OK, answer is no, there is no way to do this without subclassing UICollectionViewFlowLayout.

However, subclassing it is incredibly easy for anyone who is reading this in the future.

First I set up the subclass call MyCollectionViewFlowLayout and then in interface builder I changed the collection view layout to Custom and selected my flow layout subclass.

Because you're doing it this way you can't specify items sizes, etc... in IB so in MyCollectionViewFlowLayout.m I have this...

- (void)awakeFromNib
    self.itemSize = CGSizeMake(75.0, 75.0);
    self.minimumInteritemSpacing = 10.0;
    self.minimumLineSpacing = 10.0;
    self.scrollDirection = UICollectionViewScrollDirectionHorizontal;
    self.sectionInset = UIEdgeInsetsMake(10.0, 10.0, 10.0, 10.0);

This sets up all the sizes for me and the scroll direction.

Then ...

- (CGPoint)targetContentOffsetForProposedContentOffset:(CGPoint)proposedContentOffset withScrollingVelocity:(CGPoint)velocity
    CGFloat offsetAdjustment = MAXFLOAT;
    CGFloat horizontalOffset = proposedContentOffset.x + 5;

    CGRect targetRect = CGRectMake(proposedContentOffset.x, 0, self.collectionView.bounds.size.width, self.collectionView.bounds.size.height);

    NSArray *array = [super layoutAttributesForElementsInRect:targetRect];

    for (UICollectionViewLayoutAttributes *layoutAttributes in array) {
        CGFloat itemOffset = layoutAttributes.frame.origin.x;
        if (ABS(itemOffset - horizontalOffset) < ABS(offsetAdjustment)) {
            offsetAdjustment = itemOffset - horizontalOffset;

    return CGPointMake(proposedContentOffset.x + offsetAdjustment, proposedContentOffset.y);

This ensures that the scrolling ends with a margin of 5.0 on the left hand edge.

That's all I needed to do. I didn't need to set the flow layout in code at all.