So what is the perfect escape ? A trip with a sense of adventure ? Travel with a twist ? A location that is perhaps a little remote or somewhat undiscovered ? Yet accommodation that has a hint of luxury ? Scenery to take your breath away, to make you gasp in awe ? A place that has that special elusive feeling, an atmosphere that cannot easily be described or put into words ? Something a little out of the ordinary, to inspire and with a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ ? A destination with some ‘wow’ and an ‘x’ factor? Above all, an escape that is unique.
The perfect escape will obviously mean different things to different people for no two of us are the same, but if the above list floats your boat, then Tresco could be just the place for you. It ticks all those boxes and many many more.
The island is dreamy. Tropical palm trees in the Abbey Gardens and vast expanses of untouched sandy white beaches with crystal clear water. Yet ruggedness too, with rocky enclaves and barren outcrops. Rolling countryside intersperses the two, Cotswold-like in appearance with cows and bullocks chewing the cud. An island for all seasons, landscapes from all continents and yet all within an hour’s walk.
It really is magnificent and quite simply scenery to die for, not only on the island itself bit with views of the multitude of other Isles of Scilly, seemingly within touching distance. Indeed walking distance when the tides are low, so close is the neighbouring island of Bryher. Do not linger for too long though otherwise you might never make it back!
It is an island to explore and discover on foot, or bicycle. Indeed it is by far the best way to experience the magic of the island, to find its nooks and crannies, its deserted beaches and its historical ruins. Indeed there is no alternative, for there are no cars, just the occasional tractor or golf cart ferrying belongings and ‘belongers’ around.
Tresco has no bright lights or city sights. Yet it dazzles and dapples, as the moon and the sun throw off rays that radiate and glisten on the water and the horizon. As ever, the sea is a magnet to the eye. It changes every second, never twice does it look the same and each view seemingly more fascinating than the last. It mesmerises and astonishes in equal measure, one moment dark and menacing in appearance, the next offering a calm serene tranquility and all in the blink of an eye, or at least so it seems. In such a timeless environment, minutes and hours drift by without notice, but who cares?
If you do, you should not be there. Thats the beauty of it, oh except that the island’s only shop closes at 5.30pm. Yet if you miss that then there’s no need to fear, for the New Inn, the only pub on the island, or The Flying Boat Bar and Bistro, or The Ruin Beach Cafe will ensure that you will be amply fed and watered, so much so that you will be planning your return visit to each before you have even sampled some of the most exquisite desserts on offer.
So where to lay your head after a day of island discovery? Or perhaps after a hit on the tennis court, or a swim in one of the three island pools or the sea if you dare, or a session in the gym or a relaxing spa treatment ? The New Inn has a few rooms but the vast majority of visitors stay in one of the many beautiful and enchanting houses or apartments that are owned and managed by the Island. It is timeshare society too and it works. Nothing higher than two storeys, constructed of local stone and materials, very few the same and each fits seamlessly into the contours of the island and the context of its society. Expertly managed and impeccably kept, they offer informal, relaxed and understated luxury, the essence of an idyllic escape.
It all sounds too good to be true. Where can it possibly go wrong ? Well, there is no accounting for the British weather. A sunny day in May may be as just as likely as a dry day in July. Arrival to Scilly is by plane or by boat, yet only if they will stay afloat. If not, there could be delay and possibly by more than a day. But Tresco would not be the island it is without that element of risk, despite the near clockwork arrangements of the island authorities. It is all about playing that game of chance and avoiding the rain dance.
Once the traveller has made it to Tresco it is hard to leave. It is like a rare jewel, a gem or a treasure that once found is preciously guarded and for many visited again and again and again. It is looked after, cared for and polished yet from whichever angle it is viewed it is never the same, from one minute, hour or day to the next. It really is something of beauty.
Perfect is defined as ‘having all the required or desirable elements, qualities or characteristics; as good as it is possible to be’. An ‘escape’ is defined as a ‘form of temporary distraction from reality or routine’. Put the two together and you would go a long way to beat Tresco, provided the boats are running of course……