Autumn is a golden time to explore the Isles of Scilly. With the shorter days come fields of budding scented narcissi, stunning sunsets and a dazzling array of birds and wildlife. What better way of enjoying the unique essence of the archipelago, 28 miles off the tip of Cornwall, than a long weekend of walking the islands with expert guides showing the way?
This year’s Walk Scilly Weekend, running from 12 to 16 October across all five inhabited islands, features 19 guided walks, kicked off by a fun welcome party on St. Mary’s. There’s the chance to turn bat detective on an evening walk using your very own bat detector kit, roam rock pools for Scilly’s coastal creatures, spot birds, bees and butterflies, tour island farms and watch the sun sink below the Atlantic horizon on a circular sunset stroll.
Highlights of the long weekend include discovering the delights of autumn foraging on St. Martin’s and St. Agnes with award-winning forager and wild food author Rachel Lambert. Join the local COSMOS group for a dark skies walk on St. Martin’s, the perfect place to gaze up into unpolluted darkness and marvel at the Milky Way, planets and stars in all their splendour.
Let resident ornithologist and naturalist Will Wagstaff take you in search of exotic birds and wildlife on Tresco. Or explore the uninhabited island of Teän with archaeologist Dr. Katharine Sawyer, as she reveals the stories behind sites from Bronze Age burial chambers and an early medieval chapel and cemetery to houses from the 17th and 18th centuries.
And when you need to take the weight off your feet, step onboard MV Sapphire with skipper and wildlife photographer Joe Pender and birder and environment academic Dr. Rob Lambert (plus Bella the boat dog) for a marine meander around the Western Rocks in search of seabirds, wading birds, sea ducks, divers, grey seals and dolphins.
David Jackson, Executive Director of the Islands' Partnership, says: “Autumn is a glorious time of year to visit Scilly. The wildlife is spectacular, with resident and migrating birds to spot, seal pups to catch sight of, and Scilly bees and bats to seek out. The hedgerows and rock pools are fantastic for foraging, too. Our Walk Scilly Weekend lets visitors explore this special season on Scilly.
“We’re delighted to have teamed up with the Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust again for the event. They manage more than 60% of the islands’ landscape and the funds from the walks they host will go straight into supporting the valuable work they do.”
For a 10% discount on travel to the islands for Walk Scilly Weekend, quote WLKW17 when booking with Isles of Scilly Travel – www.islesofscilly-travel.co.uk. Look online at visitislesofscilly.com/special-offers for accommodation and other special offers over the weekend.
For more information, go to www.visitislesofscilly.com/walkscilly.