50 top islands in the UK - British holidays & weekend break ideas - Travel - Stylist Magazine

50 top islands in the UK

Top 50 islands in the UK

Must-visit isles from Scilly to Shetland

Go on, it's ok to admit it. You're surprised aren't you - who knew there were as many as 50 amazing islands right here in the UK? Yes, that's right, there's no need to save up for that Caribbean holiday or head to the South Pacific: the English Channel, Scotland's Inner and Outer Hebrides and the south coasts of Devon and Cornwall are all home to some of the most diverse islands you'll ever see without getting on a plane.

From the white-sand beaches of the Scilly Isles to the relaxation and tranquillity of Shetland and beyond, see our pick of the top 50 islands to visit in the UK - click on an image below to launch the gallery

Tell us which islands you'll be visiting, or if there are any islands that you think we've missed, in the comments below or on Twitter @StylistMagazine

Compiled by Sharon Forrester

  • St Agnes, Isles of Scilly

    St Agnes, Isles of Scilly

    You'll find it hard to have one good thing to say… More details

    St Agnes, Isles of Scilly

    St Agnes, Isles of Scilly

    You'll find it hard to have one good thing to say about St. Agnes in the Scilly Isles - simply because there are just so many good things. From secluded beaches and rocky coves, to the quaint village cottages and unspoilt wildlife, St. Agnes' landscape is as beautiful as it is diverse.

    simplyscilly.co.uk

    Picture credit: Rex

  • The Holy Island of Lindisfarne, Northumberland

    The Holy Island of Lindisfa…

    This Northumbrian coastal jewel has been a site… More details

    The Holy Island of Lindisfarne, Northumberland

    The Holy Island of Lindisfarne, Northumberland

    This Northumbrian coastal jewel has been a site of religious interest since Saint Aiden founded a monastery here in 635AD. Be sure to soak up the picturesque views and tranquil atmosphere as you visit Lindisfarne's 11th-century Benedictine priory and 16th-century castle.

    lindisfarne.org.uk

    Picture credit: Rex

  • Brownsea Island, Dorset

    Brownsea Island, Dorset

    A haven for native wildlife, including Britain's… More details

    Brownsea Island, Dorset

    Brownsea Island, Dorset

    A haven for native wildlife, including Britain's threatened red squirrel species, Brownsea Island is packed full of pretty woodland and coastal walks, with spectacular views across to the Purbeck Hills. Follow in the footsteps of the first Scout and Girl Guide groups by camping on the island's 50-acre site, or wake up to the natural beauty of Brownsea in The National Trust's three-bedroomed holiday cottage.

    nationaltrust.org.uk

    Picture credit: Rex

  • Isle of Portland, Dorset

    Isle of Portland, Dorset

    Located on the World Heritage Coast five miles… More details

    Isle of Portland, Dorset

    Isle of Portland, Dorset

    Located on the World Heritage Coast five miles south of Weymouth, this striking limestone 'isle' (it's joined to the mainland by Chesil Beach) was put on the map by its famous Portland Bill lighthouse - though hosting sailing events during the 2012 Olympics probably helped too.

    visitweymouth.co.uk

    Picture credit: Rex

  • Isle of Wight

    Isle of Wight

    The largest island in the English Channel, the… More details

    Isle of Wight

    Isle of Wight

    The largest island in the English Channel, the Isle of Wight is probably best known for playing host to not one, but two, massive music festivals each year and it's numerous beaches and Gulf-Stream-warmed waters make England's smallest county a definite must-visit.

    isleofwight.com

    Picture credit: Rex

  • Bute, Scotland

    Bute, Scotland

    With five beautiful beaches to choose from… More details

    Bute, Scotland

    Bute, Scotland

    With five beautiful beaches to choose from (Stravannan Bay is particularly peaceful), it wouldn't be hard to spend all your time by the sea when visiting Bute. However, accommodating more than 8,000 years of civilisation has brought plenty of man-made sights too: from the gothic splendor of Mount Stuart House to the pretty Ascog Hall Gardens.

    visitbute.com

    Picture credit: Rex

  • Jersey, Channel Islands

    Jersey, Channel Islands

    A unique mix of French and British influences,… More details

    Jersey, Channel Islands

    Jersey, Channel Islands

    A unique mix of French and British influences, Jersey continues to pull in the crowds as one of the most popular of the Channel Islands: a balmy climate, an abundance of pretty beaches and regular music and cultural events over the summer months might just have something to do with it.

    jersey.com

    Picture credit: Rex

  • Herm, Channel Islands

    Herm, Channel Islands

    No cars, few crowds, and no television or… More details

    Herm, Channel Islands

    Herm, Channel Islands

    No cars, few crowds, and no television or telephones in The White House Hotel (the only hotel on the island, although there are other places to stay), Herm is a great place to go for a totally relaxing staycation. Take advantage of Herm's slow pace: discover a variety of wildlife, including puffins and terns, by walking its coastal pathways or simply grab a sunny spot on one of the island's scenic beaches.

    herm.com

    Picture credit: Rex

  • Lundy Island, Devon

    Lundy Island, Devon

    Situated off the coast of North Devon, a visit to… More details

    Lundy Island, Devon

    Lundy Island, Devon

    Situated off the coast of North Devon, a visit to Lundy is all about enjoying life's simple pleasures - think: snorkelling safaris in the clear waters that surround the island, seabird spotting around Jenny's Cove or taking childish delight in discovering rockpool creatures at Devil's Kitchen. Plus, take your pick from stays in a 13th-century castle, fisherman's chalet or a late-Georgian villa and lighthouse.

    lundyisland.co.uk

    Picture credit: Rex

  • Sark, Channel Islands

    Sark, Channel Islands

    Sark may be in the English Channel but they do… More details

    Sark, Channel Islands

    Sark, Channel Islands

    Sark may be in the English Channel but they do things differently there: the fourth smallest of the Channel Islands, a tractor-drawn bus - otherwise known as the 'toast-rack' - will take you from the harbour into the quaint village. There are no cars, so use the leisurely pace to explore Sark's magnificent cliff-tops, which are covered in colourful wildflowers during the spring, on foot or hire a bicycle and head over to scenic spots like Seigneurie Gardens or Little Sark.

    sark.co.uk

    Picture credit: Rex

  • Anglesey, Wales

    Anglesey, Wales

    Lucky Anglesey boasts an island within an island;… More details

    Anglesey, Wales

    Anglesey, Wales

    Lucky Anglesey boasts an island within an island; if the scenic winding lanes or spectacular coastline of the main island are not enough for you, at high tide Holy Island is revealed, featuring 12-square miles of prehistoric landmarks, dramatic scenery and 'secret' beaches and coves.

    visitanglesey.co.uk

    Picture credit: Rex

  • Jura, Scotland

    Jura, Scotland

    Found off the west coast of Scotland, Jura is one… More details

    Jura, Scotland

    Jura, Scotland

    Found off the west coast of Scotland, Jura is one of Scotland's last unspoilt wilderness islands: more than 5000 deer outnumber its teeny 200 inhabitants. Visit Jura's ancient landmarks or take a walking tour of the Paps of Jura. Or, why not just enjoy all that peace and quiet with a wee dram of single malt whisky from the local distillery?

    jurainfo.com

    Picture credit: Rex

  • Rathlin, Northern Ireland

    Rathlin, Northern Ireland

    Rathlin may be the most northerly point of… More details

    Rathlin, Northern Ireland

    Rathlin, Northern Ireland

    Rathlin may be the most northerly point of Northern Ireland (it's located off the north-east coast), however it's actually relatively easy to access - just take the ferry from Ballycastle, County Antrim. Once there, book a walking tour or hire bicycles and explore the island's pretty landscape - birds of prey, seals and the rare Rathlin golden hare are worth looking out for.

    rathlincommunity.org

    Picture credit: Rex

  • Isle of Coll, Scotland

    Isle of Coll, Scotland

    While the Isle of Coll has plenty to attract -… More details

    Isle of Coll, Scotland

    Isle of Coll, Scotland

    While the Isle of Coll has plenty to attract - including a surprising number of virtually untouched beaches - the island certainly doesn't pander to tourists: there are no information points, few road signs and very little mobile phone coverage here. However, if you really want to 'get away from it all', Coll is the place for you. Just watch out for the ever-changing weather.

    visitcoll.co.uk

    Picture credit: Rex

  • Tresco, Isles of Scilly

    Tresco, Isles of Scilly

    Tresco is the only privately-owned island in the… More details

    Tresco, Isles of Scilly

    Tresco, Isles of Scilly

    Tresco is the only privately-owned island in the Scilly Isles, and it shows: the fine-sand beaches are equal to anything you might see in the Caribbean; there are 16th-century ruins to explore; and its famous Abbey Gardens, established by Augustus Smith in the 1830s, are a horticultural paradise.

    simplyscilly.co.uk

    Picture credit: Rex

  • Isle of Man

    Isle of Man

    The Isle of Man has Celtic heritage in abundance… More details

    Isle of Man

    Isle of Man

    The Isle of Man has Celtic heritage in abundance (legend has it the island was created by an Irish giant throwing a piece of land towards Scotland during battle), meaning there are tons of ancient landmarks to explore. There's plenty for adventurous types too - from mountain-biking to coasteering.

    visitisleofman.com

    Picture credit: Rex

  • Isle of Tiree, Scotland

    Isle of Tiree, Scotland

    The Isle of Tiree is postively balmy (well, for… More details

    Isle of Tiree, Scotland

    Isle of Tiree, Scotland

    The Isle of Tiree is postively balmy (well, for the Hebrides!) at most times during the year - it has some of the highest levels of sunshine recorded anywhere in the British Isles - making its fine white-sand beaches a must-visit. Thrill-seekers should take advantage of its consistent Atlantic winds and try surfing, body-boarding or windsurfing.

    isleoftiree.com

    Picture credit: Rex

  • Bryher, Isles of Scilly

    Bryher, Isles of Scilly

    The smallest of the inhabited Scilly Isles,… More details

    Bryher, Isles of Scilly

    Bryher, Isles of Scilly

    The smallest of the inhabited Scilly Isles, Bryher may be small but it's perfectly formed with a good range of accomodation; a rugged coastline fringed by golden sand (Rushy Bay is ideal for sunbathing); plenty of family-run cafés and food stalls, plus the island's famous Fraggle Rock Bar & Café - even Jamie Oliver has popped in.

    bryher-islesofscilly.co.uk

    Picture credit: Rex

  • Inchmurrin, Scotland

    Inchmurrin, Scotland

    A 30-minute hop, skip and a ferry ride from… More details

    Inchmurrin, Scotland

    Inchmurrin, Scotland

    A 30-minute hop, skip and a ferry ride from Glasgow, Inchmurrin is the largest of Loch Lomond's islands and offers plenty of water-based activities: from Loch cruises and canoeing, to windsurfing or fishing. Plus, the nearby Inchcallioch Nature Reserve and Balmaha Forest mean there's stuff to keep landlubbers busy too.

    inchmurrin-lochlomond.com

    Picture credit: Rex

  • Isle of Gigha, Scotland

    Isle of Gigha, Scotland

    Known as 'The Good Isle' (could that be because… More details

    Isle of Gigha, Scotland

    Isle of Gigha, Scotland

    Known as 'The Good Isle' (could that be because it gets higher than average sunshine hours?), Gigha is one of the most beautiful islands in the Hebrides with stunning views, breathtaking sunsets, and a host of birds and wildlife. The flat landscape makes it ideal for walkers and cyclists too.

    gigha.org.uk

    Picture credit: Rex

  • Isle of Iona, Scotland

    Isle of Iona, Scotland

    Like so many of the islands in the Hebrides,… More details

    Isle of Iona, Scotland

    Isle of Iona, Scotland

    Like so many of the islands in the Hebrides, peaceful Iona is no different in offering a welcome break from the stresses and strains of modern life. It's steeped in history - Iona is seen as the birthplace of Christianity in Scotland - great for walking, and is home to a collection of handsome and quiet white-sand beaches.

    www.isle-of-iona.net

    Picture credit: Rex

  • North Uist, Scotland

    North Uist, Scotland

    You're certain to become a bird-spotting expert… More details

    North Uist, Scotland

    North Uist, Scotland

    You're certain to become a bird-spotting expert after a visit to North Uist: the RSPB Balranald nature reserve on the West Coast of the island is bursting with coastal wading and diving birds, while the beautiful small Isle of Vallay on the same coast is a must-visit at low-tide. Otherwise, follow in Prince Charles' footsteps and explore North Uist's stunning blend of beaches, scenic landscape and freshwater lochs.

    northuist.org.uk

    Picture credit: Rex

  • South Uist, Scotland

    South Uist, Scotland

    With fjordic inlets and bays on the east coast… More details

    South Uist, Scotland

    South Uist, Scotland

    With fjordic inlets and bays on the east coast and over 20 miles of beautiful white shell beaches running down the west coast, South Uist is a truly special place. Even on a crisp winter's day; the Loch Druidibeg Nature reserve is recommended.

    southuist.com

    Picture credit: Rex

  • St Mary's, Isles of Scilly

    St Mary's, Isles of Scilly

    While it'd be easy to only make a flying visit to… More details

    St Mary's, Isles of Scilly

    St Mary's, Isles of Scilly

    While it'd be easy to only make a flying visit to St Mary's on your way to one of the smaller islands - it is the largest and most popular of the Scilly isles after all - there's lots there to make you want to take your time. Go snorkelling off Porthcressa Beach, learn to sail at Porthmellon, or just contemplate the sea at Pelistry Bay.

    simplyscilly.co.uk

    Picture credit: Rex

  • Isle of Arran, Scotland

    Isle of Arran, Scotland

    Sandwiched between Aryshire and Kintyre and… More details

    Isle of Arran, Scotland

    Isle of Arran, Scotland

    Sandwiched between Aryshire and Kintyre and located in the Firth of Clyde, the Isle of Arran has often been called Scotland in miniature because of its diverse landscape which takes in rugged rocky mountains, pretty villages, a beautiful coastline and rolling greenery and woodland. Perfect for both relaxed and action-packed breaks.

    visitarran.com

    Picture credit: Rex

  • Isle of Mull, Scotland

    Isle of Mull, Scotland

    Boasting more than 300 miles of incredible… More details

    Isle of Mull, Scotland

    Isle of Mull, Scotland

    Boasting more than 300 miles of incredible coastline, it's best to view the Isle of Mull from up on high. Luckily the 966-metre-high Ben More mountain (the highest on the island) offers a spectacular panorama: on a clear day every island in the southern Hebrides is visble. Both Duart Castle and Torosay castle also offer amazing, yet slightly less vertigo-inducing, scenes too.

    holidaymull.co.uk

    Picture credit: Rex

  • Guernsey, Channel Islands

    Guernsey, Channel Islands

    The recent success of Les Misérables offers the… More details

    Guernsey, Channel Islands

    Guernsey, Channel Islands

    The recent success of Les Misérables offers the perfect excuse for a trip across the channel to Guernsey - it's where Victor Hugo wrote his influential novel. While you're unlikely to discover revolutionary uprisings (or Hugh Jackman) around every corner, you will find pretty villages and scenic cliff-top pathways a-plenty.

    visitguernsey.com

    Picture credit: Rex

  • Luing, Scotland

    Luing, Scotland

    The Isle of Luing has barely changed over the… More details

    Luing, Scotland

    Luing, Scotland

    The Isle of Luing has barely changed over the past two hundred years, so you can expect to find a charming Scottish paradise - weather permitting - complete with white-washed quarriers cottages and an abundance of floral and fauna, when you exit the ferry from Oban.

    isleofluing.co.uk

    Picture credit: Rex

  • Isle of Islay, Scotland

    Isle of Islay, Scotland

    Whisky lovers should certainly add a trip to the… More details

    Isle of Islay, Scotland

    Isle of Islay, Scotland

    Whisky lovers should certainly add a trip to the Isle of Islay (pronounced Eye-La) to their list of must-visit destinations: the nicknamed 'Queen of the Hebrides' has eight distilleries from which to try the local tipple. But with a mild climate, beautiful scenery and wildlife and a number of quiet, sandy beaches on offer, you won't want to be inside for long.

    islayinfo.com

    Picture credit: Rex

  • Isle of Eriska, Scotland

    Isle of Eriska, Scotland

    Not to be confused with the western Hebrides… More details

    Isle of Eriska, Scotland

    Isle of Eriska, Scotland

    Not to be confused with the western Hebrides island, Eriskay, the Isle of Eriska is a private island located two hours north of Glasgow. Accommodating the five-star Isle of Eriska Hotel & Spa (think: plush suites and award-winning food), the 300-acre island sits at the mouth of Loch Creran and nestles into the eastern side of one of the world's most celebrated rift valleys.

    eriska-hotel.co.uk

    Picture credit: eriska-hotel.co.uk

  • Colonsay, Scotland

    Colonsay, Scotland

    It may take just over two hours from Oban in… More details

    Colonsay, Scotland

    Colonsay, Scotland

    It may take just over two hours from Oban in North Argyll to get to the island of Colonsay, but the ferry trip is definitely one worth making - not least for the beautiful views along the way. Packed with natural beauty - from unspoilt sandy beaches to seal colonies and wooded areas teeming with wildlife - Colonsay is the place to go for rest, relaxation and tranquillity.

    colonsay.org.uk

    Picture credit: Rex

  • Orkney Islands, Scotland

    Orkney Islands, Scotland

    Made up of around 70 small islands off the coast… More details

    Orkney Islands, Scotland

    Orkney Islands, Scotland

    Made up of around 70 small islands off the coast of northern Scotland, the Orkney Islands are a delightful place to visit - not least because of the gently rolling landscape of green fields, heather moorlands and lakes. Highlights include the Neolithic heartland in the West Mainland, Kirkwall Cathedral and the Old Man of Hoy, Britain's tallest sea stack.

    visitorkney.com

    Picture credit: Rex

  • Lismore, Scotland

    Lismore, Scotland

    Birdsong, clean air and stunning mountain views:… More details

    Lismore, Scotland

    Lismore, Scotland

    Birdsong, clean air and stunning mountain views: no, you're not in the Alps, you're in Lismore. The Argyll island's natural beauty (it's surrounded on all sides by mountains, including Ben Neavis and the Glencoe hills), is enough to have you bursting into song - but do refrain, instead just enjoy the peace and quiet.

    isleoflismore.com

    Picture credit: Rex

  • Eriskay Island

    Eriskay Island

    No trip to the Hebrides would be complete without… More details

    Eriskay Island

    Eriskay Island

    No trip to the Hebrides would be complete without a trip to Eriskay - now made more accessible by the opening of the causeway from South Uist in 2000. Climb up into the hills for amazing panoramic views of the island (look out for the native Eriskay ponies) and across to Barra, or go for a dip down at Prince's Beach, where Bonnie Prince Charlie came ashore in Scotland for the first time in 1745.

    cne-siar.gov.uk/eriskay

    Picture credit: Rex

  • Kerrera, Scotland

    Kerrera, Scotland

    It's a shame that the Isle of Kerrera is so often… More details

    Kerrera, Scotland

    Kerrera, Scotland

    It's a shame that the Isle of Kerrera is so often overlooked - the island is just a short ferry ride from the mainland of Oban and its scenic, low-lying landscape makes it perfect for hiking and exploring on foot (plus, cars are banned for non-residents).

    ikdt.co.uk/kerrera

    Picture credit: Rex'

  • Isle of Rasaay, Scotland

    Isle of Rasaay, Scotland

    Another one of Scotland's pretty inner Hebridean… More details

    Isle of Rasaay, Scotland

    Isle of Rasaay, Scotland

    Another one of Scotland's pretty inner Hebridean islands, the Isle of Rasaay is characterised by the unique flat-topped peak known as Dun Caan. It may take all day to leisurely walk the 1,456 feet up and down Dun Caan, but the views make it worth it. For less active visitors, a beach or lakeside stroll, a spot of fresh-water trout fishing or bird-spotting should satisfy.

    raasay.com

    Picture credit: Rex

  • Isle of Barra, Scotland

    Isle of Barra, Scotland

    White sandy beaches and beautiful scenery typify… More details

    Isle of Barra, Scotland

    Isle of Barra, Scotland

    White sandy beaches and beautiful scenery typify the Isles of Barra and Vatersay in the Outer Hebrides. On a lovely sunny day there are few better places to be, and a hike up Heaval hill will be rewarded with unbeatable views of the island's amazing stretches of wildflower-backed beaches. The picturesque Kisimul Castle, located just offshore at Castlebay, is worth a look too.

    isleofbarra.com

    Picture credit: Rex

  • Lewis and Harris, Scotland

    Lewis and Harris, Scotland

    The largest island in Scotland; while Harris is… More details

    Lewis and Harris, Scotland

    Lewis and Harris, Scotland

    The largest island in Scotland; while Harris is made famous for its tweed, Lewis is also steeped in history and Gaelic culture - from Lews Castle to the Carloway Broch which dates back to the Iron Age. There are also plenty of secluded beaches to discover too.

    isle-of-lewis.com

    Picture credit: Rex

  • Isle of Skye, Scotland

    Isle of Skye, Scotland

    The Isle of Skye has a little something for… More details

    Isle of Skye, Scotland

    Isle of Skye, Scotland

    The Isle of Skye has a little something for everyone - from the imposing Cuillin ridge mountain, to white-sand beaches, and pretty bays and inlets. Plus, like so many places in Scotland, there's an abundance of history: head to Eilean Donan castle on its rocky promontory in Lochalsh, or Armadale or Dunvegan Castle to discover more.

    skye.co.uk

    Picture credit: Rex

  • Burgh Island, Devon

    Burgh Island, Devon

    Made famous by its distinguished guests,… More details

    Burgh Island, Devon

    Burgh Island, Devon

    Made famous by its distinguished guests, including Noel Coward and Agatha Christie, who set her novel And Then There Were None there, the tidal island of Burgh is dominated by the Thirties splendor of the Burgh Island Hotel, complete with its own pub, the Pilchard Inn, which dates back to the 14th century.

    burghisland.com

    Picture credit: Rex

  • Isle of Rum, Scotland

    Isle of Rum, Scotland

    Shaped like a rough diamond, the Isle of Rum is a… More details

    Isle of Rum, Scotland

    Isle of Rum, Scotland

    Shaped like a rough diamond, the Isle of Rum is a real jewel in the Inner Hebrides crown. It's got it all - from stunning mountain and coastal scenery, to wonderful beaches and the imposing Kinloch Castle. Plus, Rum is famous for its Manx Shearwater bird colony, as well as Golden Eagles, so it's great for bird-spotting too.

    isleofrum.com

    Picture credit: Rex

  • Taransay, Scotland

    Taransay, Scotland

    As featured in the BBC reality TV series Castaway… More details

    Taransay, Scotland

    Taransay, Scotland

    As featured in the BBC reality TV series Castaway from 2000, Taransay is one of the most beautiful and least spoilt islands in the Hebrides, so beautiful in fact, that Castaway Ben Fogle even tried to buy it when Taransay was put up for sale a couple of years ago. After getting the ferry from Harris, be sure to explore the island and its idyllic beaches on foot.

    seaharris.co.uk/trips/taransay

    Picture credit: Rex

  • Alderney, Channel Islands

    Alderney, Channel Islands

    The pretty village of St. Anne's is just the tip… More details

    Alderney, Channel Islands

    Alderney, Channel Islands

    The pretty village of St. Anne's is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Alderney in the Channel Islands: there are some lovely beaches, an old-fashioned coastal railway train, and the Mannez Lighthouse, which dates back to 1912, is worth the hike up the hill.

    visitalderney.com

    Picture credit: Rex

  • Torsa, Scotland

    Torsa, Scotland

    With the six-bedroomed Torsa House being the only… More details

    Torsa, Scotland

    Torsa, Scotland

    With the six-bedroomed Torsa House being the only property on the island to rent out, if you've ever dreamed about owning your own private idyll then Torsa Island could be for place for you. There's little to do beyond explore neighbouring bays and islands by motor boat (lessons provided), discover some amazing wildlife or go for long walks in the hills, but if you want a real break, that's all you'll want to do.

    torsa-island.co.uk

    Picture credit: torsa-island.co.uk

  • Isle of Eigg, Scotland

    Isle of Eigg, Scotland

    With a thriving eco-conscious community (the… More details

    Isle of Eigg, Scotland

    Isle of Eigg, Scotland

    With a thriving eco-conscious community (the locals clubbed together and bought the island), you can certainly expect something a little different on the Isle of Eigg. Orchid-rich grasslands, lush meadows and loch-studded moors are a haven for a variety of wildlife, while dolphins and Minke whales frequent its surrounding sparkling waters.

    isleofeigg.net

    Picture credit: Rex

  • Fair Isle, Scotland

    Fair Isle, Scotland

    Last winter you couldn't move without seeing Fair… More details

    Fair Isle, Scotland

    Fair Isle, Scotland

    Last winter you couldn't move without seeing Fair Isle jumpers everywhere, so what better time to discover the origins of the distinctive knit than now? Beyond woollens, there's the Fair Isle Bird Observatory where you can watch out for native puffins, razorbills and guillemots, while whales, dolphins and grey seals are regularly spotted close to shore.

    shetland.org

    Picture credit: Rex

  • St Kilda, Scotland

    St Kilda, Scotland

    It's last inhabitants may have left back in the… More details

    St Kilda, Scotland

    St Kilda, Scotland

    It's last inhabitants may have left back in the Thirties, but the spectacular archipelago of St Kilda, the remotest part of the British Isles, is worth a visit if you can get there. It's not easy to get to the World Heritage Site, and you can only camp there, so contact National Trust for Scotland for details.

    kilda.org.uk

    Picture credit: Rex

  • Isle of Canna, Scotland

    Isle of Canna, Scotland

    With only 12 permanent inhabitants, the Isle of… More details

    Isle of Canna, Scotland

    Isle of Canna, Scotland

    With only 12 permanent inhabitants, the Isle of Canna is small to say the least. However, the entire island (except farmland) has been designated a Site of Specific Interest - so there's stunning views of the countryside, beautiful sandy beaches and rare wildlife a-plenty. And most importantly, it's oh-so quiet. Shh!

    theisleofcanna.co.uk

    Picture credit: Rex

  • Hayling Island, Hampshire

    Hayling Island, Hampshire

    Touted as the birthplace of windsurfing,… More details

    Hayling Island, Hampshire

    Hayling Island, Hampshire

    Touted as the birthplace of windsurfing, Hampshire's Hayling Island is a great spot for sailing and watersports enthusiasts: sea-swimming at low-tide at West beach is recommended. For those less active holidaymakers, Hayling's long shingle beaches offer views right across the Solent to the Isle of Wight.

    hayling.co.uk

    Picture credit: Rex

  • Tanera Mór, Scotland

    Tanera Mór, Scotland

    Tanera Mór is the largest and only inhabited… More details

    Tanera Mór, Scotland

    Tanera Mór, Scotland

    Tanera Mór is the largest and only inhabited island of Scotland's collection of Summer Isles. This rugged beauty has a wealth of wildlife and history, which stretches back to the Viking times, and is best explored on foot, by boat or by kayak. Breathe in the fresh sea air and enjoy one of the most relaxing places in the UK.

    summer-isles.com

    Picture credit: Rex

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