Tresco Abbey Gardens (source: ukriversguidebook)
The Isles of Scilly form an archipelago 278 miles off the southwestern tip of the Cornish peninsula of Great Britain. There are 5 inhabited islands (population:2.200) and around 140 islets. Influenced by the North Atlantic Current the climate is almost subtropical.
Scilly has been inhabited since the Stone Age. The islands have been visited by among others Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans and even Viking king Olaf I of Norway. At certain low tides the sea becomes shallow enough for people to walk between some of the islands, and ancient field walls become visible below the high tide line. It is therefore likely that the islands used to be joined together into one island; rising sea levels flooded the central plain around 400–500 AD, forming the current islands.
The 'c' in Scilly is silent, so the pronunciation is the same as the word 'silly'. Therefore the Scillonians prefer the islands to be referred to as 'The Isles of Scilly' instead of 'The Scilly Islands'.
next episode: The Scilly's at war with the Dutch