Travel and accommodation

30/09/2019 10:11
How to get to Scilly and where to stay
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How do I get here and where do I stay?

Getting to Scilly

It has to be said the rest of the world is a bit far from the Isles of Scilly….. but we’re confident it will be worth the trek getting here.

When to come

You need to be on Scilly on Friday afternoon for the registration and briefing. You will also need to stay Saturday night as we anticipate finishing the event after the last flight has left. There is a ferry back to the mainland on the Sunday but if the weather means we swap days for the event then you’ll be scuppered. Plus you’d miss the awesome party on the Sunday evening.

So three nights it is…… or longer….. why not add a few days and make a whole week of it?


How to get here

Three options:

  1. The Scillonian III ferry. The cheapest and most reliable but slower - can be a wonderful way to arrive in the islands, however to enable maximum enjoyment of the journey we recommend using Kwells/Stugeron if you are prone to motion sickness, as it can be a bit queasy-inducing in rough weather! Leaves Penzance at 0915 every morning and from St. Mary’s at 4.30pm.
  2. Skybus fixed wing aircraft. More expensive but quicker and more departure points and times  (Land’s End, Newquay and Exeter). Can be affected by poor visibility or crosswinds. 
  3. Helicopter - new service for 2020. Should be quick and reliable but more expensive again. Flies from Penzance to St. Mary’s & Tresco. 


One good option which isn’t well known is the sleeper train from London to Penzance which links up with the ferry. https://www.gwr.com/plan-journey/journey-information/on-board/night-riviera-sleeper


Whilst you should not expect any issues with travel, we highly recommend travel insurance! Being an island on the edge of the Atlantic, the weather can be very changeable and sometimes travel is affected. 


Do hold off booking travel just for now however as we’re hoping to get a discount for swimmers and supporters confirmed soon.


Where to stay

However gorgeous the off-islands are (that’s the smaller ones excluding the main island of St. Mary’s) you’ll find it far more convenient to stay on St. Mary’s where our events are based. If you do want to stay on an off-island you may have to arrange a water-taxi to get you back after the acclimatisation swim and event day as we anticipate finishing after the last scheduled boats. This can be quite expensive.

Staying near to Hugh Town can be more convenient, but wherever you stay on St Mary’s you’re never more than about 2km from the event base.


When do I need to book?

SOON! Scilly gets booked up a long time in advance so it’s worth looking at as soon as you’ve got your place on the swim. Some people have been booking up even before we launched and finding it hard to get somewhere. Sometimes this is because providers haven’t put availability online yet - use the link below if you need help.

Facebook post link


https://penzancehelicopters.co.uk - helicopters from Penzance

https://www.islesofscilly-travel.co.uk - ferry and plane travel

https://www.visitislesofscilly.com - general information about the islands including accommodation search