An explorer's guide to the islands of Britain

Day 2 of our virtual island bagging journey

In our dreams we left Saye Beach, Alderney and flew back to Southampton for another cuppa with Gemma at OS HQ then hopped on the train to Penzance to catch the Scillonian III (what happened to I and II sometimes worries me) for a heavho sailing the Scilly Isles.

We docked at St Mary’s (avoiding The Mermaid as it was a bit early for a tipple) and headed for the telegraph mast on the island (51m) and saw a few dolphins on the way. We carried on clockwise around the island and raced the tide to Toll’s Island (4m) then had a wee pitstop at Carn Vean Tearoom and a slice of their legendary chocolate and orange cake to celebrate this mighty peak.

Then (and this is where it stretches the imagination a bit) St Mary’s Boatmen’s Association did us a ripper of a tour for the other island highpoints. Nornour (24 m) and its incredible Iron Age Houses; St Martin’s (48m) to pick up a picnic at the Bakery and sup a pint at one of our very favourite inns, The Seven Stones. Then on to Tresco (44m) for a quick trip around the gardens; Samson (42m) to eat limpets with its ghosts; Tean (33m) for a quick hunt for its rare pansy; and finally St Agnes (29m) for a massive dollop of rose and geranium ice-cream.

We still hadn’t done enough though even after checking the altimeter twice!!

So after a swim with the WildandScilly Mermaids we jumped on the helicopter back to Penzance and on our way back we bagged the beautiful Asparagus Island (taking exceptional care not to tread on the wild asparagus – just in case the National Trust are reading this) before finishing our day on Looe Island. Thank you to the wardens, Claire and Jon, for sharing their bottle of their elderflower champagne before our nighty nighty in the island yurt. Bloody seagulls kept us awake all night. With the disturbance I took a quick trip across the border to Devon and Drakes Island and fitted in another cheeky 27 metres.

Cumulative vertical distance – 940 metres

Method – ladder up the apple tree

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