Isles of Scilly 2018 Pictures Days 1 and 2

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This trip literally got off to a stormy start, with Storm Callum preventing us from getting beyond Exeter, and train delays on the way too. However we made the best of it with a nice trip to Exmouth. Once we finally reached Scilly we made up for lost time with several intense and exciting days of walking and exploring. We started off with the Garrison Walk, visited St. Martins and Tresco, as well as explored St. Mary's itself with an epic walk to Peninnis Head and across to Juliet's Restaurant with an amazing view. St. Martins' long sandy beaches lived up to expectations and Tresco with its Abbey Garden and more coastal walking was also excellent. So despite being delayed for 3 nights in Exeter it was still a successful trip. Renée and I will definitely consider a return to Scilly in the future. A British gem that feels far more exotic than you might expect.

Most pictures were taken on my Panasonic Lumix FZ200 camera where the long 600mm zoom came in very useful at times again. The iPhone 6S Plus camera performed well also, especially when I had battery issues with the FZ200.

Please see below for an index to this trip.

Days 1 and 2
Fri 12/10/2018 - Sat 13/10/2018
London to Exeter, Storm Callum (55)
Day 3
Sun 14/10/2018
Exmouth. (123)
Day 4
Mon 15/10/2018
Flight to Scilly, Garrison Walk. (202)
Day 5
Tue 16/10/2018
St. Martin. (228)
Day 6
Wed 17/10/2018
Penninis Head, Juliet's, Porthcressa Beach. (167)
Day 7
Thu 18/10/2018
Tresco. (268)
Day 8
Fri 19/10/2018
Trip Home. (88)
Paddington (7)
Train Ride from Hell (11)
Exeter (23)
Day 2 (14)
Breakfast and bus ride to Exmouth (17)
Exmouth Beach Walk (31)
Cliff Walk (27)
Ice Cream and Return to Bus Stop (9)
Bus Back to Exeter (21)
Exeter (18)
Drive to Newquay (7)
Flight to Scilly (29)
Bell Rock Hotel (12)
Hugh Town (22)
Garrison Walk (94)
Hugh Town Part 2 (25)
Evening (13)
Boat to St. Martin's (28)
Eastern St. Martin's (52)
Higher Town (30)
Beach Walk to Lower Town (41)
Lower Town (27)
Middle Town and Walk Above Lower Town (23)
Waiting For Boat Back (7)
Boat Back (11)
Hugh Town Flowers and Mermaid Inn (9)
Peninnis Head (48)
Old Town Bay (12)
Carreg Dhu Garden and Longstone Café (16)
Holy Vale to Juliet's (26)
Juliet's Garden Restaurant and Bar (29)
Walk Back to Hugh Town (20)
Hugh Town and Porthcressa Beach (16)
Boat To Tresco (24)
Walk to Tresco Abbey Garden (23)
Tresco Abbey Garden (95)
Coast Walk to Old Grimsby (47)
Walk To New Grimsby and New Inn (5)
Heath Above New Grimsby (24)
Waiting For Boat Back (7)
Boat Back (15)
Hugh Town and Porthcressa Beach (20)
Evening (8)
Bell Rock Breakfast (5)
Flight to Exeter (65)
Exeter to London (18)

Total Photos: 1131

Photos Friday 12th October 2018 - Day 1


We had been looking forward to this trip for quite some time. But by Monday 8th the Synoptic charts and other forecasts showed the likelihood of a storm for today. Unfortunately the forecast held steady and on Wednesday someone from Skybus called us to warn of the possibility of delays and cancellations. The Scillonian ferry had already been cancelled for today and tomorrow. So if the plane got cancelled we'd get stuck in Exeter. The guy asked if we could make the Thursday morning flight but that was impossible. So the plan was to just go and hope for the best. I was told Exeter is a nice place and atleast we'd be away from home.

Indeed by today the storm had been named 'Callum' and a yellow wind warning had been issued by the Met Office covering the flight path. So it wasn't looking good. But we were determined to have a nice break from London whether in Exeter or in Scilly.

We completed our packing last night and got up at 7:30AM. We set off for my place at 8:30AM, stopping on the way for a few things. I was rather tired and anxious with the knowledge of the storm already gusting over 50mph with heavy rain in Scilly. I was hoping for slightly better conditions from mid afternoon so it wasn't a complete wash out yet. We were at my place by 9AM, by which time the morning flights were already all on hold. After a short pause we left after 10 minutes for Kenton tube station, arriving at 9:15AM. After a 6 minute wait wait we caught a Bakerloo line train which took us directly to Paddington tube station in about 25 minutes, arriving at 9:50AM. A simple 3 minute tunnel walk got us into the mainline station. We had a good look around and ended up buying croissants from EAT on the upper mezzanine level, where we relaxed for a while. We were deliberately an hour early so we could take it easy and relax. Soon it was time to head back downstairs as time got close.



Paddington Station. Looking down from the upper mezzanine level.




Relaxing over croissants while a hungry pigeon looks on rather closely. Back downstairs and ready to board our train.

Train Ride from Hell

8 minutes before departure we got to board the train on platform 10. We wasted no time getting to the front carriage where our seats were reserved. We had forward facing table seats which was nice. We departed on time too and were on our way in sunny warm conditions. It soon clouded over as we sped westwards past Slough at about 120mph.

However on arrival at Reading the day started to go pear shaped. The train got cancelled due to mechanical issues and we got turfed off! However a Cardiff train was due 10 minutes behind and was heading to Bristol Parkway where we could catch a Plymouth bound train to Exeter. So we got on the Cardiff train as advised as the next direct train was an hour away.

At Didcot Parkway I took interest in the towers of Didcot Power Station, which I normally see from above. It was starting to rain and we went through a heavy band of rain before clearing it past Swindon. However the day got worse when the driver reported that the connecting train towards Plymouth had been cancelled! So it could be a longer wait than expected.

We got to Bristol Parkway at 12:39PM. We thought we had 20 minutes to wait on the same platform we arrived on but that train was delayed too, almost an hour after we arrived and slipping back. The 13:31 train to Plymouth via Exeter appeared but that was also delayed. I ate my sandwiches while we waited in the cold wind. (Atleast it wasn't raining.) It was 2:04PM when it finally arrived. We had waited for 90 minutes and I reckoned we would miss checkin. I did call Skybus to let them know we were delayed atleast.

It was a major scrum to get onto the train. But we got on and even got seats. It was fully to the rafters though. We finally got moving at 2:07PM.

As we passed through Bristol Temple Mead I got the twitter notification that the plane had been cancelled as feared. Atleast it was cancelled early so we didn't have to get a cab to the airport. I called Skybus and got us rebooked on the 10:40 plane tomorrow. Although it is still hit and miss whether wind stops play tomorrow too. I also let the Bellrock hotel know. They were kind of expecting it due to the weather. Then I managed to book the Exeter City Centre Premier Inn for the night online from my iPhone while on the train between Bristol and Taunton. (I think the one near the station was already full.) The window was misted so I didn't try for many pictures from the 3rd train. Now the pressure was off and we relaxed the rest of the way to Exeter. As we progressed Southwestwards the wind got stronger and stronger with light rain developing. Finally we arrived at Exeter St. Davids at 3:38PM - woo hoo! It was after checkin would have closed had the flight been running and on time. It's easy to think we should have waited an hour in Reading but we couldn't have known the chaos to unfold in Bristol so never mind. We were glad to get off the train and get some fresh air!






A couple of selfies on the first train as we leave Paddington. Speeding Westwards out of London. Arriving at Reading. Train number 2 to Bristol. On the move again.





Passing Didcot Power Station. After a long wait, train number 3 was packed but we managed to get seats. Looking pretty wet and windy the further West we went.


Renée was knackered and didn't want to walk for 20-25 minutes to the hotel. So we caught a cab to the hotel instead from the taxi rank. We arrived at the hotel at 3:55PM and were soon checked in after 5 minutes as well as a taxi booked for 9:15AM tomorrow.

It transpires that we booked the last available room! We were the last booking before the hotel had become fully booked. I'm so glad I booked it online on the train or else we wouldn't have got in. That was a stroke of luck maybe on an otherwise dismal day. In the room we made some tea and had a short rest.



A nice cuppa tea always makes things a bit better! Our Premier Inn room for the night(after we'd tried the bed out of course).

At 4:30PM we walked to the shops just 5 minutes away. We saw on the map a couple of nice looking Thai restaurants not too far away too and fancied that cuisine this evening. We wandered along the High Street looking at the shops on the way. We also looked inside Guildhall Shopping Centre. We investigated the Orchid Thai restaurant near the cathedral before finding Jasmine Thai restaurant further along. The Jasmine menu was much better than Orchid. However it was an hour before the restaurant opened. So after more wandering and sheltering from increasingly heavy rain we returned to Jasmine at 6PM.





A damp walk to the shops. Looking around Exeter City Centre.





Looking around Exeter City Centre. St. Stephen's Church. Walking along the High Street. The Queen Street entrance to Guildhall Shopping Centre. Exeter Cathedral from the West.



The parade of shops including the Thai Orchid restaurant, and the surrounding Cathedral Yard. Nice view down the hill by Jasmine.

It was very nice inside Jasmine. I ordered a Pad Thai and Renée ordered a Thai Green Curry, both the vegetarian tofu versions. They were both delicious and filled the gap. We left the restaurant at 6:50PM. It was a very soggy 10 minute walk back to the hotel.




Jasmine Thair Restaurant.



Jasmine Thair Restaurant. Walking back along a nice alley way between South Street and the Premier Inn in the pouring rain.

Back in the room we wasted no time peeling off our wet clothes and hanging them up to dry. Now it was time to relax and retire for the night. I had booked breakfast for the morning so was looking forward to that. Here's to hoping we make it to Scilly somehow tomorrow.

Photos Saturday 13th October 2018 - Day 2

I woke up early at 6:15AM and Renée was awake an hour later. I looked at the weather. It didn't look as bad as yesterday but still touch and go whether we'd fly this morning or not. The plan was to call Skybus after breakfast and take advice before leaving for the airport.

After relaxing in bed until 7:40AM we got up and got ready. We packed our stuff in anticipation of going to the airport and went to breakfast 10 minutes later. We both had a huge breakfast with cooked and continental food. I took a banana with me for later. We returned to our room at 8:40AM.



Breakfast at the Premier Inn. Typical! Our destination was the windiest place in the country this morning!

I called Skybus at 9:05AM. The early planes in Cornish airports were already cancelled and there was both strong wind and fog on Scilly currently. But there was a chance of winds dropping a bit during the day so the Skybus representative said get to the airport. We checked out straight away and our booked cab arrived just before 9:15AM. Off we went.

We arrived at the airport at 9:30AM. We filled our luggage tags in on arrival. However at 9:40AM checkin got postponed for an hour. I was expecting a delay to wait for the wind to drop. Now the waiting game began. We looked at WHSmiths, chatted to other passengers and had a drink. The Lands End and Newquay flights got cancelled but there was still hope for us. It was a typical British airport though seemingly blocking mobile signals and charging for WiFi.

As we waited the sun came out in Exeter. However at St Mary's it was foggy and at Newquay the crosswind was too strong. Our plane was stuck at Newquay. So it was looking flaky today too now. If we didn't get going today we'd be stuck until Monday apparently. We were given a £10 voucher (£5 each) for refreshments and next info was at 12:40PM.

I went for a quick walk and saw that a bus goes to Exmouth from here. That was a tempting plan B, as well as heading towards Newquay too. But first we had to wait and see what would happen with the flight. By 12:15PM we were both getting restless and very bored. Alas at 12:40PM the plane was finally cancelled as it couldn't get out of Newquay and Scilly was still fogbound. The helpful checkin staff gave us two choices - the 11:50 from Newquay on Monday or cancel. We decided to take the 11:50 flight from Newquay. The staff also told us about the nearby Hampton by Hilton hotel. We decided to book it.



Arriving at Exeter Airport. Exeter Airport.

We spent our £10 voucher on drinks and a sandwich and then caught a free airport shuttle bus to the hotel at 1PM. We soon checked in and rested for a bit. We were too knackered by now and we decided to stay close to hotel. Thankfully the huge breakfast meant I wasn't hungry still.

At 1:50PM we explored the hotel for a short while. Then we returned to the room and slept until 3:30PM. I needed that! Renée ate my sandwich as I wasn't very hungry and didn't want it. I made a tea at 4PM and we watched TV until 5:45PM. Then we went to the bar to see what was available to eat. I also enquired about an electronic key that was supposed to work on my phone but wasn't working for me. I guess the system was faulty then.

Unfortunately for me the menu was crap for vegetarians. I was limited to soup and side dishes which sucked. It was expensive too. But I was hungry so just ordered them. Renée ordered a four cheese pizza. I charged the food to the room. The food arrived after 5-10 minutes. The portions for me were small but hopefully it would keep me going until breakfast. Renée's pizza was big and stuffed her so she was definitely well fed!




Our room in the Hampton Hotel. The view out the window wasn't bad. Relaxing watching TV and resting.




Downstairs in the lobby and restaurant area. Dinner time.

We went back to the room 6:35PM where we watched TV for the evening and retired for the night.

Click here to go forward to Isles of Scilly 2018 Day 3.