Travelling to the Isles of Scilly: Scillonian III

Travel to Isles of scilly

Travelling to the Isles of Scilly

“Mummy are we going on a boat? Will we see seals? and dolphins? and seahorses?????”

Travelling along the winding roads in Penzance, we headed off to catch our early morning crossing on the Scillonian III. It was breezy and the dark clouds in the sky threatened rain, but energy was high with thoughts of incredible sunsets, wildlife, turquoise waters and white sandy beaches (and seahorses!). We left Otis the Campervan at the designated pre-booked parking and headed off to check in. We would be travelling to the Isles of Scilly for our five day stay at Karma resort in St Martin’s. I already had a feeling that this trip was going to be special and memorable.

The Isles of Scilly are an archipelago off the Coast of Cornwall. There are a vast number of uninhabited islands, and five inhabited islands; St Mary’s, Tresco, St Agnes, Bryher and St Martin’s. You can get to the islands by the four departure points; Exeter, Newquay and Lands End for all Skybus departures, and Penzance if you take the Scillonian III passenger ferry. We chose to take the ferry from Penzance to St Mary’s, taking advantage of the great baggage allowance, with the hope of enjoying those sea views. I was really looking forward to the journey as I think this is the where the adventure begins, and the holiday starts the moment you set off on your journey. We had waited a long time to glimpse those turquoise waters of the Isles of Scilly and we were going to enjoy every part of the experience.

We have wanted to visit the Isles of Scilly for some time, having heard so much about its rugged beauty, sparkling white sandy beaches and laid back way of living. The Scillonian III supports just that – an opportunity to relax, unwind and enjoy the slower pace of life… (well relax and unwind as best you can with three little ones in tow!).

The journey takes around 2 hrs and 45 minutes. Once we had checked in our luggage and embarked, we set up camp in the cafe area where we could grab copious amounts of coffee and tea (or wine if it hadn’t been quite so early) and soft drinks and nibbles for the kiddies. There was plenty of space to spread out, and the girls alternated between the table area, and the window seats for an hour or two, before heading out on to the deck to spot those dolphins, sharks, and erm..seahorses.

I think the youngest addition to our family found the excitement a bit too much; either that or the slow and gentle motion of the ferry soothed him to sleep for the majority of the journey – giving us even more of an opportunity to put our feet up and enjoy the views. For those who have young travellers, there is ample space for pushchairs, carriers, a platform lift and baby change available.

On arrival at St Mary’s, we hopped off the Scillonian III and headed around the corner to catch the Voyager, a small passenger boat that would take us onwards to St Martin’s. Travelling to the Isles of Scilly was seamless and organised, and our luggage followed us right through to St Martin’s. It was great that we didn’t have to think about it at St Mary’s, and we had an arm free to enjoy more coffee and the delicious Cornish pasties whilst we waited.

The short journey from St Mary’s to St Martin’s was beautiful and picturesque, and the kids were mesmerised by the coastal views and wildlife. We chatted to so many people on the journey who had fallen in love with the Isles of Scilly, and families who returned each year for some quality family time and to enjoy all that the Islands had to offer.

I could see already that the islands were something really special. As I sat on the boat and looked out to the rugged coastline that was coming into view, I knew that this would be the start of our love affair with this beautiful place.

Find out more –

To find out more about the Isles of Scilly head over to Visit Isles of Scilly

From Spring to late Autumn, the Scillonian III sails up to seven days a week from Penzance harbour. Fly to St Mary’s with Skybus all year round from Newquay and Lands End Airport, and between March and October from Exeter Airport.

For further information, prices, and to book, head over to Isles of Scilly Travel Website 


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Travelling to the Isles of Scilly



**Disclosure – Our journey to the Isles of Scilly was arranged by Isles of Scilly Travel. All opinions and thoughts are of mine and my family. **

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  1. Judy b
    August 29, 2017 / 7:15 am

    This review and the details it contains, makes me want to hop on a leisurely boat for a trip to , what sounds like, a beautiful and unspoiled place!❤️

  2. Sue
    August 30, 2017 / 12:00 pm

    Brilliant. Can we share on hhe Visit Isles of Scilly page please? Thanks.

    • otisandus
      August 30, 2017 / 8:38 pm

      Thanks so much I would love you to share ! I have just shared on our Facebook page tonight too. An absolutely wonderful place to visit- we loved every minute x

  3. August 31, 2017 / 8:32 am

    It sounds like a great crossing. I would happily take my family on these boats having read about your experience

  4. August 31, 2017 / 1:24 pm

    I have never been to the Isles of Scilly – it looks beautiful #FarawayFiles

  5. August 31, 2017 / 3:34 pm

    Sounds like you had a smooth and stress free crossing – what a great way to start a family holiday! I loved following your trip online, it looked amazing. #FarawayFiles

  6. August 31, 2017 / 3:38 pm

    I’m so happy that you chose to link up your post to #FarawayFiles. I actually had no idea that it was such a long boat trip across to the islands from Penzance. We love arriving by boat. It makes it so much more special and I’m all for making the journey part of the adventure. This looks like the start of a wonderful British adventure. Can’t wait to do it with my family.

  7. August 31, 2017 / 5:25 pm

    The islands really are special – we visited a couple of years ago and I completely fell on love with them. We flew from Exeter instead of the ferry, it was wonderful but I would love to try the ferry another time and look for sea creatures myself. #farawayfiles

  8. Silly me for thing the isles of Scilly were off Scotland! I would have opted for the ferry crossing too, there is something about slow travel on a boat… although I don’t take well to rough seas!

  9. August 31, 2017 / 8:48 pm

    Looks like a fun way to start a holiday! #Farawayfiles

  10. September 1, 2017 / 5:04 pm

    I have friends who go to the Isles of Scilly every year and I often look at their photos on Facebook and admire them – and yet I’ve still not visited! Plus, with our son at Exeter University these last three years, I’ve missed the chance of a quick flight too!

  11. September 5, 2017 / 8:53 am

    The Scillonian III looks a tad nicer than last time I travelled on it, I was a regular on the Scillies for years (October), the islands look just as lovely though 🙂 #adventurecalling

  12. September 6, 2017 / 2:12 pm

    There is so much to Great Britain that I still need to explore – this looks like a brilliant place for a holiday. Anytime I can be out on the water I opt for that experience – thank you for sharing with #FarawayFiles, Erin

  13. September 8, 2017 / 1:16 pm

    I agree about the journey. It is so exciting when you first start off on a trip. I also love ferry rides! I hope the rest of your trip went as smoothly as the ferry ride there.

  14. September 8, 2017 / 1:51 pm

    Our boys love a boat trip. Im sure they would love this to and your pictures make me want to go now! Looks like an amazing place for a family holiday #adventurecalling

  15. September 12, 2017 / 8:09 pm

    We’ve often talked about a trip to the Isles of Scilly but have never quite managed to get around to arranging it. Seeing and reading your post makes me want to plan it now. It looks so rugged and naturally beautiful. Thanks for joining us on #adventurecalling I hope you can again tomorrow.

  16. Claire Reynolds
    September 12, 2017 / 9:25 pm

    This is lovely I really hope you enjoyed your time on St Martins. Your family are very lucky to go there.
    I spent my whole childhood every June and July (8 whole weeks) from the age of 1 through to 21 on St Martins in Mr Goddards Chalets Lower Town and I have the best childhood memories any child could have. We have Viviens Rock, crab mountain, White Island and the famous Seven Stones. My beautiful dog Shimba is buried on Tean. One day I shall take my Son and show him the glorious holidays I had. Enjoy it guys x

  17. September 13, 2017 / 7:52 am

    I love your pictures, the Isles of Scilly look beautiful. I’m glad the travelling was stress free, I agree with you, that’s when the adventure starts. I don’t really know a lot about the Isles so looking forward to reading more of your trip now. Looks like just the place we’d love! Thanks for sharing with us #adventurecalling

  18. September 16, 2017 / 11:14 pm

    I know families who go back to the Isles of Scilly year after year! Looking forward to reading more about your stay there 🙂

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