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The Scillonian archipelago offers some of the finest walking to
be found anywhere in Britain. Not only are the islands sublimely
beautiful, but they have, for most part, been left untouched by
the ravages caused by the internal combustion engine.
If peaceful walking with fantastic sea views is what you like,
then the islands are a dream.
I generally stay in that lovely hotel: the St Mary's Hall.
This elegant town house, named after the original builder
and inspiration, Count Leon de Ferrari, offers an innovative
and alternative style of accommodation for Scilly. The hotel
boasts the Mediterranean Garden with many exotic plants, the
view of which can be enjoyed from the café terrace.
Ring 01720 422316 for enquiries or consult
their prices online before booking.
Each of the five inhabited islands is circumnavigated to some extent
by its own coast path, and there are countless lanes and footpaths
weaving in between.
In late winter, spring and summer these byways are bedecked by
swathes of wild flowers. Rarely are you far away from the crash
of the big green waves that constantly beat upon the westerly coasts
of the islands - and always you can breathe what must be the cleanest,
most unpolluted air in Europe.
A recent visitor survey showed that more than 95 percent of the
people who visit the islands say that walking is their favourite
pastime during their stay. The archipelago has its own enviable
microclimate. I am very lucky to be able to visit the island regularly
and I usually fly on Skybus's excellent services to St Mary's. Sometimes,
if I've the time, I take the Scillonian from Penzance, which offers
a slower but altogether more maritime approach.
People often ask which island I like best, and this I find impossible
to answer. Each of the four 'off-islands' is different - St Agnes,
Bryher, Tresco and St Martins all have their own beauties and wonders.
St Mary's, the main island, is full of pleasant surprises and offers
great walks for those who have just flown in for the day.
And don't forget that some of the uninhabited islands have fine
walks too. You can easily hire a local boatman to take you to one
of these and you can enjoy the extraordinary pleasure of playing
Robinson Crusoe for the day.
Walkers who wish to visit more than one island are best advised
to stay on the main island of St Mary's. When Martin visits the
archipelago to walk he stays at St Mary's Hall.
Click here to see a list of links to the walks.