Work and the workplace are things most people would like to escape from – at least occasionally. So, while you’re not working why not look for a new and exciting place to visit. Not far from the coast of Cornwall you will find the beautiful archipelago of The Isles of Scilly. A place like no other in the UK, The Isles of Scilly are home to 2,200 people and makes the perfect close-to-home getaway for those travelling from the UK. There are five inhabited islands where visitors can stay and many more islands to visit and explore during your time there. Set against the dramatic backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean these isles offer a different pace of life with a history revolving around the sea.

Before arrival, guests have to make their way from the UK to the islands either by air or by boat from Cornwall. From the air, visitors have stunning aerial views of the UK coasts, Isles of Scilly islands, and the shipwrecks making it a warm welcome to island life. Making the 28-mile crossing by boat affords a close up of the dramatic sea that surrounds these beautiful islands and if you’re lucky you’ll encounter dolphins, rare seabirds and even basking sharks.

Our hotel of choice is the luxurious retreat of Karma St. Martin’s, located on the sandy beach paradise of St. Martin’s island. Karma St. Martin’s brings guests a sense of a traditional coastal manor, with all its charm and style, while having all the contemporary touches and luxurious facilities one could need. Set high on the hillside with gorgeous views towards the Tean Sound and the island of Tresco, the hotel boasts a spa, wine lounge, and an Ultimate Library book collection. The stunning views, just a stone’s throw from the beach, meant that Karma St. Martin’s is the perfect place for a couple’s mini-break, honeymoon or even a wedding. The hotel is also pet friendly and has a range of activities, making it a great location for a family holiday.

St. Martin’s contains some of the finest beaches across the whole of the British Isles, here there is a wide variety of flora and fauna to explore. Visitors can get up close to some of the wildlife by snorkelling with seals off the coast or simply joining other wild swimmers. If you’re looking for something less up-close and personal then visitors can take advantage of the Isles of Scilly being a Dark Sky Discovery Zone with St. Martin’s Observatory. Guests at Karma St. Martin’s can find books on stargazing in the library to help guide them in their night-time explorations.

Looking across to the other islands that make up the archipelago, St. Mary’s is the largest, boasting beautiful ancient woodland and a great insight into the Iron Age history of the islands. Visitors can discover the Iron Age burial chamber at Bant’s Carn or the ancient settlement at Halangy Down. Another island that is a must-visit is Tresco, the second-largest island in the archipelago and the site of the impressive Tresco Abbey Garden. Fist established in the 1830s and with over 20,000 exotic plants, this sub-tropical horticultural paradise is home to many plants that cannot be grown elsewhere in the UK. The Ultimate Library collection at Karma St Martin’s is full of titles on both native and more exotic plant life for guests to enhance their knowledge or gain inspiration for their own gardens.

The Faber Book of Gardens by Philip Robinson

The poetic appreciations of gardens by Andrew Marvell and John Keats sit alongside the horticultural passions of Frances Hodgson Burnett and the mythic power of gardens as described by Charlotte Bronte and William Blake. 

While there is so much more to explore on these islands, including the uninhabited parts of the archipelago, we only have so much space in this blog. Our final little gem of these islands is the food. With the freshest seafood you could imagine, the Isles of Scilly are the perfect place to try fresh crab, scallops, and mussels.

These super fresh delights can be found in restaurants all over the islands but we suggest the Cloudesley Shovell Restaurant at Karma St. Martin’s or the Ruin Beach Café on Tresco.

The Isles of Scilly make the perfect island getaway for those coming from the UK or further afield. With so much to explore and plenty of beaches to relax on, there is enough here for a lifetime.