Scilly's adventurous streak: Get your heart pumping on the islands!

Diving with seals

So you’ve seen how the Ötillö pros do it on Scilly, but what if you fancy something a little less gnarly but with an adrenalin rush to match?  Here’s our guide to enjoying Scilly’s adventurous side!

  1. Leaps of faith
    Pull on your wetsuit, don the helmet and lifejacket and hurl yourself off Scilly’s stunning golden granite coastline in an epic coasteering adventure you’ll never forget! Kernow Coasteering offers a number of options on St. Mary’s, from the complete beginner to budding pro, so with expert guidance, you’ll quickly ascertain your bravery and find your level!

  2. Swim, run, swim, walk
    Open water swimming and running is taking the world by storm. Ötillö has a lot to answer for! And Scilly is the perfect, challenging, playground to give it a go. Get in touch with Adventure Scilly who offer official Scilly Swim Challenges (walking the islands and swimming between them) twice a year over one and two days, as well as regular opportunities for guided open water swims combined (or not) with trail running.

  3. Riding the waves
    Okay, so this will get your heart pumping in a different way because horse riding on Scilly means you get to splash around the gently lapping cool waters!  Sign up for a scenic trek with St. Mary’s Riding Centre to seek out hidden gems that you wouldn’t ordinarily discover on foot.  It’s breath-taking and relaxing, and deeply enjoyable, whatever your level.

  4. Kayaking, sailing and SUPing
    It doesn’t matter which island you’re staying on because wherever you are, you can hire a kayak, SUP, windsurf or sailing boat and head off to discover delightful coves and tiny inlets. Try St. Agnes Watersports or Bryher Boatyard, St. Mary’s and Tresco’s Sailing Centres or St. Martin’s Watersports. So much of Scilly is sheltered making it the ideal place to have a go!

  5. Powercat fun
    If paddle power’s a bit slow and sailing’s a bit sedate, how about hiring a twin-engined Powercat 525 Catamaran? Designed specifically for Scillonian waters and very safe to use, they’re definitely the slickest way to get around the islands and you’ll be the envy of your friends! Contact Isles of Scilly Boathire at Bryher Boatyard for all the details.

  6. Snorkel with seals
    Should you ever have the opportunity to swim with seals in their natural environment, take it!  Watching the seals swim gracefully amongst you is a fabulous wildlife experience. These curious animals will look at you with their puppy-dog eyes and might even try to nibble your fins. Sign up with Scilly Seal Snorkelling for a truly unforgettable, award-winning experience!

  7. Deep-sea dive
    Did you know that Scilly has the UK’s highest proportion of shipwrecks in its waters? Little wonder it’s considered one of the best locations in the UK to go wreck diving. Contact St. Martin’s Dive School and discover fascinating remnants of 18th Century wrecks and the shell of Cita which came to rest on the rocks off Scilly in 1997. Dry suits a must, you’ll love the spectacular visibility and marine life, too.

  8. Hop the rocks; run the trails
    Rock hopping, bouldering and running the scenic trails of Scilly are a sure fire way to get the heart pumping in more ways than one. Our islands are not all fine white sand beaches as the wild winter Atlantic storms play their part carving out our rockier shores. Take care as you go and enjoy the fantastic views but if you’d prefer to be guided, talk to Adventure Scilly.

  9. Gig rowing
    Pilot Gig rowing is a religion on Scilly – with fiercely competitive races that take place amongst islanders every week from April through to the end of September. It was once a way of life too – as pilot gigs rowers earned money helping to navigate ships into Scilly or rescuing those that didn’t!  It’s fun and feisty and harder than it looks, but visitors to the islands are always welcomed at the various gig clubs if they fancy having a go.

  10. Shark fishing!
    Fancy a bite at shark fishing? Joe Pender, one of the St Mary’s Boatmen, leads once or twice weekly fishing trips out to the south of Scilly to tag beautiful (if somewhat toothy) Blue Sharks which, nose to tail, can be up to 8-feet long. It’s a fantastic trip, often enhanced with bow-riding dolphins and the odd Beagle shark too.