A place not many people know about. A place I know only through my Nanna’s yearly trips away with her best friend. A place that made her beam with joy and happiness. Although Nanna missed her little dog when she travelled away, she did enjoy being on the isles, being “off the grid” and would often talk of staying for a longer duration and bringing Holly with her on her next trip.
Sadly Nanna didn’t get that opportunity this year like she had hoped. She did still get to go there one last time; just in a different way.
In July this year, I set sail with Nanna’s ashes close by and arrived on St.Marys; an island of the Scilly Isles. The beauty that radiates as you enter the port is slightly overwhelming and within seconds I knew why Nanna wanted to be laid to rest here.
Nanna’s friends met me off the boat in St.Marys. The ferry ride was actually easier than I had anticipated given that I’ve not much experience with boat travel. I did feel at one point quite emotional. I was following Nanna’s exact steps, only she wasn’t with me in body but only in spirit. I had arrived at Penzance port with a small hand luggage bag that I gave to the workers to place in a container for the (nearly) 3hour voyage through the Northern Atlantic ocean. Travel to the Scilly Isles is via air or water and you can book either by clicking here.
As you follow on through this blog; you’ll travel with me to just two of the different islands on Scilly. I had limited time here; but just enough time to see St.Marys and Bryher. Both of these islands are beautiful and where Nanna favoured most. It was an absolute privilege to set her free where I now know she is at peace.
St.Marys is known as the gateway to all the other islands. There is fair amount of tourism here as there is a higher population in comparison to the other islands; but still very beautiful. I consider this a manicured beauty where as Bryher for me was a beautiful “mess”. Either way; you’re first port of call is St.Marys whether you come by the Scillonian III ferry or the by the Sky Bus aircraft.
Here you’ll find Hugh Town and Old Town. I do like Hugh Town as there seems to be more going on, but the silence of Old Town is breath taking. Where Nanna and her best friend stayed overlooked the waters edge of the sea making morning rises easy, and sunsets mesmerising. I stayed nearby John Bordeaux’s Pottery (a must visit, and his prices are very very reasonable).
St.Marys Old Church is a tiny building that is lit only by candle light. Even from an architectural/design stand point; this building is very captivating. The graves over look the sea and many date back to centuries ago, often seeing the same surname repeated quite a fair amount suggesting many families were laid to rest here.
Where ever you stay; you’re sure to have a wonderful nights sleep. The air is so pure, welcoming peace and serenity into your mind and body. I felt like I was in another world what with all the bold colours, the bright waters reflecting off the skies paintings and the friendliness of all the people living and working here. For many this is where they have decided to retire and I don’t blame them. Even if they continued to work it would be a pleasurable employment. Often you’ll find doors left unlocked, keys still in cars. That is how safe and trustworthy these islands are.
“I wandered lonely as a cloud, That floats on high o’er vales and hills, When all at once I saw a crowd, A host, of golden daffodils; Besides the lake, beneath the trees, Fluttering and dancing in the breeze”WILLIAM WORDSWORTH
There are little boats that can take you to each of the isles (St.Marys, Bryher, Tresco, St.Martins and St.Agnes). The only isle that I got to visit on my trip other than St.Marys; was Bryher, specifically for Nanna. The boat was barely even 30minutes across the waters and on the way over I got to see the different wildlife that inhabits this part of England and the clear, blue waters. Bryher itself is very untamed, and not the most touristy out of the isles. I think this is why Nanna probably liked it most. As soon as you step off the boat; you are faced by a sandy beach covered in shells and flint. Human life dates back approximately to 3000 years ago when hunters would gather here using the flint for tools. There is much history to uncover here but with a very important task to get to, myself and Nanna’s friends made our way up the hillside of Bryher.
As you can see from the images above, the waters are beautiful and the greenery is just breathtaking. There’s one picture of me holding the camera which is where Nanna’s best friend thought her place of rest should be. It was quite a way down looking over the cliffside at the water crashing against the sea walls. Not so far from here was Shipmans Head. This section is spectacular during winter when a thriving storm hits the cliffside creating dramatic views, not so sure you’d want to be stood nearby though. Back to Nanna’s patch; apparently where we were stood faces directly towards the U.S.A (even though there are too many miles of water to even think about). Never the less, it gave me much comfort knowing that at some point, Nanna stood in this vicinity and stared out onto the land I now call home. It was here that we watched Nanna’s energy become one with Earth, she soared with the wind as we talked about sweet memories of her beautiful soul. Bryher is such a stunning place to visit and I think even more so because it was their favourite to visit. It heals you with its purest and natural being, making it impossible not to fall in love with it.
After talking a brisk walk through the valley and down the hill; we came to a little bar called Fraggle Rock (one of Britains smallest bars). It seemed like the perfect ending to our day. Again, a place Nanna visited. As a strict vegan, I knew before my arrival on the Isles of Scilly that I would have trouble maintaining a well rounded diet here. But to my surprise; Fraggle Rock put together a beautiful array of food, which was absolutely yummy. Yes, I have a picture!!! (To the right).
We spent a full day on Bryher in which I got to capture many photos of the natural habitat here. It also woke me up a little. After being so sad and heart broken since Nanna passed away; the beauty of these isles took away the pain away (some what). There is an abundance of colour everywhere you look which it makes it very difficult to choose betweens pictures. A place I’d highly reccommend to visit and even though I covered quite some miles walking with Nanna’s friends; there is still much to see. If you like nature and would love a retreat to the mother land; this is the place for you.
So as I wrap this blog up; I leave you with some images below of the plants and flowers that are just a few of the many that are on these islands. The Narcissi daffodils are one of the most popular flowers of these islands but unfortunately they were not in bloom at the time when I went (July). I did however buy some bulbs to plant for next year so hopefully they’ll grow in 2019. Thank you for stopping by my page. If you have any questions regarding my trip to Scilly and would like to know more specific information; please don’t hesitate to send me a message.
Oh and one last piece of advice; don’t expect to find phone service whilst here. If you’re lucky the hotel you stay in has wifi, but normal phone service; good luck. But it really doesn’t matter because nothing is more important than surrounding yourself with the natural beauty of the Isles of Scilly.