On the 11th of May 2016 myself and 3 friends set off from Swindon Train Station for a week on the Isles of Scilly, flying from Lands End. While on the train I had a call to say that the flight had been cancelled because of fog and that we would have to get accommodation in Penzance and try the next day. After visiting several places to stay we eventually found a lovely B and B called Shoreline Guest House. We booked in and then went for a walk round Penzance and had a very nice Italian meal.
Next morning we were advised that no flights were going again due to fog, so we boarded the Scillonian for a 2 hour 20 minutes crossing.
On arrival at St Mary’s we made our way to the Wingletang Guest House, and were met by Jacqui and David. We were shown to our rooms and they were all excellent. The breakfasts were excellent and David and Gee were excellent hosts. Jacqui was not there all week as she was visiting family.
Next morning we started our trips to the Islands, going to St Martins first, then Tresco the next day to see the world famous gardens.
On Sunday we decided to do the trip round the Western islands to see puffins and seals before landing on St Agnes. While going round the Islands our boat hit a rock, after about 5 minutes we were given life jackets to put on, there was 48 people and 2 crew on board. The life raft was deployed and then we saw several small boats coming, we were put into 3 larger boats and then transferred to the large Lifeboat and the Hospital boat. By this time there was a helicopter flying above in case it was needed to winch anyone up. Luckily there were no injuries and we did not get wet. On arrival back on the Quay we were taken to a cordened off area where we took our life jackets off and after a head count were given cups if tea and then let go. The boat, the Surprise made it back with 2 people pumping out the water.
That evening we were on the BBC national news and Sky news ! With pictures taken from the helicopter. I think the reason for the headlines was that this was the largest rescue that had been carried out on the Isles of Scilly in over 60 years. We were also on the local news for 3 days and in the Swindon Advertiser. Quite an experience. Our grateful thanks to the RNLI and all the other people involved.
Next day we continued to St Agnes in another boat.
We found all the islands were different and the sea was crystal clear and the sand was lovely white and soft to walk on.
We had some lovely meals and evening entertainment in some of the pubs. We also went to the Scillonian Club and were made very welcome and had most of our meals there with a sea view and the prices were very reasonable and the helpings large ! We took part in a quiz 1 night with them and came last!
On the 18th May we were off to the airport for our flight back only to find that no flights had arrived from Lands End because of an emergency there. After an hour’s wait the planes started to arrive. We took off and on arrival at Land’s End airport were bused to Penzance train station where we had missed our train so had to rebook. We arrived back in Swindon 2 hours late.
They say things always happen in threes!
Even with the hiccups we had a very enjoyable holiday and I would certainly recommend the Isles of Scilly to anyone wishing to enjoy the Islands and walking. St Mary’s was lovely and no fast food restaurants in sight. Lots of lovely shops and restaurants and very friendly people.