Over the August Bank Holiday weekend, there was a cheerful and festive atmosphere on the charming island of St Mary’s. Bedecked with nautical bunting, the bustling streets of Hugh Town echoed with the sound of sea shanties and other musical performances from the stage on Holgate’s Green. The inaugural Isles of Scilly Regatta had begun.
There were all manner of comings and goings at St Mary’s Harbour: ferries and pleasure boats; traditional Scillonian gigs; and distinctive redwing sailing dinghies all made their way in and out of the bay. In the distance, HMS Sunderland, an impressive Naval Frigate could be seen, anchored offshore. Picking up a picnic from the Farm Deli, we sat on Town Beach and watched events unfold.
A favourite regatta moment for us came later, gazing out to sea from the island of Bryher and watching the Parade of Sail snaking through the sea mist to the harbour at Tresco. The highlight, however, was the Red Arrows’ aerobatic display in the skies above the archipelago. Excitement on the islands was running high, and none of us were disappointed. The Red Arrows are always impressive, but spiralling through a blue sky, over the turquoise Atlantic waters, they were truly breathtaking. A flawless finale to a lively celebration of the islands’ maritime heritage.
To discover more about the Isles of Scilly, go to www.visitislesofscilly.com. There are Skybus flights to St. Mary’s all year round from Land’s End and Newquay Airports, and between March and October from Exeter Airport. From spring to late-autumn, the Scillonian lll passenger ship sails up to seven days a week between Penzance and St. Mary’s. For travel information, visit www.islesofscilly-travel.co.uk.
Laura’s trip to the Isles of Scilly was complimentary as part of a press trip kindly organised on our behalf. Thank you to Visit Isles of Scilly for arranging such a memorable trip.
Images by Laura Pashby