Snorkelling with seals in the Isles of Scilly

3 min


0

Charmed by the curious stars of the Scilly Isles – snorkelling with seals will take your breath away

  • Caitlin Davies ventured to The Isles of Scilly to swim with Atlantic grey seals
  • She stayed at the Star Castle Hotel, a 16th Century former castle in St Mary’s
  • Another highlight was a trip to Tresco Abbey Garden, a ‘botanical paradise’

Caitlin Davies For The Mail On Sunday

The last time I saw a seal was on a boat trip off the Kent coast, when the skipper warned it would take off my arm as soon as look at me. Now, here I am face to face with one, its whiskery features so close I can see inside its nostrils.

But then this is the Isles of Scilly, home to 700 inquisitive Atlantic grey seals, and where Scilly Seal Snorkelling trips have been running for 20 years.

As we near the isle of Menawethan, seals begin to pop out of the water, their faces watching our progression. We put on snorkels and flippers and launch ourselves into the water. It’s mid-May and 10C but we’re barely aware of the cold as a dozen seals gather round us.

Mystical: Tresco in the Isles of Scilly is home to the famous Abbey Gardens


Mystical: Tresco in the Isles of Scilly is home to the famous Abbey Gardens

Mystical: Tresco in the Isles of Scilly is home to the famous Abbey Gardens

I turn to see a seal eyeing me closely. I’m so thrilled I can barely breathe, but a few seconds later it is gone.

Scilly’s five inhabited isles are home to just 2,200 people and the temperate climate and sandy beaches make it ideal for birdwatchers and walkers.

We stay at the Star Castle Hotel, a 16th Century former castle with views over St Mary’s, the largest island.

Inquisitive: An Atlantic grey seal in waters off the Scilly Isles 

Inquisitive: An Atlantic grey seal in waters off the Scilly Isles 

Inquisitive: An Atlantic grey seal in waters off the Scilly Isles 

On day two we take a boat to Tresco Abbey Garden, a botanical paradise with 20,000 plant species, followed by lunch at the Ruin Beach Cafe.

In the evening we venture to the small isle of Bryher to tuck into a seafood feast at the Crab Shack. You share benches with other diners and I tell everyone within earshot that I’ve achieved a lifetime ambition – I’ve swum with seals.


Like it? Share with your friends!

0
DownTheWing

Legend

0 Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Choose A Format
Personality quiz
Series of questions that intends to reveal something about the personality
Trivia quiz
Series of questions with right and wrong answers that intends to check knowledge
Poll
Voting to make decisions or determine opinions
Story
Formatted Text with Embeds and Visuals
List
The Classic Internet Listicles
Countdown
The Classic Internet Countdowns
Open List
Submit your own item and vote up for the best submission
Ranked List
Upvote or downvote to decide the best list item
Meme
Upload your own images to make custom memes
Video
Youtube, Vimeo or Vine Embeds
Audio
Soundcloud or Mixcloud Embeds
Image
Photo or GIF
Gif
GIF format