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ScillyOnLine recommends - places and days out

Older places and days out reviews: 2012/2013

Weds 27th March 2013 - Bant's Carn, St Mary's
On this cold, but sunny Spring morning, a run around at Bant's Carn was just what the doctor ordered. We rod
e our bikes up to Telegraph and down the bumpy track called McFarland's Down; in the summer season, you could also catch the bus which stops at the top of this road.

A perfect spot for hide and seek

Bant's Carn is a bronze age burial chamber, which lies at the top of a hill, with the remains of an Iron Age village clustered on the slope below. The view across to Tresco, Bryher and St Martin's is fantastic. The site is a perfect natural playground, with lots of rocks to clamber over and jump off - perfect for lightsaber battles, and hide and seek. We couldn't drag the kids away from the Ancient Village, but there is also a lovely, secluded beach (known locally as 'Lingey' or 'Creeb' beach) just below here, which you can often enjoy all to yourself.

If you'd like to stay near here, at the quiet but stunning Northern end of St Mary's, we'd recommend Sylina B&B or the self catering units at Morgelyn. For bike hire there are two options; St Mary's Bicycle Hire or Book a Bike on Scilly


Sunday 19th August 2012 - Carreg Dhu garden, St Mary's
This isn't exactly a 'secret spot', but it is virtually our front garden, and it's also a fab place for a picnic, a pause on your walk around St Mary's, or a game of hide-and-seek for the children. These lovely gardens (free to enter) were established and continue to be maintained by a team of volunteers, so donations towards upkeep are gratefully received. Or there's a bag of tools available beside the donations box if you prefer to show your appreciation with a bit of weeding!

Click on any image for a slideshow          

The chickens, ducks, chicks and ducklings that you may have spotted wandering the gardens this year are escapees from my nieghbour's front garden. It's all very free range here at Longstone / Carreg Dhu!

Carreg Dhu is about a 15 minute walk from Hugh Town. Sadly, the cafe just up the track (at Longstone Heritage Centre) is no longer open, so for sustenance you'll have to walk a bit further - either up the main road to Kafehaus on High Lanes, or towards Old Town for Old Town Inn, Old Town Cafe, or Tolman Cafe.


Monday 20th August 2012 - blogs about Scilly
I don't 'tweet' much and I've never written a blog. But this week I've come across a couple of lovely blogs about Scilly, in which the authors describe, much better than I ever could, what makes a holiday to Scilly so special.

Karen Constable's blog 'Good times' is a neat little summary, in words and photos, of her recent stay on the islands. Her other blog posts are worth a read too, I liked the ones about Kayaking trips, as this is one of my favourite activities and undoubtedly one of the best ways to get a new perspective on Scilly.

The Custody Sergeant's blog 'Come rain or shine' is a much lengthier piece, recounting one day from his recent holiday with his family, camping on The Garrison on St Mary's. This really is a typical Scilly day, starting gloriously sunny but with mizzle and rain in the afternoon, and a storm brewing by bedtime. It's a great read, and gives you a great taste of days out on the islands..


Sunday 13th May 2012 - A day on St Agnes
It's not my intention to include every lovely day out with my kids in these pages, but this was just one of those amazing, Scilly days - full of sunshine and good things, and providing a host of recommendations which regular visitors will recognise and anyone new to the islands will want to try too.

Playing on Periglis beach

We started our day with take-out coffees from the Turks head (try their hot chocolate with brandy too - great on a colder day), and a gentle amble to Periglis beach, nestled between the meadow and St Agnes church. The sand here is very fine and white, and the children set to work building a sand city while some of the adults braved the crystal clear waters for a swim...most of them wearing wetsuits. Be warned! Although the sea on Scilly looks like a caribbean idyl on days like this, the water is pretty cold, especially at the start of the summer. But the clarity is remarkable, and the underwater landscape of sea kelp, anemones and the occassional fish is a simply beautiful. If you make the effort to swim here, you won't be disappointed.

After our picnic lunch on the beach, we walked past Troytown campsite to their farm shop, for excellent home-made ice-creams and service with a smile. The children reccommend the chocolate and honeycomb varieties; my own reccommendation would be to remember the wetwipes if you are planning to give your two-year-old a whole cornet to themselves!

Playing on Periglis beach

Next we stopped off at Coastguards Cafe, a little oasis of calm with charming decor (look out for the hand-crafted tables outside, and paintings inside by local artist Emma Eberlein), where they serve a lovely cup of tea or coffee. They do good food here, too, but we just had a couple of pieces of cake today - for those who hadn't partaken of the ice-cream, you understand.

On the day we visited, there was an art exhibition taking place in the reading room beside the lighthouse, to raise funds for the 'Island Hall project' (learn more on their Facebook page). So we got to admire some stunning paintings, sculptures and jewellery, and I bought a great 'beach plastic' necklace also made by Emma Eberlein. At other times, you can buy Emma's jewellery (and that of other local jewellers Fay Page and Rebecca Smith) at the St Agnes bulb shop, just down the road.

We finished up back at the Turks Head, enjoying a jug of Pimms while the children played on the beach below the slipway, and some of our number enjoyed their second swim of the day. On the boat back to St Mary's, I couldn't think of anywhere in the world I would have rather been. Days out simply don't get better than this.

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All content © Susie Taylor 2012 (including all images, unless stated otherwise). Last updated 09-Jun-2014