Go as far west as you can in southern England, push out into the Atlantic, and you’ll find yourself on the Isles of Scilly.

You could easily miss this low-lying rocky archipelago. The five inhabited islands and many uninhabited outcrops were once joined. Now mere dots in the Atlantic, just out of sight, a lost land 28 miles to the south and west of Land’s End.

Ancient settlers found their way here. The ground is scattered with Neolithic remains: bones, pottery and prehistoric burial mounds, much of them already swallowed up by the encroaching sea. The land that remains feels precious, ...


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