The morning started off brisk but mostly sunny. We grabbed our sack breakfast on the way out the door at 7:30 to head straight to the Land’s End airport. This tiny little airport has been newly remodeled and provides flights to the Scilly Isles, a mere 28 miles across the Atlantic Ocean. There are two possibilities of aircraft that fly the route to St. Mary’s Island…. small and smaller. The Twin Otter seats about 16 passengers while the smaller plane only 5. Luckily, we got to fly the small plane! Someone had told us that the Scilly flight was like flying off an aircraft carrier or flying off a cliff. That sounds like loads of fun right? There is another way to get to the island, but it takes 12 times as long, a 15 minute flight versus a 3 hour boat ride. I’ll take the flight off the cliff thank you! It really wasn’t that bad, in fact, it was a rather smooth take off! I expected there to be an insane amount of turbulance due to the wind and the miniscule size of the plane but there really wasn’t. The views of Land’s End and the Isles on approach are completely worth air craft carrier feel of the take off and landing.

15 minutes after take off we were at the St. Mary’s airport on the Scilly Isles. There are buses waiting there to take anyone ( for a fee) down to the towns. They will literally drop you off where ever you want to go and pick you back up if you have a return flight.

The Scillies are a group of islands 28 miles west of Land’s End. The main island is St Mary’s, and the others are accessible by boat from there. Since we had only one day, we stayed on St Mary’s. At the Scilly Cart company we met up with Michael Pritchard and his assistant George. They showed us the ins and outs of working the golf cart and the best routes around the island. Heather was not quite ready to take the wheel since the golf carts drive on the road with the regular cars, so I drove for the first part of the day.

We started off with a visit to Porthmellon beach where we did a little beach combing and found some of the brightest yellow and orange shells ever. There was also a good bit of sea glass scattered among the giant piles of seaweed. We then headed up to the north part of the island and stopped at Juliet’s Garden for a cream tea. That’s when the fun began!

The setting was idyllic with flowers, palms and a terrace overlooking the water and harbor of Hugh Town. However, the serenity of a cream tea in such a setting did not last. We had learned from our bus driver that the birds are “friendly” and will eat out of your hand. As soon as our scones were delivered we had the Isle of Scilly version of “The Birds.” These birds were not just friendly they were attack birds and our relaxing cream tea was spent shooing birds away from our plates!

After our tea, we resumed our self-guided golf cart tour of the island. We continued north to a tower from 1803., which first served as a gun tower, but later as a telegraph tower and a broadcast tower. In 1898 the first telegraph was received here from the mainland. We parked the cart on the side of the road (careful to only park it where we’d park a car) and set off on a foot path in search of some Iron Age ruins – a burial chamber and a village. After about a 15 minute walk through forests, and along cliffs, we came upon a couple steps into a clearing above the water. And there was ancient, 4,000 year old burial chamber…still mostly intact!!! We continued down the steep field-like hill and came across the obvious ruins of a village called Harangy Village – houses and courtyards and plots for farms were all evident in the rocks. It was truly a moment to wander through the foundations of 4,000 year old homes. 4,000 years old. Oldest thing I have ever touched, climbed on, or sat inside of!

WE headed back, and I was feeling brave enough to try the cart driving since I had read tthat traffic on the north side of the island is very light. But those roads – still so narrow and twisty!!! However, I did do fairly well…until we met a car coming the other way on the single-ish lane road with the hedgerows and stone walls. So I panicked…of course. I do not know how Courtney does it in a real car. She talked me through what to do, and we made it out alive. But soon thereafter, I returned the wheel to her and I resumed my navigational duties gladly!!

We drove on to New Town, another of the towns (really a stretch.. they are so tiny!) on the island. There are a total of about 10 miles of roads on the whole of St. Mary;s so getting from place to place, even at 12 mph on a golf cart is quick. We disembarked and hiked out on another footpath in search of the airport landing strip in between two cliffs! We did not make it all the way, but saw some great views, and found a WW I pillbox still fully intact at the end of the point. So amazing to see so much history spanning centuries… millenia really. We picked up some great sandwiches at a great little family run cafe on the beach there and ate in our golf cart overlooking the inlet.

Our next stop was a little shopping in Hugh Town. We tried to find the road to the Garrison, but got fairly turned around, so opted for town. There are several shops and cafes in town, and a beautiful boat harbor as well. We bought some cute jute bags at the I.O.S . (Isle of Scilly) shop, and hopped back in the cart. Next stop….the 16th century Harry’s Walls.

It was kind of tricky finding where to go to park and begin the hike to the walls, but we ended on a dead-end lane in some I climbed out the other side, and we began the vertical-like ascent through the woods to the


top of the hill where we found the ruins. The walls were ordered by Elizabeth I to be built in 1551 as protection from the French an Spanish, but policies changed and money ran out, and the fortress was left semi-constructed.

We dropped off the carts and then were shuttled to the airport for our flight back to Land’s End. ON the drive back, we stopped for dinner at the First Last Inn in Sennen for dinner. This was founded in the 1600s and was where visitors would stop to eat and drink before taking their horses or walking on to the end .

Upon returning, we went to the hotel lounge area to use the internet to catch up on blogs. We struck up a conversation with a lovely couple Mike and Liz who are from the border of Cornwall and Devon. We laughed as we exchanged travel stories and they gave gave us some great tips on places to visit in Devon. Truly a great way to end our evening! Wish we could take them with us.

Enjoying a full day of new place, and new friends-

Courtney and Heather