Tresco, Isles of Scilly – Part 2 - Orlando / Florida Guide
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So Tresco is a dash of exotic mixed with the very much English. Its waves are the colour of the Mediterranean that beautiful mixture from duck egg to turquoise to Prussian blue, however, you will find the water is a bit chillier. It feels like a little utopia, yet still has a wild, end of England edge. A small British island where you fear you might get bored but you will end up wanting to stay.
The climate means that you can visit year round. Spring which comes early and autumn are generally mild and less crowded. Birdwatchers flock here in mid-October, so that is something to remember and the summers are usually sunny but busy.
Getting there is not straight forward as nearly all trip have to be via the larger island of St Mary’s. The Scillonian III ferry sails from Penzance to St Mary’s six times a week during March to November and then daily from July to early September. The journey time is around 2hrs 40mins with singles from £50. There are flights from Land’s End (20mins) and Newquay (30mins) to St Mary’s year round, and from Exeter (1hr) during March to September with singles from £80.
Tresco Heliport currently provides landing facilities for private and charter helicopters, by prior arrangement only. However, from 2019 they plan to reinstate scheduled helicopter flights from a new Penzance Heliport.
Getting from St Mary’s to Tresco takes 10-20mins by boat. You book via Tresco’s Island Office and transfers are included. Tresco is car-free but bike hire is available for £15/day.
Being so small there are a limited number of places to stay. If you go high season book in advance and be prepared for minimum stay periods. The Sea Garden Cottages charge from £180pppn for B& B. This is a classy beachside option which offers four-night breaks. The New Inn is from £55pppn for B& B, it has 16 fresh, bright rooms and does four-night packages.
A good place to eat which caters for most needs is the laidback Ruin Beach Café which serves good coffee, great breakfasts, wood-fired pizzas, seafood and more. The New Inn does a fine surf ’n’ turf, using Bryher lobster and Tresco steak. Tresco Stores & Deli sells a range of fresh produce, including veg from Abbey Garden.
If you catch an early flight and you can be through the airport on the main island of St Mary’s, driven to the quay and jet boated over to Tresco in time for breakfast. Tractor trailer transfers meet new arrivals at Tresco’s jetty or you can just walk.
Not far from Carn, at the island’s south, is Abbey Garden, entry is £15 with under 16s free. You can roam avenues of exotic plants even in mid-winter. there are normally more than 300 plants in flower. While you’re here, walk through Abbey Wood to the Smith family monument, for views across to the islands of Bryher and Samson.
Next, get a cycle from the Bike Shed which is next door to Tresco Stores & Deli. You can cycle alongside soft sandy beaches, ride to The Old Blockhouse, a ruined 16th-century gun tower or stop for a drink at the lively New Inn. You can also cycle to footpaths that lead into the island’s wilder reaches, particularly the far north-west. Here, two ruined castles sit amid heather and wildflowers.
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