Explorers Connect

Kayak the Isles of Scilly
5th-8th Jun 2020
3rd-6th Jul 2020

A four-day island-hopping expedition to explore the turquoise seas and powder white sands of this stunning, sub-tropical archipelago 45km off the coast of Cornwall.

Duration: 4 days | Location: Isles of Scilly | Distance: 50km | Price: from £430


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Starting in the east, you’ll first paddle around St Mary’s, The Eastern Isles, and St Martin’s, before heading over to explore Bryher and Tresco in the west. Along your journey, you’ll get to know each island’s individual character and enjoy the rich, abundant wildlife. You’ll feel the peace of being truly amongst nature, on water by day and under canvas by night.

With a temperate oceanic climate, closely bordering sub-tropical, the Isles of Scilly are by far the warmest place in the British Isles. With turquoise seas, powder white sand and spectacular sunsets, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were in a land far, far away.

With expert coaching throughout the trip, you’ll develop great kayaking skills whilst you enjoy the stunning scenery. As you wend your way through these beautiful isles, there will be lots of stops and refreshment breaks to get properly under the skin of this incredibly special place.


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Day 1 (Fri 3rd July) - Arrival & St Mary’s

You’ll meet Ian - your Expedition Leader - at the ferry port in Penzance at 8am, to make the Scillonian crossing altogether with a short briefing on board. Once on St Mary’s, you’ll set out to kayak all around the island, getting to know the rest of the group, your kit, and some core kayaking techniques. At the end of the day, you’ll make your way to your campsite for the night - set in the grounds of an old garrison - to enjoy a camp dinner.

Day 2 (Sat 4th July) - The Eastern Isles

After breakfast, you’ll set off to paddle around “The Eastern Isles”, which include a more exposed, open stretch of water, with some choppier conditions to experience. “The Eastern Isles” is home to the Grey Atlantic Seal Colony - the best place to spot seals. After a full day on the water, we’ll head to our camp on St Martin’s island to enjoy a barbecue with grilled fish straight from the sea, and a walk around the islands under the cover of dusk.

Day 3 (Sun 5th July) - St Martins

On Day 3 you will circumnavigate St Martins before making your way over to Bryher Island in the west of the Scillies. You’ll pass by the impressive Men-a-Vaur – three towering rocks sparkling in the sun - as well as the stunning Golden Ball reef. The route will also take in ‘Round Island’ lighthouse at the northernmost tip of the Isles of Scilly. Throughout the day we’ll keep our eyes peeled for puffins. Camp for the night will be on Bryher.

Day 4 (Mon 6th July) - Tresco

Your final day of paddling will take you around Tresco on a rock-hopping adventure that will take in Scilly Rock, Seal Rock, Picket Rock and Garden Maiden Bower, with plenty more seal-spotting opportunities too. You’ll pass by King Charles and Cromwells Castles and there is an option to stop off to see the renowned Gardens of Tresco. We’ll return to St Mary’s for 2pm, with our ferry departing at 4.40pm to arrive in Penzance at 7.15pm.

N.B. As with all outdoor sports, the itinerary is entirely weather dependent and is subject to change. The route will be assessed throughout each day.


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Your Expedition Leader to Kayak the Isles of Scilly is Ian Prickett. Having led many of our Explorers Connect kayaking expeditions, some of you will already know how he blends safety and fun. He perfectly brings to life our ethos of gently encouraging people outside their comfort zone to discover just what they are capable of, whilst ensuring everyone is having a lovely time and making new friends.

And you don’t need to take our word for it. Sir Ranulph Fiennes has this to say about Ian: “When looking for a companion to travel with on the toughest journeys, I couldn't do better than choose Ian Prickett. He has great expeditionary experience, technical skill, planning abilities and, above all, an indomitable sense of adventure. With him, the biggest challenges become achievable! In the world of expeditions and extreme sports, I rate Ian amongst the very best.”

You can find out more about the core values that run through all Explorers Connect trips here.


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Your accommodation will be carefully selected, official campsites. You will need to bring your own camping supplies including tent, stove, mat and sleeping bag, which you might be able to borrow if you don’t have already.

In terms of food, once you’re on the island everything is included - apart from snacks or alcoholic drinks. All meals from Friday dinner to Monday lunch are included - we recommend that you eat on the ferry or bring a packed lunch for Friday afternoon. The menu will be expedition style, as all food will need to be carried inside the kayaks, but on one night we’ll fish for mackerel to grill over a barbecue on the beach!


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The meeting point for this adventure is the ferry terminal in Penzance, where we’ll meet at 8am.

Getting to Penzance…

By car: Penzance is a 3.5hrs drive from Bristol, and a 5.5hrs drive from London. You can park your car in Scillonian Park & Ride at a cost of £25 for 4 days. You may choose to travel down early and stay in Penzance on Thursday night.

Lift shares: There will be a private Facebook group set up for this trip, where you can see if anyone is going from your area with a spare space in their car.

By public transport: Penzance is a 4hr train ride from Bristol or a 5.5hr train ride from London.

Getting to the Isles of Scilly…

Guests must book their own return ferry ticket to the Isles of Scilly via this link. We will be taking the 9.15am ferry from Penzance, and the 4.30pm return ferry from St Mary’s. Return ferry tickets cost £120.


This adventure involves four consecutive days of paddling around 45km in total. No previous kayaking experience is required, but you should be of a relatively good level of fitness to enjoy the trip properly. The Friday and Monday are over half days with two full days of paddling in between. There'll be regular breaks in the day where you'll stop, relax, and refuel.


  • 4x days guided kayaking around stunning islands in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, with an experienced and qualified expedition leader

  • 4 days use of kayaks and paddling equipment

  • All safety equipment required throughout the expedition

  • All food and water from Friday dinner until lunch on Monday (excluding snacks).

  • 3 nights camping in carefully selected camp spots

  • Careful route planning through spectacular scenery with all responsibility for wayfinding

  • Camaraderie of a friendly group! It’s the people who make our trips

  • N.B. You will also need to bring or share a camping stove, small tent/bivvy, and a sleeping mat and bag. A full kit list will be supplied on booking.

Not included:

  • Return ferry ticket from Penzance to Isles of Scilly

  • Car parking in Penzance

  • Personal travel insurance

  • Snacks & alcoholic drinks


  • Dates: This adventure runs from 8am on Friday 3rd July until approximately 7.30pm on Monday 6th July 2020

  • Earlybird: Book before 31st January 2020 - £430 for members, £445 for non-members

  • Price: 31st January 2020 onwards - £445 for members, £460 for non-members

  • Payment schedule: £155 deposit, with the remaining balance due 10th April 2020, 12 weeks before departure. N.B. To benefit from member rates throughout a payment schedule, your membership must remain live.

  • Terms & Conditions: Click here for our cancellation policy and full Ts&Cs

If the trip is full, this button will take you to join the waiting list.



If you'd like to know more about this weekend or have a particular question about this or any of our adventures, please email enquiries@explorersconnect.com or call the office on 0117 405 7497 during normal office hours and we'll do our best to help you.