There was an excellent turnout at last night’s second Scilly Christmas Festival. The Gingerbread House was a hit with 13 entries in total, the Salakee Duck and Island Fish stall was a sell-out and the Christmas market (moved inside to the Atlantic Hotel due to high winds) was a raving success!
Much mulled wine and cider was consumed alongside pork baps, duck scratchings, crab soup, crepes and more. Father Christmas had a great time handing out sweets and the guess the name of the song competition, whilst the Frozen singalong was amazing. Congratulations to all the bands and singers, and the retailers who opened their doors for making it such a magical start to Christmas on Scilly. We’ll be back next year, for sure!
Happy Christmas from all the team at the Islands’ Partnership (Visit Isles of Scilly).
Enjoy the photos on our Visit Isles of Scilly Facebook page.
John Worth from Solihull will soon be receiving this delightful hamper from Tanglewood Kitchen as a thank you for completing the 2015 Isles of Scilly Visitor survey.
We received 2,247 completed surveys, a significant increase on the 1,610 completed surveys received last year. The results are currently being number crunched and analysed. The results and report are expected early in the new year.
The new 2016 Isles of Scilly Guide is now available to read and enjoy online. The Guide, designed and styled similarly to the last two years, is once again an eclectic mix of stunning photography, wonderful articles and stories about Scilly, as well as useful information about how to get to the islands, where to stay and what to do across the islands.
This year we were fortunate enough to have the eminent actress Minnie Driver contribute a lovely Forward about her love of lighthouses on Scilly. Photography from the Photo Competition has been used extensively particularly in the “Things we Love” feature; we’ve got a Tribute to the Gig, as well as a fun and fast extract of an article that appeared last summer in HandLuggageOnly.co.uk.
There’s also a wonderful story about the return of the Manx shearwaters to Scilly whilst Tresco Abbey Garden Curator, Mike Nelhams shares his passion for Scilly’s amazing floral diversity. You can also discover lovely products that are made on Scilly and which can be purchased year round.
“We are delighted with how the 2016 Isles of Scilly Guide looks and feels, and we hope our members and visitors will enjoy the read,” says David Jackson, Executive Director, Islands’ Partnership. “Whilst the style is similar to our previous awarding-winning Guides, we have moved the design and content forward, making it both more personal and authentic. There are extracts from some great press articles from this year and we’ve added new sections, for example showcasing products that are made on Scilly and Events and Festivals for 2016, following our Coastal Communities Fund success.”
Anyone one wishing to order a printed copy can do so via the Visit Isles of Scilly website. Copies for IP members will be available at a special Sherry and Mince Pies afternoon at the Tourist Information Centre on Tuesday 22nd December, 1pm – 3pm.
The Islands’ Partnership’s Events team has announced the full line up for the second Christmas Festival taking place on the evening of Wednesday 23rd December.
The event will kick off with a ceremonial switch on of the Christmas tree lights in the park at 5pm, with carol singing around the tree. At 5.30pm, Rachel Easterbrook will lead a “Frozen Singalong” outside Kavorna, followed by carols and a festive sing-song with the Scilly “Sirenettes”.
Once again, this year, there will be an opportunity to make beautiful Christmas bouquets at the Atlantic Hotel from 6pm, learn how to gift wrap exquisitely (courtesy of Seasalt) at 6.30pm, decorate festive biscuits throughout the evening and enjoy live music by the Steamband from 6.15pm outside 49 Degrees. The Bishop & Wolf will be hosting the Gingerbread House Competition, the result of which will be announced around 7pm.
The street market will also be more significant than last year; the Scilly Events team has purchased attractive “market stalls” which have been rented out to local clubs and businesses (free to IP members) to sell their produce – whilst throughout the evening, retailers the length and breadth of Hugh Town are again opening their doors for late-night opening as well as the Shopping Quiz, which this year challenges shoppers to find letters in the windows and put them together to make the title of a popular festive song!
“The Christmas Festival is shaping up to be another great evening,” says Islands’ Partnership Executive Director, David Jackson. “Tresco and the Star Castle, as well as many self-catering properties across the islands, will be filling up for the festive season and we were keen to bring some festive spirit to the high street,” he says. “It will be a great opportunity for visitors to mingle with the local community and enjoy the taste of a Scilly Christmas. And we also hope that the local community will once again enter into the festive spirit and welcome in the Christmas holiday.
The Islands’ Partnership is very grateful to all the businesses and individuals who are taking part to make this special Christmas Festival an evening to remember.
It’s not the sharpest photo, but at least we finally have one of the team together! Back in October, we learnt that the Islands’ Partnership had won best Brochure cover for the Isles of Scilly 2015 Guide at the British Destinations Carrier Direct Award. Described as “clean, classic, evocative and very fitting of its destination” the final outcome came down to a public vote amongst more than 22,000 people who had requested brochures from member association sites. It has taken this long to get the team in one place (and remember to take the photo)!
Here’s to the 2016 Isles of Scilly Guide which, all being well, will be off to the printer next week!