The paradise islands in the South West that are owned by Prince William

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Owned by Prince William, the Isles of Scilly, offer an outstandingly beautiful and unspoiled place to visit. They are described as uncrowded and stunningly beautiful by the official tourism website for the islands, and they're not wrong.

In fact, Prince William and his family often choose these islands for their holidays. He owns the islands as part of the Duchy of Cornwall.

However, arguably the most picturesque - Tresco - is technically owned and managed by Tresco Estates on a long-term lease. Nevertheless, these five inhabited islands provide a holiday experience that can compete with any far-flung destination.

Located just off the coast of Cornwall, the Isles of Scilly are a world apart in every sense. They are a natural wonder, resembling a cluster of precious ocean gems, where nature flourishes and the soul is invigorated.

Everything appears and feels quite different on Scilly - simpler, kinder, more innocent. Life progresses at a more relaxed pace, reports Devon Live.

With the freedom to do everything or nothing, its captivating archipelago guarantees a magical, unforgettable experience. The Scilly Isles, with a total population of 2,203, have a rich history.

After the failed invasion attempt by the Spanish Armada in 1588, Queen Elizabeth I ordered the construction of a fortified garrison on the main island, St Mary's, as a safeguard against any future Spanish attacks.

Today, the eight-pointed star-shaped castle continues to dominate the harbour of Hugh Town, St Mary's. However, it has been repurposed into a unique and atmospheric hotel, with its only invaders now being tourists and birdwatchers, particularly in October.

The Star Castle, with its robust granite walls, ancient beamed ceilings and dungeon bar, serves as an excellent base for exploring one of Britain's lesser-known gems. Despite having only around 5,000 tourist beds, the islands never feel overcrowded, thanks to minimal traffic and miles of pristine beaches.

St Mary's is the largest of the islands, home to approximately 1,600 of the total 2,100 permanent residents. Despite this, it measures just three miles long and a mile across.

Boats are readily available in the harbour to transport you to the other islands. Tresco is famous for its botanical gardens, established by Augustus Smith in the 19th century. His descendant, Robert Dorrien Smith, currently manages the island.

The gardens are testament to the Scillies' favourable micro-climate, boasting Monterey pines from California and proteas from South Africa.

The gardens boast figureheads from local shipwrecks and an 18-pounder cannon from the warship Association, whose tragic loss in 1707 with three other ships and hundreds of lives due to a navigation error led to the quest for a reliable method of measuring longitude.

Journalist Peter Fenton from the Daily Mirror visited the islands with his wife and recounted: "Fortified by a baguette of local crabmeat and a pint of fine Scilly-brewed bitter at the excellent New Inn, my wife Fran and I set off to explore the rest of Tresco, stopping to climb Cromwell's Castle, a ruined shore battery that once guarded the channel between Tresco and its near-neighbour Bryher, one of the other inhabited islands."

"Back on St Mary's, the Star Castle's superb wine selection and regular tasting evenings are a testament to hotelier Robert Francis's passion for the grape. He has planted 7,000 vines on land at Holy Vale, St Mary's, with the aim of producing the first Scilly wine."

"After a visit to his vineyard, which he plans to open as a tourist attraction, we took a boat to St Agnes much less developed than Tresco. With a few working farms and a lot of rugged coast, St Agnes boasts spectacular ocean views, especially when the sea is crashing in and the bracing wind blowing."

"You really need to work up an appetite as the food at the Star Castle is exceptional. Robert uses his own fishing boat to catch lobster and crab."

"Cornish boats bring in fresh brill, monkfish, hake and plaice; the beef is locally sourced and is melt-in-the-mouth delicious. The menu is imaginative without being over-fussy and the food superbly cooked."

"You cannot get further away from the hustle and bustle of modern life than the Isles of Scilly. The 1960s pipe-smoking Prime Minister Harold Wilson used them as his secret getaway and loved them so much he chose the churchyard overlooking Old Town Bay on St Mary's as his final resting place."

"More recently, celebs such as Jude Law have enjoyed the islands' privacy. The easy pace of life and crime-and traffic-free environment bring people back year after year. No nightclubs or theme parks, just the freshest air and the gentle roar of a sea that is visible from almost everywhere."