn’t find a second.

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Poppy and I returned to Tresco a second time and hired kayaks to paddle across to the island of St Martin.

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The coastal walks are beautiful – it was a nice change from cycling!

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Most evenings we were able to watch the sun go down.

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In summary, we had an idyllic week in the Scillies. It was a perfect way to catch up with my family.


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