It’s taking longer than expected to organise all my photos from the Isles of Scilly, so to avoid further delay in posting something from this stunning archipelago I thought I’d start by sharing a highlight: walking around the fortified walls (the Garrison).
The defensive walls on the island of St Mary’s were built in stages from 1588, after the defeat of the Spanish Armada and while the islanders were fearful of another attack (which never materialised). It was decided that the best spot was The Hugh, and so the walls were built, renovated and extended around this headland over the next couple of hundred years.
Amazingly, the Garrison has been used for defence ever since–until as recently as the First World War. These days you can explore it for free.
It was actually my birthday the day we arrived on the Isles of Scilly; while I wouldn’t necessarily have chosen to spend some of the big day hiking it was the best time for us to squeeze in this activity so that’s what we did. And it ended up being the perfect afternoon (plus, it meant that evening’s calorific dinner was kind-of guilt-free).
Walking all the way around the Garrison takes about an hour. There’s plenty to see besides the (obviously) amazing views, and we were treated to beautiful weather; this girl’s milk bottle legs actually caught some sun!
One of the more interesting things inside the walls is Star Castle, built in 1593. It’s now a hotel, restaurant and bar–and a great stop after your little hike. We enjoyed a locally-brewed pint on the battlements before the weather turned, when we headed down to the Dungeon Bar (previously the island’s prison).
Basically, it was an ideal start to our time on Scilly.
- History of Garrison Walls, St Mary’s (English Heritage)
- Posts about the Isles of Scilly (ACCOOOHTREMENTS.)
- Climbing Kotor’s city walls in Montenegro (ACCOOOHTREMENTS.)
- The impressive walls of Budva, Montenegro (ACCOOOHTREMENTS.)
- Exploring the ramparts in Carcassonne, France (ACCOOOHTREMENTS.)
- Provins’ almost-gone city walls, France (ACCOOOHTREMENTS.)
- A quick stroll along the walls of Bari, Italy (ACCOOOHTREMENTS.)