104 wanderlust.co.uk September 2019
home decorations and tempting
glassjewellery were also on sale. Yet
another reason to stay longer.
Stay or go?
St Mary’s, the main island in the
group, is the gateway in and out
of the Scillies, and returning there
by ferry, after the tranquillity of
Bryher, felt like being back in the
Big Smoke. Its main settlement is
Hugh Town, gloriously set along
an isthmus, the ocean on each side.
With several shops, artists’ studios,
a couple of banks and a museum, this
is essentially the capital of the islands.
After only a few days in the Scillies,
I’d adapted to a slower, friendlier way
of life. It had been an alternate reality
of boat taxis; of birds that didn’t fly
away when you approached; of red
squirrels scampering by; of honesty
boxes and freshly caught fish. It was
actually a shock to see cars again, even
if they were few and far between on
St Mary’s – golf buggies seemed to be
the preferred transport for some
visitors. However, as with all the islands,
it offers good walking if you want it.
I went for a nature walk with Nikki
Banfield from the Isles of Scilly
Wildlife Trust. Birdsong filled the air
as we followed footpaths lined with
forget-me-nots and buttercups
through the Holy Vale to Higher
Moors and Porth Hellick Bay, passing
reed beds and patches of wildflowers
buzzing with bees. At one point we
took a curved boardwalk made of
recycled compressed plastic.
“There’s the equivalent of 1,000
plastic bottles per square metre,” said