Learning to live a quiet (ish) life in the Scilly Isles

Living in mainland Britain all our lives, Phil and I are used to the hustle and bustle of city and town life. Cars, buses, trains are a feature of our everyday lives and we’re used to having our pick of 5 or 6 supermarkets, many of which are now open 24/7. Here on the Island of Tresco, things are a little different. Island life may be quiet and tranquil in many ways, with only the delightful notes of birdsong interrupting the beautiful sunrises and sunsets over the ocean, yet Phil and I found island life to be surprisingly sociable on Tresco…

Phil and I flew from Exeter International Airport on a little 17-seater 'Skybus', arriving on the island of St Mary's around 60 mins after take off.

Phil and I flew from Exeter International Airport on a little 17-seater ‘Skybus’, arriving on the island of St Mary’s around 60 mins after take off.

A jet boat then took us from St. Mary's to the island of Tresco.

A jet boat then took us from St. Mary’s to the island of Tresco.

At around 1.15 square miles, or 297 hectares, Tresco is the second largest inhabited island in the Isles of Scilly.

At around 1.15 square miles, or 297 hectares, Tresco is the second largest inhabited island in the Isles of Scilly.

No cars are permitted on the island, with islanders mostly travelling around the island on foot or by bike (bikes are readily available for hire). Access to the island is via a combination of plane and boat, with farm tractors and passenger trailers used to transport arriving visitors from the quay to their respective accommodation.

No cars are permitted on the island, with islanders mostly travelling around the island on foot or by bike (bikes are readily available for hire). Farm tractors with passenger trailers transport arriving visitors from the quayside to their accommodation.

Tresco Stores is the only food shop on the island. As Phil and I worked from 8am to 5pm each day, it was a mad cycle ride home to get to the store before it shut at 5:30pm!

Tresco Stores is the only food shop on the island. As Phil and I worked from 8am to 5pm each day, it was a mad cycle ride home to get to the store before it shut at 5:30pm!

Table tennis is pretty big over here, with islanders meeting twice a week to play in the community centre. It's a pretty competitive sport over here - Phil and I were completely annihilated by the locals!

Table tennis is pretty big over here, with islanders meeting twice a week to play in the community centre. It’s a pretty competitive sport over here – rather embarrassingly, Phil and I were completely annihilated by the locals!

Other sports feature heavily aswell and Phil took part in a game of 5-a-side football and a cricket match whilst we were on the island too.  Image curtesy of http://www.tresco.co.uk the-island sporting-life

The island is perfect for running too, and I was able to do a wonderful 6-mile run all the way round the coast of Tresco (you might just spot me in this picture here...).

The island is perfect for running too, and I was able to do a wonderful 6-mile run all the way round the coast of Tresco. You can just spot me in this picture here…

Phil and I had to learn to become less reliant on technology - only half the island has phone reception, and only a handful of places have wi-fi. Here's Phil using the wi-fi at The New Inn to write a TRIAD blog.

Phil and I had to learn to become less reliant on technology – only half the island has phone reception, and only a handful of places have wi-fi. Here’s Phil using the wi-fi at The New Inn to write a TRIAD blog. I guess there are worse places to spend a Sunday afternoon…

 

It was harvest festival time whilst we were on Tresco, so I went along to the service at St Nicholas Church on Sunday morning to see the wonderful display of produce provided by the Kitchen Garden at Tresco Abbey Garden.

It was harvest festival time whilst we were on Tresco, so I went along to the service at St Nicholas Church on Sunday morning to see the wonderful display of produce provided by the Kitchen Garden at Tresco Abbey Garden.

 

The beautiful white sandy beaches are perfect for a spot of beach combing – I found lots of lovely shells. Phil and I had both brought swimwear with us to swim in the ocean, but in the end the water was just too cold and we chickened out!

The beautiful white sandy beaches are perfect for a spot of beach combing – I found lots of lovely shells. Phil and I had both brought swimwear with us to swim in the ocean, but in the end the water was just too cold and we chickened out!

 

There are only 2 other places to eat on the island - the Ruin Beach Cafe and the Flying Boat Club, so Phil and I were of course duty-bound to try them both out. The Ruin Beach Cafe has an enticing cocktail menu too…

There are only 2 other places to eat on the island – the Ruin Beach Cafe and the Flying Boat Club, so Phil and I were of course duty-bound to try them both out. The Ruin Beach Cafe has an enticing cocktail menu too…

 

…so on our last evening here we enjoyed a couple of cocktails with a few friends from Tresco Abbey Gardens.

…so on our last evening here we enjoyed a couple of cocktails with a few friends from Tresco Abbey Gardens.

 

We were sad to leave the isalnd behind after a wonderful 2 weeks there, but the sunrise softened the blow a little bit...

We were sad to leave the isalnd behind after a wonderful 2 weeks there, but the sunrise softened the blow a little bit…

Though Tresco is notorious for having a misty and damp climate, the weather was glorious whilst we were on Tresco and our wet weather gear stayed safely tucked away in our suitcases. I think the best way to finish this blog is to share with you some of my favourite shots of Tresco…

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