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Getting your feet wet and taxis in the evening

Somerset UK
Destination Expert
for Devon
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1,047 posts
199 reviews
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Getting your feet wet and taxis in the evening

I've just returned from a few days holiday in the Isles of Scilly and whilst it was thoroughly enjoyable two things spring to mind that need to be improved on.

1. We booked a day trip to Bryher from St Marys but when we got on the boat we were told that because of the state of the tide we would need to climb into a rubber dinghy and then finally wade ashore at the south end of the island. All very well but there were very young children and people with disabilities on the boat so why weren't we told about this before buying the tickets?

The boat skipper, to his credit, did offer the chance to disembark before we left but the word refund was not mentioned and, more importantly, why didn't the ticket office on the quay mention this before you even bought your ticket. The word GREED springs to mind.

2. It's all very well the tourist information office handing out a list of taxi numbers but we were told that a lot of them don't work in the evenings. Fortunately the restaurant we were eating at in the evening knew one to call but surely the tourist office (and accommodation providers too) should advise visitors better.

Cornwall,UK
Destination Expert
for Cornwall, Isles of Scilly
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322 reviews
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1. Re: Getting your feet wet and taxis in the evening

Hi

Have you sent this to the tourist office on St Marys so that at least someone who can make a difference may be able to act on it?

It must have been a very low tide, as i have never not been able to dock on one of the quays on Bryher at low tide, or any other island for that matter.

Maybe it was a large boat, but like you say, they should have informed you and given a refund if you didn't want to do it that way.

For the odd time i have needed a taxi, i have always found the hotel or restaurant will always have a name at hand and will book it for you. I must admit to not using the TIC on St Marys so can't comment on their advice.

Somerset UK
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for Devon
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199 reviews
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2. Re: Getting your feet wet and taxis in the evening

Tx Badcat

Actually it was one of the smaller boats and yes it was a very low tide but that's besides the point. There were a lot of people who weren't at all happy and without exception the criticism was levelled at the booking office on the quay.

Isles of Scilly
4 posts
2 reviews
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3. Re: Getting your feet wet and taxis in the evening

Hi WaltR,

Glad your holiday was so enjoyable and thank you for your comments about your trip to Bryher and taxis.

The boatmen use a dinghy to land at Bryher during Spring tides when they cannot access the other quays. This is only once during the day, and where possible they always try to disembark passengers onto either quay.

In the TIC staff write the tides up on the blackboard to help visitors plan their day, because as you rightly mention a dinghy landing isn't for everyone.

It’s not clear which boating operator you used, however in the bulk of cases the tickets are not only refundable but flexible, and you can use them the following day or to visit a different island- you could even use them on a future visit. I appreciate that you should have been informed of this in advance, so you could alter your plans. We do sell boating tickets in the TIC and try to explain the options so that people feel best prepared.

You also mentioned about taxis. There are no taxis on the islands only 'private hire vehicles' and you are right that some operators don't work in the evenings. As we don't regulate these businesses we are not certain of which work when, however we are always happy to ring on your behalf and book a trip for you.

I hope you had a super holiday on the islands aside from these points and we look forward to welcoming you back.

Kindest Regards

Sophie Hughes

Isles of Scilly Tourist Information Centre

shughes@scilly.gov.uk

Somerset UK
Destination Expert
for Devon
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4. Re: Getting your feet wet and taxis in the evening

Many thanks Sophie

I have to say I was quite surprised to learn that tickets may be refundable, flexible or even used in the future. The ticket office on the quay makes no mention of that and I think they could perhaps improve on boarding procedures too. A sign at the top of each set of steps saying " Bryher, St Agnes " or whatever might help.

Thanks for the info about taxis too. I expect restaurants, pubs etc know which ones operate in the evenings - Juliets Garden certainly did.

It was our second visit and yes, we did enjoy it a lot. The only downside, and I realise you can't do anything about it, is the cost of flights. It cost almost as much to fly from Exeter and back than it did to New York!! I realise there are ferry and helicopter options but they can involve bad weather and overnight stays.

On a separate issue has there ever been thought given to a few more footpath signs? We had good maps but thought that a few, similar to the ones marking the SW Coast Path, wouldn't come amiss.

5. Re: Getting your feet wet and taxis in the evening

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Removed on: 04 October 2012, 19:20