Time on Tresco

Updated: Mar 1, 2020

This week the Eggins family are on holiday! And where better place to go than half a mile across the sea to Tresco. I can still see Bryher from our bedroom window, and if I walk a little way up the road I can see home, and yet I feel that I am a world away from the mud and routine of the farm.

It is true that I felt a pang of homesickness last night whilst watching Countryfile and some saddleback pigs, I couldn’t be without my animals for long, but I am blissfully absorbing the time to read and write and spend time with the children.

Outside of our little cottage haven, Storm Dennis has been battering the islands, sand dunes are building up against the windows downstairs and a small layer of dust-like sand carpets the floor inside our bedrooms french doors, the wind finding any tiny little gap it can to push the gritty grains through.

A little of the outside coming in

Sitting by the windows I wonder at how amazing glass is. Sheltering me from the wind and rain with barely two inches of thickness. I imagine I could almost push my hand through it’s liquid form and out into the cold outside. I can hear the drips of rain, feel the draft flow through the gaps and yet I am safe and warm and cocooned.

However lovely that feeling is I know I will become frustrated soon and long to be outside, feeling the storm, living the weather not hiding from it.

I am torn between walking, that lovely steady pace where words tumble in time to the rhythm of my strides, or follow the family on bikes. In a happy chaos we all set off on the bikes for a circuit around Tresco Abbey before heading to Blockhouse for a swim in the bay.

The Abbey Drive takes us through a canopy of Amazonian type plants, tree ferns, walls of succulants and dappled sunlight through the verdant undergrowth.

Left or right?

The air in my lungs is cold, fingertips are cold even though I am puffing and using muscles not often worked. The wind as we struggle over the headland and along the western coast, burns the nose and blows tears from the eyes. But the view is stunning, Samson dark against the silver sea.

Samson and Puffin Islands

Across the island is a heady mix of woodsmoke, salt and scented narcissi swelling a warm feeling in my heart and a wide smile to my face as we free-wheel down the hill.

At the little bay which arcs its way towards the old Blockhouse, the soft white sand is strewn with limpet shells. The Blockhouse, an old fortress castle, is an enchanting mix of forbidding solid stone and fun-filled hours of hide and seek games. The sea changes from liquid mercury to turquoise to green to blue as if beating in time with a metronome. The sun and any warmth it brings dips in and out of the fast, scudding clouds and the surface of the sea is flurried and harrased by the breeze.


Quite a tidal pull swirls me around the bay, dragging me out then pushing me in and I just go with the flow, lazily floating about.

Once out of the water and dressed, there’s quite a knack to that whilst the wind and sand are blowing hard, we cycle our retreat back to the snug and cosy cottage. The perfect balance of fresh air, activity and comfort, my perfect holiday.

Our cottage, lush art and a log fire.

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