They’re one of the UK’s best kept secrets, but now is the time to shine a light on them and show the whole world just what’s on offer. Here’s 21 interesting facts about The Isles of Scilly…
The Isles of Scilly are actually a chain of islands known as an ‘archipelago’.
Despite the Isles being 45 km off the British mainland, they are classed as part of Cornwall, where you will find further Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Heritage Coast locations.
Five of the islands are inhabited all year round.
The Scilly Isles have, historically, proven to be very hazardous to passing ships and tankers. Specifically, the first super tanker sunk off the Seven Stones Reef and was responsible for dumping oil up to 120,000 tons in the sea. The wreck of the Torrey Canyon broke multiple records of dubious honour, with it being the biggest and most expensive shipwreck of all time.
There’s more than 530 wrecks known to be off the coast of the Isles.
Tresco is the second largest of the 5 islands.
In total there are 140 rocky islets as well as 5 inhabited islands.
Their main industry is exporting daffodils to the British mainland.
The Isles of Scilly is one of the few places you can see puffins in the UK
It takes 2 hours 45 minutes to get there by ferry and there is only one company that can get you there.
But you can also fly there from Land’s End, Newquay and Exeter if you fancy it.
St Mary’s is the only island with roads.
And Hugh Town is the largest town with just over 1,000 people.
63% of all people there work in the tourist industry.
Isle of Scilly Flag, the Scillonian Cross
Gig racing involves rowing as fast a possible between all the main islands and is thought to originate from the race to retrieve treasure from shipwrecks.
The climate on the Isles is generally pretty mild, however, during the colder months of the year it is likely that you will find winds start to pick up and cause storm conditions. However, thanks to the sunnier skies above Scilly than you would normally not expect from the rest of the UK, you’ll actually find tropical plants growing on some of the islands.
It’s also a fantastic spot for birdwatchers and wildlife enthusiasts. During October and heading towards the winter, it’s possible you’ll see thousands of birds migrating across the skies.
Puffins, Isle of Scilly
The Scilly Isles are said to be the final resting place of King Arthur, where the legendary hero is buried.
The Scilly Isles remain a popular holiday destination for Brits and those visiting from overseas. Perhaps most famously, it was once the regular holiday haunt of Britain Harold Wilson.
The islands have an uplifting nickname – the Fortunate Isles – and this may well be to do with the fact that it gets such brilliant weather!
Do you have any interesting facts about the Isle of Scilly that we’ve missed? Share them here in the comments section below!