I needed a break.
I'd been feeling rather overwhelmed as of late. Things were piling up and I just couldn't seem to focus. So I decided to make use of the Easter 4 day weekend and get away. Alone. I firmly believe solo travel is very important, to help clear your head, and also just to gain independence and confidence.
I was invited to spend my time with Juliet's Garden on the Isles of Scilly, so that was that. Let's go.
Now the only problem with Scilly, is that it's a little tricky to get there...
By a little I mean it took me over 9 hours to get there. And yes, it is just off the end of Cornwall...
There are only three places you can fly to Scilly from. Exeter, Newquay or Land's End. Coming from London I chose Exeter. 3 and a half hour train from London.
The only trouble is, because the planes are so tiny- a grand total of 8 people- the weather can very much stop the plane. So when I arrived, the flight was cancelled. Undettered, me and a family of 7 hopped in a taxi and drove to Land's End- 3 and a half hours away.
Once there, it is only a short 15 minute flight, and to be honest, it is rather a beautiful flight
Finally after leaving my flat at 6:15am, I landed at just after 4:30pm, and while it was an epic journey, Scilly was pretty spectacular.
I was staying at Juliet's Garden. an award winning restaurant, with holiday cottages. Perched high up, it has unbelievable breathtaking views across the harbour and of the other islands. But there will be more on that in the next blog post.
After a whole day of travelling, I was pretty knackered, and being on a tiny island, most things closed at 5pm, which I was rather thankful of to be honest, as it gave me the excuse to unpack and chill out.
Juliet's Garden cottages, are all self catering, and a home away from home. With tea, coffee and biscuits in the cupboards, fresh cut flowers on the table, and THE comfiest bed I've slept in in ages, it's the perfect cosy getaway for those who are more about exploring, and less about being hotel holidayers.
Not a bad view to wake up to eh?
^ Yes I used self timer on this trip. Solo travel problems.
Saturday was my first full day in Scilly, and so I was up, coffee in hand, and ready to explore.
And who wouldn't want to explore this English paradise when it looked like this?
The Isles of Scilly are an archipelago of 5 inhabited and a few uninhabited islands off the the tip of Cornwall. The main island where I was staying is called St Mary's, with a grand total population of 1,723 people.
The Isles of Scilly, are home to some of the most visually beautiful scenes in the England. Typically English seaside, yet because it is an archipelago, Scilly receives warmer weather, and attracts birds, wildlife and greenery that England can't accommodate.
Life on St Mary's if pretty slow, a few cafes here and there, a post office, a few local shops, a pub or two and a few shops selling goods. That's about it. Places close at 5-6pm, shut on Sunday's and don't even think about getting a takeaway.
Even though tourism is Scilly's biggest sector, I found it pretty darn quiet. Ok, so I went in April, but I do think because of the effort to get there it stops some people, especially those with small kids.
Which to me, is a good thing- it's a secluded escape.
Is there anything more typically British than this sight?
As a kid I was a tomboy. Ok, well into my late teens, but that meant I was a clamberer, an explorer and generally liked the rough and ragged.
To me, beauty isn't just about those pure white sands and palm trees you see over and over again on Instagram. Nature is sooooo much more interesting than that.
On the south side of St Mary's, the beaches are rocky, and full of rock pools with little sea creatures and generally just amazing.
The view across the rocks, and into the water was mesmerizing. A bird would circle over head and dip down to the water, whilst a little boat would drift lazily by. Peaceful.
I was determined to make it to the water's edge, so clambered over the rocks, which got bigger and harder, but my inner tomboy was loving it.
After a morning of walking, a little sugar energy was needed.
Fudge by the sea. Had to be done.
Although if sweet treats are not your thing, then you might want to carry some loose change, as dotted about St Mary's are honesty boxes, with locals selling fresh home grown produce.
After lunch I decided to explore the north western coast, as the weather had picked up, and the sun was fully shining, showing off the sea in all its glory. When the sun shines, the sea turns pure blue, because unlike mainland Britain, there is no pollution here.
The west coast is much more remote, but this is where the beauty lies in my opinion. Just take a look!
I think it's OK to say, I've had enough, I need a break. Life's hard.
The only way I know how to truly take time off is be by myself, with no distractions. No people, no chores, no bloody twitter. Oh you'll get that here. There is no signal on Scilly. So unless you sit in your cottage with the wifi going, then you are truly at one with just yourself.
And that is a beautiful thing.
Scilly does have history too. The Isles of Scilly have been inhabited since the stone age, and so there are remnants of ancient villages dotted about.
Bant's Carn Burial Chamber is a Bronze Age burial site which when excavated in 1900, it revealed the remains of four cremations at the back of the chamber, as well as fragments of Neolithic and Bronze Age pottery.
Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.