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Archive for isles of scilly

The Cornish Caribbean

By Linda Tancs

About 30 miles off the coast of Cornwall, England, the Scilly Isles are a Cornish Caribbean, featuring azure seas, subtropical gardens and white, sandy beaches. It’s yours for the taking among the five inhabited islands—St. Mary’s, St. Martin’s, St. Agnes, Tresco and Bryher. St. Martin’s is the first island you’ll spot as you cross from the mainland. It offers an abundance of activities for an island just 2 miles long. You can relax on a remote bay with a colorful name like Bread and Cheese Cove. Or you might want to see the Day Mark (built in 1683), the earliest surviving dated example of a beacon in the British Isles. And then there’s the flower farm and vineyard and a dive school offering underwater adventures and snorkeling with seals. Everything is reachable on foot; you can also rent a kayak for a different perspective as well as a view of the surrounding islets. The island is a short flight away from Exeter, Newquay or Land’s End.

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A Bit of Everything in Tresco

By Linda Tancs

St. Mary’s is the largest island in England’s enchanted archipelago, Isles of Scilly, but Tresco is the only one that’s privately owned. That won’t stop you from experiencing the world renowned Abbey Garden, though. Established in the 1830s by Augustus Smith (an ancestor of the family responsible for the island), it hosts a spectacular collection of more than 20,000 exotic plants from 80 temperate coastal regions around the world. Smith also founded Valhalla Museum in a far corner of the garden, which displays figureheads salvaged from the islands’ shipwrecks in the 19th century. The garden is open daily. Fly to St. Mary’s with Skybus from Land’s End, Newquay or Exeter, or sail aboard Scillonian III from Penzance. Boat services from there will bring you to Tresco.

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