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Tresco Abbey Gardens

Wednesday 15 April 2015

After exploring St Mary's the day before, I was keen to discover some of the other islands that make up Scilly.

Now before I came to Scilly, I just presumed that travel between the islands would be frequent. How wrong was I.

The boat leaves St Mary's for each island once a day, and there are two times it returns. Miss the second boat and well... with no phone signal, its not worth thinking about.

So I could only visit one island per day. Keen to make the most out of time, I headed for Tresco as I'd heard stories of beautiful tropical gardens out there.

All aboard then!

A short 10 minute boat ride and I was on what can only be described as a glorious island. 

Far more remote than St Mary's, Tresco, the second largest island, is unique among the Scilly islands in that its landscape ranges from sheltered bulb fields, wetland and lakes, to some incredible white beaches as well rocky ones.

Tresco is also car free, meaning the land is pure and unspoiled. 

I have to say Tresco is just incredibly beautiful. I just stood there looking out over the grassland to one side of me, and then to the vast lush ocean on the other. It really is a sight to behold.

Now Tresco really doesn't have too much to do in the way of amenities, however it does have one great attraction. The Tresco Abbey Gardens.

The gardens were established in the 19th century, originally as a private garden. Because of the mild winter climate, the long hours of summer sunshine, and high walls and hedges around the garden sheltering it from the Atlantic winds, the garden now has exotic plants from all over the world such as the Mediterranean, South America, South Africa and Australasia, making it a sub tropical paradise.

Today the sun was shining, and temperatures really lifted, making it perfect viewing.

With over 20,000 species of plant from over 80 countries, this really is a leisurely stroll. But trust me, you don't want to rush these gardens.

The gardens are also home to some amazing wildlife too. I have no idea what this bird is, and I was lucky to catch it in time as it was a fast one!

Palm trees! In England!

Children of Tresco sculpture

The gardens are also home to the fascinating Valhalla Collection. The collection contains roughly 30 figureheads, as well as other decorative carvings from sailing ships. Most of the figureheads are from 19th century and come from merchant sailing vessels that became shipwrecked on the Isles of Scilly.

The wildlife was just stunning, with such colour and brightness.

It really was mesmerizing.

Being alone here was advantageous as it was such wonderful place to go and just loose yourself for a couple of hours.

First sunglasses moment of the year.

The gardens are also home to some amazing sculptures and fixtures too, making it so diverse.

With the sun beating down, nestled among palm trees and tropical plants, you really could be anywhere in the world.

England really doesn't spring to mind. 

After a good 2-3 hours later, with my imagination roaring, I was in need of some food. 

Now Tresco is far more remote than St Mary's. There basically is 1 post office, one convenience shop and 2 options for food. 

The pub or a cafe.

Yep, that and a fair few cottages are about it.

Being on a island, I felt like I should play the sea town gal and headed for The New Inn Pub.

I'm very glad I did as it a fantastic pub at that!

It was Easter Sunday so every Islander had trekked it over to the beer garden, or so it seemed.

There was live music from a rather good 90s Brit Pop singer, but it was the discovery of a special Easter Sunday special dinner. I may be out on a remote island, but this gal still got her Easter Roast. Oh yeah.

First though was scillonian crab and salmon on toast.

Oh you can't beat fresh fish can you?

Of course, nothing could beat the roast. I mean I never, ever thought I'd be eating roast lamb, roast potatoes and even stuffing out here!

It really did top an excellent day.

You'd think by the size of the dessert they don't get many customers- which in comparison to a mainland pub, probably not- as it was huge!

I still wiped the glass clean.

I spent so long in the beer garden, sipping on sloe gin, listening to Oasis and James tunes. Oh Tresco is just so relaxing. It felt like a world away from reality, and for a minute, time just slowed right down.

Sadly time did not stop completely and it was not on my side. There was a boat to catch, as while it may be beautiful, I didn't fancy being stranded on Tresco.

I may be loving being remote, but I still like a good old warm bed.

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  1. What beautiful colours in your photos! That garden looks gorgeous, and the picture of the coast could almost be California!
    Lots of love,

    SilverSpoon London

  2. Gorgeous photos! And being stranded on Tresco isn't so bad ;) haha, it's quite weird at night time though as there are no street lights, so you have to walk back from the restaurant in the dark. The New Inn's crab is amazing, and as well as the cafe there's also the Flying Boat Club which does amazing food and has beautiful views over the sound towards Bryher!

    C x | Lux Life

  3. My first ever time on a plane (this was on a cessna) was to Isles of Scilly! Looks so colourful and you were so lucky with the weather. I remember it being very, very wet when I went even though it was mid-August!

    Ben | www.twentyfirstcenturygent.com

  4. Wow it looks absolutely stunning. One to add to my travel list!

    Story Of A Girl

  5. AW WOW!! That's where my family are from :) The bird you saw is a golden pheasant and the children of Tresco statue are my cousins!! SO glad you had nice weather as there's nowhere better in England when the sun shines. We're going down last week of July and I can't wait :)

    Rosie xx

  6. Gosh, I'd honestly think you were in Italy or Morocco from seeing those photos of the Tresco Abbey Gardens! I'd love to visit Scilly, hard as it is to reach - it looks so beautiful and wild. x

    Tamsin / A Certain Adventure

  7. The mysterious bird is a golden pheasant.

  8. I love the ship figureheads and all the colours are so vibrant - the blue wood posts, the yellow and red bird - fantastic!

    Suze | LuxuryColumnist

  9. Wow, how incredible. Your photos look amazing and I now want to visit!

    Anoushka xx www.Anoushkaloves.com