Famous Travel Broadcaster Presents Radio Show From Scilly

Simon Calder

One of the UK’s most respected travel writers has been reviewing our islands.

Simon Calder, who writes for newspapers and has regular slots on the BBC and London’s LBC, broadcast his weekly radio travel programme to the London area from the Council offices in the Steamship Company Building last night.

Simon is known for paying his own way and, unlike some travel writers, doesn’t accept free travel or accommodation, giving him a uniquely independent view.

It’s his first visit to Scilly and he says the regular visitors he spoke to are huge fans of the islands.

Simon said it’s considerably more expensive coming here than say, a package holiday to Turkey, especially when you take into account the different distances involved, but he thinks it’s really about whether people find it value for money – and enjoy themselves.

He thought Scilly would appeal to young families, especially as it feels so safe, but he says there’s also scope to attract more customers from South-East England, one of the richest markets in Europe, especially young couples.

But he thought the advantages of St Mary’s being only 4 hours from the centre of London via Southampton were being offset by the inflexible pricing on Skybus, whom he said offered only one flat rate when pretty much every other airline adjusts their fares based on availability and season.

The availability of information prior to arriving was great, but said many people didn’t know that there’s anything beyond Land’s End in the first place, especially when most TV weathermen always stand in front of the islands!

Simon told us he’s found some really special places on Scilly and commented particularly on Juliet’s Garden and the Turk’s Head on St Agnes. But he said that the service he received in some establishments “harked back a bit to the1970s” although on the whole, it was friendly and they must be doing something right if so many people come back year after year.

Simon will spend another two days in the islands.