Tresco's Abbey Gardens (RHS Package)
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Arriving on Tresco you are enveloped in almost total silence, and the stress of everyday existence slowly slips away. When you first glimpse the turquoise seas and quartz sands that surround the Scilly Isles, you instinctively know that your visit is going to be special.
Truly a sub-tropical paradise, this tiny corner of England has remained unpolluted, unspoilt and unchanged for decades. Flying into St Mary’s on the small Skybus plane is always an exciting experience. This tiny island remains a magical retreat for a short break at any time of year. Tresco lies just 28 miles from the Cornish coast yet basks in a balmy climate where spring comes early, autumn stays late and winter hardly exists at all.
The wonderful Abbey Gardens is home to more than 3,000 species and magnificent vistas, colours and scents. There is certainly no other garden like this in the world and we will be privileged to learn of the garden’s hidden secrets, both past and present.
There isn’t a prime time to visit Tresco – it is always a delight. Even in winter there are 300 plants in flower in the Abbey Gardens, and as each day lengthens more and more exotic species appear. In the spring we find flowers weeks ahead of those on the mainland, the perfect lift to spirits dampened by a cold, dark winter. Autumn, too, is a stunning time to visit, with the beautiful golden, reds and ambers of the seasonal foliage against a backdrop of proteas, aloes and flowering camellias thrown in for good measure.
To take the strain out of the long drive to Penzance we have arranged train transportation from London Paddington - what a pleasant way to cross the south of England. On arrival in Penzance you will be transferred to Land’s End in time for your flight to the Scillies, which only takes 15 minutes. On St Mary’s you will be taken to the quayside for a short boat transfer to Tresco. After being welcomed at the New Inn and shown to your room you are free to relax and enjoy the exceptional views.
Days 2 & 3
On the first morning, we visit the Abbey Gardens and take a guided walk around the magnificent gardens and the Valhalla collection of ship's figureheads with the head gardener and his staff.
You are then free to explore Tresco at your leisure over the next two days. Take in the ancient castles, beautiful beaches, headland walks, browse in the gallery or simply relax in the resident’s lounge. Visiting other islands – Bryher, St Martins, St Agnes and St Mary’s – can easily be arranged too. Regular boat trips are available to see the sea birds and seals of the Western rocks, and if you are feeling adventurous, it is sometimes possible to circumnavigate Bishop's Rock lighthouse.
Sadly it is time to leave Tresco. A morning boat will take us to St Mary’s for our return flight to Land’s End. On arrival we transfer to Penzance in time for our afternoon train back to Paddington.
- 3 nights at the New Inn, Tresco – dinner, bed & breakfast
- Return train: London to Penzance – a £70pp reduction applies to those who do not require rail travel
- Return flights: Land’s End to St Mary’s
- Boat transfers: St Mary’s to Tresco
- Visits to Tresco’s Abbey gardens