I have recently returned from a holiday in the Isles of Scilly (note for pedants: “Scilly” for short, not “the Scillies”). I have been going there every two years or so for over 20 years, and it’s still one of my favourite places.
Some of the attractions are obvious. White, sandy beaches (though the water is still cold); beautiful rocks (pictured in the title to this blog); a kind climate, notably better than the mainland; the ever-fascinating and ever-present sea. But it is also a wonderful, miniature world apart. Everything is smaller: roads, cars, shops , castles. Each island has its own post office, even though in many cases the number of inhabitants is less than a single London street (well not quite true; the post office on Bryher, the smallest island has closd down – but a new one is being built to replace it!). It’s very English too; relations with the mainland may be a bit strained sometimes, but you hear nothing of Cornish nationalism.
This year our visit coincided with a daytrip by the Queen – and we did catch a glimpse of her. It was real shock to see so many policemen, though, including ones armed with machine guns. The islands are nearly crimeless. One of our guests accidentally dropped his wallet on the morning of his departure. A passing chambermaid from one of the local hotels, picked it up, took it to the receptionist, who managed to locate us before we even knew it was gone.
We’ll be going back.