Lisa Drewe Islandeering

Hi and welcome to Islandeering

Islandeering is for people who want adventure in Britain’s wild blue spaces – our rivers, coast, lakes, canals and islands. You will find amazing walks, paddles and swims in the UK’s most special places, those recognised for outstanding natural beauty, incredible geology or special and abundant wildlife.

How did we start

With a lifetime of travel to far-flung islands of the world and playing in or near the water closer to home, the idea for Islandeering was born 18 years or so ago on a sea kayaking trip to the Isles of Scilly – when circumnavigating islands fired our imaginations and seeded an idea in our minds. We set out to see how many islands we could circumnavigate in the UK. In a very short time our hobby turned into a complete obsession. With over 600 islands now under our belts, and many more to go, we felt that we should share these adventures with others. We wrote two books – “Islandeering; adventures around the edge of Britain’s islands” and “Island Bagging England and Wales”. We also share many of our island adventures on this website.

Blue health and blue mind

What we have realised is that being in or next to the water makes us feel so much better – we have since discovered that this is a real thing, backed by new scientific data almost every month that evidences blue health and blue mind. No wonder then that every destination we choose has water somewhere in the mix.

Exciting times ahead

Exciting times are ahead for us as we are in the process of expanding Islandeering beyond islands to include other special blue spaces of Britain. The walks, swims and SUPs we feature are generally protected through designations like National Nature Reserve, World Heritage Site, Marine Protected Area and more. Watch this website grow as we add more outdoor adventures in the UK’s most extraordinary places. We are kicking this off with our latest book, “Paddleboarding: 100 places to SUP, Canoe and Kayak in South West England”.

In the press

We get a bit of press attention too. Lisa has been described by the BBC News as “the woman walking on the edge of Britain’s hidden islands”. Our first book won the Outdoor Writer and Photographer Guild’s Book of the Year (2021) and our articles regularly feature in The Telegraph, The Guardian, The Daily Mail and The Scotsman as well as magazines including Condé Nast Traveller, Coast Magazine, Country Walking and CountryFile. We regularly write for websites including Red Bull, AquaPac and Ordnance Survey and have been interviewed by BBC Radio Scotland and BBC Radio Orkney. We love researching and writing the Walk of the Week for The Times (Scotland), and have contributed over 35 walks so far.

Lisa and Charlie

We are passionate about looking after our special blue spaces and we try to do our bit. Lisa is the Chair of Whale and Dolphin Conservation, which works globally to protect whales and dolphins and their homes. Charles is the founder of our sustainability practice that works with business, charities and governments. We also love getting people outdoors and, as well as being a personal trainers and Nordic walking instructors, Lisa is a Director of British Nordic Walking and an ambassador for Ordnance Survey GetOutside and the National Outdoor Expo. Charles is an ultra-runner with a number of big races under his belt and a 2023 goal of the CCC Race. He is also a 4-star sea-kayaker, Coastal SUP Leader (training) and was a member of Search and Rescue when he lived in Vancouver.

We look forward to sharing our journeys with you and hope that you will do the same. Now that’s us done behind the desk for today – off to find some outdoor blue space.

Lisa and Charlie

Check out our latest books

Island bagging

see what happens when lots and lots and lots of new text is inserted to fill the space

Try one of our blue space walks

Find your next island adventure

Be the first to know about the latest adventures in wild blue space

Look out for our latest paddleboarding news

17 Replies to “About”

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  2. Jonathan Fulthorpe says:

    Wonderful and inspiring. Please put me on your mailing list. I will write again in a few weeks, and will follow up on my interest.

    Very best,


    1. Lisa says:

      Thank you for your message Jonathan and yes I will do.

  3. John says:

    Have you ever been to the Faroe Islands? I went last year and they have some of the most stunning scenery imaginable.

    1. Lisa says:

      I’d love to go – we were going to go along to their trail running festival this year and explore more but then decided to spend more time on our own islands. The Faroes are definitely on my list though.

  4. James Christison says:

    Found you through the BBC article. Fantastic idea, surely the smiles per £ must be well on your side. Hope we share a pot of coffee one day on the far side of who knows where. You are an inspiration! Jim.

    1. Lisa says:

      Hi James – thanks so much for your message. Hoping to meet a whole lot more islandeers out there now – particularly coffee drinking ones. I shall look out for you. Lisa

  5. Patrick Herring says:

    Do you know “Some Lovely Islands” by Leslie Thomas? A kindred spirit to be sure. I deliberately didn’t finish reading it so there would always be more.
    A favourite island experience: taking the tourist boat to Inner Farne you get an hour on the island of which the last 5 minutes can be alone because everyone else needs to make sure of getting back. Then there was the heart centre glow that only comes with completion and wholeness.

    1. Lisa says:

      Thank you for the book recommendation Patrick. Just ordered it!
      I love Inner Farne too. I was lucky that the National Trust allowed me on the island before the main boats arrived to photograph the wildlife relatively undisturbed. So I share that incredible experience of nature with you. Interesting that you talk of completion and wholeness too. That’s what I find so compelling here. Completing the circle and all that it entails.

  6. David says:

    Alas, some of us are also ‘anoraks’… .Portland Dorset , not an island …. consider Kent, many islands no longer such as Thanet and Oxney…… don’t forget islands on Rivers and Lakes …. when does a sea stack become and island, would you visit Goodwin. I hope I have extended your bucket list and always happy to share experiences from visits ..

    1. Lisa says:

      Hey fellow island anorak…great to meet you. Well I have been trying not to get into the definition of an island – generally if it feels like an island it’s good enough for me. Surrounded by salt water or freshwater, joined by bridge, tombolo or causeway, an ex-island now part of the mainland, a speck of rock in the middle of the sea. I don’t really mind. Would love to hear more of your travels though – please do keep in contact. Lisa

  7. gerard says:

    Very difficult to read grey text on grey background.

    1. Lisa says:

      Thanks for your feedback Gerald. This is all self-funded and I am doing my best.

  8. Ben Berry says:

    I was fascinated to discover your identification of a basic pyschological desire to ‘conquer’ islands by circumnavigating them, in much the same way that people feel compelled to climb mountains. When I reflected on my choice of holiday destinations over many years, I realised that almost unknowingly I was picking islands ( which I felt I could fully embrace) and in every case had the compulsion to reach the highest point.
    As a boy of 14 I had this real urge to run away from home ( not that it was an unhappy childhood) and live and survive on Toll’s island off the coast of St. Marys in the Isles of Scilly, hundreds of miles from my home town. I bought some maps and constantly studied and plotted a way of achieving this. Of course it never happened, but just a few years ago ( and very many further on from this dream) I visited the Scillies and nothing would stop me wading across the water to actually step foot on this small rocky outpost. I actually think I was originally inspired watching a James Mason film called A Touch of Larceny where he ‘survived’ on an island, alone, for several weeks. Very interesting psychology, that appeals strongly to some , who wouldn’t want to ‘own’ an island ?
    Now, I must buy your book!

    1. Lisa says:

      Thank you for your message Ben. I’m still trying to get to the bottom of my island compulsion and find a way of better articulating it.
      I’m not sure I would personally use the word ‘conquer’ – I think that may have been newspaper magic. Much like I wouldn’t use it when climbing a mountain as I rather feel that the mountain dictates whether it is possible to reach the summit or not. Much is the same with islands where weather, tide, topography, ground cover and other natural factors have meant that I haven’t been able to make the full circuit in some cases.

      Certainly the wish and curiosity to complete the circuit is the same in me as to get to the top of a mountain.

      It is also fascinating to hear ‘run away’. At the moment I have spent a few weeks behind my desk and am desperate to get back out there but I am not thinking of coastline – I am desperate to get to an island. Loved your story of plotting your escape as a child. The process you went through is exactly how I find new islands!! Even now that I have completed almost 150 islands, I love the thrill of getting to places like Toll and if there was a further outcrop beyond it I’d want to get there too. It’s a bit like reaching a false summit, of course you won’t stop there you’ll go on until you reach the top.

      I will continue to analyse the psychology of this – but for now am content with the description that a few have bestowed on me by saying ‘you must be bonkers’.
      Thank you for buying the book and I hope that it gives you some more ideas for island escapes.
      Best wishes

  9. Karen says:

    I came to your blog via Alastair Humphreys, when I read that you had a ‘free-range childhood, I knew we were kindred spirits. I too had a free-range childhood wandering the countryside and seaside, I just loved and still do, my freedom and the great outdoors. A couple of years ago after coming back from a trip to Oz, I too, decided that we have so much beauty in Blighty and needed to explore it. I too was drawn to islands we have, but never knew, until reading your blog, that there were so many. I love the countryside as well as the sea, I grew up in North Devon and learnt to swim in the sea by county the rhythm of the waves so I could get a good swim on, not easy in the Atlantic.

    I will leave this now to read to purchase your book and look forward to following your adventure with you.

    Happy islandeering 🙂

  10. John McKenzie says:

    Hi Lisa,

    Islands are …. just extraordinary. For me it is probably the sea all around them that makes them special.
    I land on them or view them with awe. I too “collect” them (or them me?) and have been lucky enough to view/land on many …the Scillies, the Isle of Wight, Fair Isle, Hirta, some of the Orkneys & Shetlands plus lots of the Western Isles… my favourites … best of all (so far) I think are The Shiants.

    Thought I was doing OK but your site has made me realise I have hardly scratched the surface! Keep on keeping on…

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