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United Kingdom - Isles of Scilly

From the minute you board the boat or plane to get here, you'll know you're on an adventure, heading for somewhere very, very special. The closer you get, you'll seek glimpses on the horizon of the low-lying islands amid a turquoise sea. Some fringed by rocks, others by white sandy beaches but all bathed in a light of vibrant intensity. You have begun a journey to another world – a simpler, kinder, and more innocent place to be.

Some visitors crave the deep sense of tradition here, immersing themselves in history and myth. Others come to walk, to cycle, to sail, or to enjoy the heightened creativity of island life through painting, photography or crafts. Many love to lose themselves in the sights and scents of the sub-tropical plants and flowers that give Scilly its distinctive landscape; and others savor the flavor of fresh seafood in beachside cafes and local ales at a traditional pub. Everyone loves to hop from island to island by boat experiencing many natural wonders – puffins, seals, dolphins and a multitude of rare, and migrating birds.

All this, plus life's simple pleasures; from beachcombing barefoot on deserted beaches, collecting shells and picnicking on the sand, to watching the sunset and gazing at the stars.

Above all, Scilly gives you to the space and freedom to do everything – or next to nothing. Magical, peaceful and unforgettable; Scilly will leave you longing to return.

In 1975 the islands were designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The designation covers the entire archipelago, including the uninhabited islands and rocks, and is the smallest such area in the UK.

Tourism accounts for 85% of the islands' income, due to their special environment, favorable summer climate, relaxed culture, efficient co-ordination of tourism providers and good transport links by sea and air to the mainland. The majority of visitors stay on St Mary's, which has a concentration of holiday accommodation and other amenities.

Of the other inhabited islands, Tresco is run as a timeshare resort, and is consequently the most obviously tourist-oriented. Bryher and St Martin's are more unspoilt, although each has a hotel and other accommodation. St Agnes has no hotel and is the least-developed of the inhabited islands.

Tourism is highly seasonal due to its reliance on outdoor recreation. However, the tourist season benefits from an extended period of business in October when many birdwatchers ('birders') arrive.

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The Isles of Scilly, like nowhere else in England. The islands, located off the coast of Cornwall, has the mildest climate on the UK. Gardens with mediterranean and sub-tropical plants, swimming with seals, riding horses along the beach, or just watch the sunset... islands for you to treasure. - Courtesy of

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Courtesy of Nature/Parks/Beaches Tresco Abbey Garden

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Courtesy of Nature/Parks/Beaches Bryher Island

Courtesy of Diving/Snorkeling Sailing Centre

Courtesy of Historic Sites Bant's Carn Burial Chamber and Halangy Down Ancient Village

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Travel Information  Travel Information

St. Mary's is the only island with a significant road network. The island also has taxis and a community bus service. On St Mary's, you can hire electric powered golf cart type buggies for use on the island's metalled road network.

Air access to the islands is via St. Mary's Airport. Fixed-wing aircraft services, operated by Isles of Scilly Skybus.

By sea, the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company provides a passenger and cargo service from Penzance to St Mary's. The other islands are linked to St. Mary's by a network of inter-island launches.

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History: It is likely that the islands were much larger at one time, and perhaps joined together into one island named Ennor. Sea level rise flooded the central plain around 400–500 AD, forming the current fifty-five islands and islets. The word Ennor is a contraction of En Noer (Moer, mutated to Noer), meaning the 'great island'.

English-Speaking?: YES

Weather: The Isles of Scilly have one of the mildest and warmest climates in the United Kingdom. The average annual temperature is 11.8 C (53.2 F).

Winters are among the warmest in the country due to the moderating effects of the ocean. Summers are not as warm as on the mainland. They are also one of the sunniest areas with on average 7-8 hours per day (July).

Currency: British Pounds

Tours Tours

St Mary's Boatmen's Association

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Dining  Restaurants and Dining

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Accommodations  Hotel and Accommodations

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Random User Comments

Dave D. wrote about Dominica:

"Dominica was another stop on our Caribbean cruise. Here's an excerpt from my blog post about our day in Dominica:

The bus departed from the pier at 10:30am and we were en route to our first stop up in the mountains for a hike to a waterfall. As we drove through town, it looked really poor - more than the other places we've visited. During our history lesson of Dominica we learned that the island is 99% volcanic rock and 1% limestone, that there are 17 dormant volcanoes and 365 rivers - one river for every day of the year, and during leap years they find another river, was the joke.

The bus stopped after the 45-minute drive through the mountains, and we were at the entry point of the rain forest for the walk to Spanny's Waterfall. A few people stopped to use the facilities but the rest of the group began their walk through the rain forest - great tour guide, just leaving us to navigate on our own. The walk was roughly 20-minutes and was a pretty substantial hike through the mud. We saw a lot of interesting and colourful plants along the way, but surprisingly no bugs. The waterfall was absolutely beautiful. Could have spent a lot more time there.

Back on the bus, we made our way down the mountain and to Mero Beach, which is a black sand beach. The drive down the mountain was a little easier to handle than the drive up. Baron sure did like to grind the gears, and take the turns pretty fast. The beach was pretty interesting, seeing that I've never been to a black sand beach before. The water looked really murky, but was surprisingly clear - the black sand makes the water clarity deceiving. Because we were with the tour group, we didn't have to pay for the chairs/umbrella, and we were given a free drink at the bar.


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Brion H. 62 
Vera H. 12 
Diane D. 10 
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