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Digital Subscriptions > Lonely Planet Traveller (UK) > September 2015 > Snorkel with seals in the Isles of Scilly

Snorkel with seals in the Isles of Scilly

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Hell Bay’s hen coops and Crab Shack

Near white-sand beaches lapped by turquoise waters, a sea mammal circles a snorkeller and takes a playful nip at their fins. This seemingly exotic scene plays out 28 miles from the coast of Cornwall, among the Isles of Scilly. Until the end of September, Scilly Seal Snorkelling takes groups in search of the Atlantic grey seals that gather near the pristine small island of St Martin’s to feed and breed (incidentally, the slightly mean scientifc name of these graceful creatures, Halichoerus grypus, translates from Latin as ‘hook-nosed sea pig’). For encounters of a different sort with Scilly marine life, take a short boat ride to Bryher. Here the Crab Shack at the Hell Bay hotel serves locally caught crabs drenched in butter, with chilli and ginger, parsley and garlic or lemon and chives, and offered in medium (i.e. huge), large (gigantic) and monster (accurate description) sizes. Stagger, replenished, to your bay-view room, before rising to collect eggs for breakfast from the hen coops nearby.

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