Scilly Isles

A long walk off a short pier.

The Scilly Isles are the southernmost tip of the British Isles, off the end of Cornwall, and are considered to be a part of England (did you hear that, Land's End?). They have thriving communities, which are partially self sufficient, with their own shopping centres, hotels, and farms. The largest island is St. Mary's, but it is just 3 miles (5 kilometres) long in its longest direction.

The ferry service is expensive, but offers a nicely timed day-trip to the islands, with enough time to look around, and enjoy a much quieter piece of Cornwall. In fact, I recommend using the Scilly Isles if you want somewhere to visit - there are plenty of places to stay there.

The bus service on the island does not follow a strict timetable or route, and stops wherever someone flags it down, but it is timed well enough that you can use it to get somewhere and back in time for the departing ferry. And if all else fails, it's only 3 miles maximum to the town, just walk. In Cornwall, they torture tourists with insane double roundabouts, which are just asking for trouble. Add to that the fact that Cornish people cannot drive; twice during our visit we were very nearly hit on roundabouts when other drivers ignored our indicators and pulled onto the roundabouts into the side of our car. Go to Scilly instead; the islands are so small, you can walk in peace everywhere, and use boats for everything else. There is no need for cars.

The name is pronounced "silly", with obvious jokes about living on silly islands. In order to combat this, they are often referred to as the Isles of Scilly - but that doesn't stop anyone making fun.