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  • Writer's pictureAnna Browne

Why choose a long-term kayak hire when visiting the Isles of Scilly.


The Isles of Scilly are a very popular holiday destination in the UK. With hundreds of islands (five of which are inhabited), clear blue water and white sandy beaches, they are often described as being like the Caribbean. There is a relaxed pace of life, governed by the sea, which is one of the reasons it feels like nowhere else in England. 


One of the best ways to explore the islands is by kayak. As well as offering hires from one hour up to a whole day, we also offer long-term kayak hires from two through to six days. These longer term hires are for people who are staying on St Martin’s.


Scilly is different every day. Views change depending on the wind direction, speed and the state of the tide. It’s one reason visitors come back year on year. Angela and Andy had been visiting Scilly for many years when they decided they wanted to have a long-term kayak hire. In this blog we look at why they chose St Martin’s Watersports and how we helped them achieve their aims of exploring the Eastern Isles and Tresco by kayak.


A view across a flat calm sea with low lying islands in the distance

Why Angela and Andy wanted a long-term kayak hire

Angela and Andy had come on holiday to Scilly many years ago. Andy would go scuba diving while the family would explore the islands above the water. After a long break from holidaying here, Angela and Andy visited St Martin’s again in 2021. A friend recommended they hire a kayak from us as a fun thing to do. They were inexperienced kayakers, so they took a kayak for a day rental. “The experience was exciting and visually stunning,” said Andy.   


A couple pose for a photo sitting on a sandbar next to a double kayak

The next year, when they were holidaying on St Martin’s, they wanted a long-term kayak hire as they now felt more confident about exploring further. Being on a kayak they knew they could observe wildlife at close quarters including seals, fish and seabirds. They wanted to explore the uninhabited Eastern Isles and land on the Ganilly sandbar, which is only exposed at low tide. But their ultimate goal was to kayak to Tresco. 


How we were able to help

Angela rang to discuss the hire options with us before making a booking. We gave her advice about what a long-term kayak hire entails. This included where to leave the kayaks overnight, how we would support them during the hire and other queries she had. “I recall you were very accommodating with pick up and drop off arrangements and advising on weather conditions and the suitability for kayaking,” said Angela. “So, we were all set to go from the off.”. 


Before setting out to explore, we made sure they had all the safety equipment they would need including a map showing where they could kayak to. As often happens, the weather impacted their hire. We’d been monitoring the forecast knowing that they wanted a long-term hire. The weather would have affected the original hire dates. We rang to change the start dates to ensure they got the best conditions possible for heading out on their kayaking adventure.


A couple in a double kayak close to a beach on a flat calm sea with an island in the background

Why our intrepid kayakers would recommend a long-term kayak hire

The main reason that Angela and Andy would recommend the option of a long-term kayak hire is that they felt there was no time pressure on them to get back to St Martin’s at a certain time. They enjoyed that fact there was more flexibility in choosing when to head out, in their case to coincide with the state of the tide so they could land on the Ganilly sand bar. They also loved the opportunity to spend longer out on the water than a day hire gave them.


“On occasions the sea was almost mirror-like, and the clarity enabled us to see seals under the boat, seaweed, starfish, sand eels and fry feeding. You feel as if you are exploring and, many times, we have had an uninhabited island to ourselves. 


Angela and Andy achieved their goal of kayaking to Tresco. “This felt like a real achievement,” said Andy. “We have various family members who join us on our holiday and we like to encourage them to join us. They have all really enjoyed the experience which is something they would not do on their own.”


Andy’s top tip for hiring is “just do it. If you’ve never kayaked before, take advice on the best day and time to hire. Make sure you book in advance.”


An ariel view of the Ganilly sandbar surrounded by blue seas with the Eastern Isles in the distance

A long-term kayak hire gives you the freedom to explore the islands at your own pace. Experiencing the beauty and wildlife of the islands from the water. Angela and Andy enjoyed the flexibility this gave them. They knew we were monitoring the weather forecast so were confident that it was safe to be out on the water.


If you want to find out more about kayaking to the Eastern Isles, grab your copy of our free guide by signing up for our newsletter. To help you plan your kayaking adventure, read our blog to find out what we think are the top five beaches to kayak to on Scilly.  


Please get in touch if you’re interested in a long-term kayak hire. We’re always happy to give advice to help make your kayaking dreams a reality, and to ensure a safe and enjoyable time on the water. 


St Martin's Watersports hire kayaks and paddleboards from St Martin's on the Isles of Scilly. You can book your kayak hire here.



















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