I've been a bad blogger and haven't posted recently but I've been away on holiday with very little access to computers. And although my holiday wasn't entirely food related I wanted to tell you about the magical island that I go to every summer with my family.

Tresco is a tiny island, about 2 miles long and 1 mile wide, off the end of Cornwall, that is part of a group of islands called the Isles of Scilly, 5 of which are inhabited. 

Last Friday night my boyfriend and I got the overnight sleeper train, the "Night Riviera", from Paddington to Penzance. If you're ever thinking of taking the sleeper train I really recommend booking a berth. The train journey's 8 hours long and sitting in a lit carriage for that long is not particularly comfortable!!

We got to Penzance at 8am and after a quick breakfast sitting on the station wall looking out to sea, we were whisked off to Land's End airport in a minibus. A 15 minute plane ride in the tiniest plane I've ever seen and we landed on St Mary's (the main island), another minibus took us to the harbour, a speedboat whizzed us over to Tresco and finally a tractor took us and our bags to our cottage front door. 

Every year when I arrive on Tresco I am still taken back by the clean, undamaged beauty of the place. The air is fresh, the sea's crystal clear, the sand is so fine and soft and sparkly, it really is heaven.

And our cottage is sooo close to the beach. This is the view from our terrace...

Although Tresco is tiny, there is so much to do down there. We got up to all sorts over the first two days. Topper sailing - 

Mackerel fishing - 

Looking for (and finding) puffins, which are really sweet little birds, terrible photo though!

Welly throwing at the island fete, with various techniques in play - 

Evening boat rides - 

We also played some tennis, and went shrimping in the shallows (I failed at both!!)

But then disaster struck.... Tresco doesn't have cars. There are bicycles for hire and I've cycled round the island at all times of day and night for a week, once a year, for many years. But on Sunday evening, on the way to the one pub on the island, I squeezed the wrong brake, went over my handlebars and hurt myself. I was bruised and grazed but thought I'd got away with it. Until I woke up on Monday unable to move my hand. After two trips to the minor injuries unit on St Mary's and a trip to A&E when I got back to London yesterday, they've confirmed I've broken 2 bones in my hand!!

So, the pace of my holiday changed a bit after that! I still had a really lovely time but it was all a lot more chilled out! It was actually great to get some time to really relax, although it's incredibly frustrating not being able to cook, as I just can't use my left hand at all.

There was still lots to see if not do on Tresco, and one thing that draws tourists from all over the world are the semi-tropical Tresco Abbey Gardens. Over the last centuries, plant specimens were taken from across the world and planted in the gardens, which are now a stunning legacy to this. I don't have photos from this year, but you can see images of the gardens here, as well as information on visiting them. Even outside of the gardens, there are beautiful plants all over the island.

A week goes so quickly on Tresco and there were things we didn't do this year, that we normally do, like looking for dolphins and seals in the boat, watching gig races, and wake boarding off the islands, but you can't do everything, especially with a broken hand!

We did visit the island's art gallery to look at the wonderful paintings that the island's beauty inspires artists to paint. My mum also takes inspiration from the islands and all they offer, and she did this painting of an Oyster Catcher, which I love.

If you want more information about visiting or staying on Tresco, visit their website, www.tresco.co.uk, where there are details about the cottages you can rent, the pub that you can stay in and all the various ways you can get there. 

It is such a beautiful, peaceful place, that I really recommend a visit. My next blog will be about the really great food that the islands produce, so look out for that soon.



  1. One of my favourite spots in the world too ! looks like you had terrific weather, hope your hand is feeling better !

    1. Thanks Sally! We did have lovely weather and such a glorious week. My hand's slowly on the mend!

      R x


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