With less than three months to go before the wedding of the year between Prince William and Kate Middleton, speculation is rife about all the details - including where the royal couple will spend their honeymoon. High on the list of possible destinations are the Isles of Scilly, one of the UK's most beautiful locations.
Usually stars and celebs go all out to choose the most exotic locations possible for getaways, holidays and honeymoons, but rumour has it that everyone's favourite royal couple are shunning the usual distant haunts and planning to honeymoon a bit closer to home. If the word on the street is true and they opt for the Isles of Scilly, just off the tip of Cornwall, it would be a perfect choice. Of the numerous islands and islets that make up the archipelago, just five are inhabited – St. Mary’s, Tresco, St. Martin's, St. Agnes and Bryer – with a total population of around 2,000, and the natural beauty of the area makes it a popular location for second homes for the rich and famous. The landscape is rich in contrasts: heather and bare rock prevail where the Atlantic winds have sculpted the exposed northern coastlines while in the more sheltered areas the climate coaxes flowers into bloom long before they are in season on the mainland. Prince William holidayed in Scilly with his parents so he probably remembers the beauty of the flower farms, the wild natural scenery and the fine beaches that make it a perfect place for a romantic retreat.
St Mary's, the largest of the Isles of Scilly, is home to over three quarters of the archipelago's total population of around 2,000
St Martin's boasts some of the finest white sands of the British Isles, with beaches such as Lawrence Bay, Par Beach and Great Bay offering a dramatic contrast with the rocky cliffs of the island's northerly coast
Each of the islands has its own particular charm; Tresco boasts the ruined King Charles's castle, used by the Royalists during the Civil War, as well as the coastal tower known as Cromwell's castle
Visitors come to the Scilly archipelago to enjoy the marvellous natural scenery and the relaxed lifestyle and timeless sense of tranquillity that reigns here
The Abbey Gardens, in the south of the island of Tresco, is a subtropical wonderland of over 20,000 plant species that has been described as 'Kew Gardens with the roof off'
The seventeenth-century Cromwell's Castle on the rocky coast of Tresco is just one of the island's landmarks dating from the times of the Civil War
The island of St Martin's is just two miles long, but it offers spectacular scenery and some of the archipelago's best beaches
If the royal couple visit St Martin's, they may well take a romantic boat trip, go diving or simply enjoy a splendid meal of locally-caught fish with chips made from locally-grown potatoes
St Mary's nine miles of road include coastal trails with marvellous views, making it a perfect setting for long romantic walks or bike rides