Rumour has it that the Royal couple will be spending their honeymoon on local soil in the Isles of Scilly, the closest thing Britain has to romantic secluded islands, an archipelago located just off the Cornish peninsula. What’s the attraction?
The archipelago features five inhabited islands, each with numerous rocky inlets which make perfect escapes for fishing, diving and swimming. In spring, around the time of the Royal wedding, the islands are covered in daffodils, their main exported product. When news spreads that Prince William and his wife-to-be Kate Middleton might be spending their honeymoon there, a lot of heads turn, which is always a good thing for communities which survive on tourism.
The majority of visitors to the Isles of Scilly stay on this island. It is well connected to the mainland by both ferry and flights. As well, it’s the most accommodating in terms of tourist amenities. The island is home to dozens of ancient monuments, stone structures left over from ages past. Some of which include burial mounds from the Bronze Age, castles, fortifications and even shipwrecks. The Garrison, Harry’s Walls and Porth Hellick Down Burial Chamber are all free to visit.
This smaller island is run mostly as a time-share resort island. Most of the locals work in the tourism industry, up-keeping the island’s reputation. Tresco is home to a couple of castles, definitely worth boasting about. Cromwell’s stands on a rocky ledge and has one of the few remaining round towers left of the Cromwellian era, thought to be built around the 1650s. King Charles’ Castle is also located nearby, built in the sixteenth century as an artillery fort.
Bryher & St. Martin’s
These two are perfect for travellers who often like to do things off the beaten path. Each island has one hotel, on top of a host of other holiday accommodations like cottages, chalets and camping grounds. It’s easy to pass the days fishing from the coast, learning to sail in a quiet cove or enjoying High Tea with the girls in town. Bryher is home to the smallest community of all the islands. Spring is the best time to visit as the entire island explodes in colour from the wild flowers.
Although this smaller island has no hotel and is the least inhabited of the Scilly islands, it’s a pleasure to visit. If just for the day. It’s famous for the maze, also known as the “Game of Troy” on the west side of Castella Down. It’s a circular maze of rounded stones thought to be put in place centuries ago by a lighthouse keeper.
How to get there:
From London, the only way to reach Penzance, where the ferries depart for St. Mary’s is by car; you can find a cheap rental car on liligo.com. The ride takes approximately three hours. There are flights organised from Plymouth in the summer months.
The islands hold special meaning for Prince William as he spend his summer holidays here in 1989 with his parents and his brother, Prince Harry.