Island retreat home swap

We live in part of a converted granite barn on the island of St. Mary's, the largest of the Isles of Scilly. Our apartment is on the ground floor and is surrounded by a spacious, secluded, family-friendly private garden with views across to Samson island. There is a roomy kitchen looking over flower farms, a large living-dining room, two bedrooms, one bathroom and a study. The bedrooms are small but cosy, one with a kingsize bed and one with bunkbeds, plus an extra fold-out bed. We have two children, so our house is completely child-friendly - but we try not to overrun it with toys so that it feels like a nice adult-friendly space once the kids are in bed. We have chickens and an allotment, and our neighbours have a horse, a dog and sometimes a couple of friendly pigs! We don't have a car but you would have access to our trusty bikes which get us round the island on a daily basis. The house is at the top of a fairly steep hill so I'm afraid it's not really suitable to anyone with mobility issues - although you can get taxis to our door. We are a 15-minute walk or 5-minute bike ride from the main town on the island, Hugh Town. The nearest beach is a 5-minute walk or 1-minute bike ride. You can easily manage your stay here just on foot - even food deliveries from the local Co-op are free to your door - or just buy from the the many honesty-box foodstalls around the island. The whole island is only about 3 miles long and 1.5 miles at its widest point - population about 1,500.

About the location

St. Mary's is the main island of the Isles of Scilly, an archipelago of five inhabited islands (and dozens of uninhabited ones) 28 miles off the coast of Cornwall. The islands are famous for their crystal clear blue waters and white sands, and the whole area is designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. We had a whale sighting this week, and seals, puffins and dolphins are often spotted. Island hopping is easy as there are services to all islands every day in season. There's a lovely nostalgic feel to the islands, but mixed with some lovely places to eat out and great pubs etc. Walking and boating are amazing here, and kayaking between the islands on a calm day is blissful. You can also snorkel with seals, go shark fishing, go on a puffin safari, etc. Travel is by ferry from Penzance, or by plane from Newquay, Exeter or Lands End. You can't bring a car on the ferry, so it's a walking/biking holiday - although you can rent golf buggies (which would need to be parked at the bottom of our steep hill) and you can also get taxis everywhere very easily and cheaply. Most people who 'discover' Scilly can't believe it's off the coast of England and come back again and again. This website has lots of useful info about travel and the islands in general:

Type of home swap

  • Home Exchange

Conditions of home exchange

  • Children welcome

Isles of Scilly (HE31874)

Cornwall,   England

  • 2 bed   (sleeps 5) 1 bath

Preferred destinations

  • Open to offers

Dates available

Open to offers

Swap duration: 1 - 2 weeks


Meet the member

Adults: 2      Children: 2

Membership expiry date: 26 Feb 2016