Roger and Patsy Manning first visited the Isles of Scilly in 1979 and have returned every year since, sometimes twice.
After spotting a family baptism entry at a local museum, the couple’s curiosity about a branch of their family tree began to grow and they have continued to research it, finding out more about their Woodcock relations during their regular Scilly breaks.
“In preparation for our journey, we tend to stay over at a B&B in Penzance, so we are up early ready to board the Scillonian ferry and make the most of the day. We’ve been extremely lucky with the weather on recent visits, enjoying excellent crossings and arriving on time to St Mary’s in beautiful sunshine.
We try to explore new restaurants and places when we visit Scilly, but there are also a number of places we have grown to love over the years, and which we have to visit every trip. Our first evening is always spent in The Galley restaurant on St Mary’s, where we always have an excellent meal which never disappoints.
A trip is never complete without hopping on a boat and visiting Tresco Abbey Gardens. If we’re lucky, we’ll see one of the red squirrels scamper around the tables whilst we enjoy a coffee.
We also pay an annual visit to St Nicholas Church, and to the grave of Roger’s Great, Great Grandfather, Thomas J Woodcock and his wife Eliza. St Nicholas is a lovely tranquil church which has recently undergone significant restoration.
An off-island we visit each year is St Agnes – it was an island slow to reveal its charms to us, but we’ve really grown to love St Agnes over the years. We wander up to the Coastguard Café for a coffee and sit overlooking the Western Rocks, where so many ships have floundered over the centuries with the loss of thousands of lives. It’s a must when visiting St Agnes to enjoy an ice cream from Troy Town Farm. Delicious, as always!
Friends used to wonder why we go back to Scilly year after year, only to realise exactly why we do as soon as they visited the islands themselves.”