Isles of Scilly holiday guide: what to do, plus the best beaches, restaurants and hotels

July 3, 2015

Azure seas, sub-tropical gardens and white sand beaches and just 15 minutes from Cornwall … Gavin McOwan on the Isles of Scilly’s top places to eat, sleep and enjoy

Few place names are as definitive as Land’s End, but the sliver of Britain that crashes into the Atlantic at the tip of Cornwall was only the starting point for my trip to the Isles of Scilly, a journey that felt like an adventure in itself. Mine started on the overnight sleeper from London to Penzance, before I boarded a 16-seater twin-engine aircraft at Land’s End airport. The plane was so small I could have leaned forward and touched the pilot’s shoulder. Ten minutes later, the archipelago’s Caribbean-like blue waters were glistening below us.

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When you arrive in the Scillies from the mainland, it feels like you’ve journeyed back in time. It is so isolated and small – with a population of just 2,200 on five inhabited islands – that the sense of community is very strong, but also very welcoming. And it’s so safe (a recent job advert for a constable on “possibly the most enviable policing post in the UK or even the world” went viral) that no one locks their doors and kids can run wild across the islands like Enid Blyton characters.

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