Island adventure, Tresco

This is something quirky to do in Scilly. Piper’s Hole is a sea cave situated on the north east tip of Tresco. Once a famous smugglers haunt, the name may have derived from the clay pipes smokers once used. Legend states that Piper’s Hole connects to a passage under the sea leading to a sea cave on St. Mary’s, and that men who entered it were never seen again and dogs emerged from the tunnel minus most of their fur. Access, only during low tide and low sea swell conditions, is via a small entrance packed with large boulders which have to be scrambled over before dropping down to the sea-level cave. It then opens up to reveal a small freshwater pool, often filled with the floating aids that previous cavers have used to stay dry during the crossing. In the pre-war years tourists visited the pool using a punt. Keep to the right of the pool where an underwater ledge makes it possible to wade rather than swim the pool. There’s a gravel beach at the far end, on which the skeleton sits, beyond which is a narrow corridor of granite that peters out after about thirty metres. The roof of the cave glitters like small pieces of silver, thought to either be a result of condensation supporting microbial communities, or salt and calcite deposits. (Grid ref: SV 886 165).

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