Dying to be covered by sea when you will be enjoying the holidays next time, without the stress of long-haul travel? You may be shocked to know how many uncovered and exciting islands are located in the United Kingdom.
There is always something magical about visiting the mainland to explore the outer reaches of islands in the UK. The UK is itself the largest island in Europe. Therefore, you cannot just forget that plenty of small islands in the UK, which are worth a visit, also cover it.
Summer is the best time to explore these hidden gems when they are in full bloom and flocked by the tourists, and you want to explore something far-reached than the popular beach resorts in Britain. Packed with exotic wildlife, incredible scenery, and historical attractions, these islands in the UK are captivating and calm and are easy to reach with a boat trip.
Table of Contents
- 1 Top 15 Beautiful Islands in the UK
- 2 Check out these activities in UK Islands
Top 15 Beautiful Islands in the UK
With a population of only 600 residents, Sark is one of the smallest islands in the UK. However, it makes up more than its rugged, raw beauty and its different position in history. Located just off the Normandy coast, Sark has its parliament and its laws following the Norman Law system. The only vehicles you see in this car-free island are horse carts or modified tractors.
There are two sections on this island – Little Sark and Greater Sark, linked by only La Coupee, a narrow path in the peninsula. The drop on either side of the trail is so steep that kids can cross it on their knees and hands. Do not worry; railings have been erected on either side of the track for visitors.
Some of the popular activities here are cycling (due to lack of vehicles), guided walks, and visits to La Seigneurie Gardens, where flowers are seen in full bloom, which is rarely seen in Britain, because of its warm climate. It has no airport. Therefore, you can either travel here by sailing boat or ferry from Guernsey or Jersey or St. Malo at Normandy.
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It is the smallest island, which has been inhabited permanently in the Inner Hebrides, located off the west coast in Scotland. It is stretched only 10 hectares of land and has only 60 residents, along with the same number of residential properties. A lot of residents live in other parts of Scotland, but several generations come back due to ancestral connections.
Easdale is located around 200m off the Island of Seil, which is connected to the mainland by Clachan Bridge. There is also no access to the island through vehicles. It is connected to the outer world only by a small ferry, which has a capacity of 10 passengers.
Whether you are a short or long-term traveler, this small isle has a lot to offer. You can enjoy the tranquility of this island and walk around. A walk above the 38m high hill has serene views of the Firth of Lorn towards the north and many islands towards the south. You can soak up the pollution-free air of the Atlantic and enjoy beachcombing activity on the shoreline.
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Isle of Wight
Thanks to its model village, sandy beaches, and steam railway, The Isle of Wight is the best isle in the UK. It is located only 5 miles off the Hampshire coast. It is easily reached by hovercraft, leaving from Southsea and coming at Ryde only 10 minutes later.
Some of the well-known attractions here include a fun-filled amusement park, the Needles Landmark Attraction, on the extraordinary chalk cliff row rises from the sea, award-winning beaches of Ventnor, Sandown, and Shanklin, and the Steam Railway.
The Isle of Wight is relatively more extensive than other British islands as it offers all accommodation options, i.e., from lavish spa to camping and B&B. Along with being the base for family trips, the Isle of Wight is also famous for music concerts like Jack Up the 80s, Bestival, and the Isle of Wight Festival.
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With a population of over 70000 residents, Anglesey is one of the larger UK islands, and its colossal size means there is no lack of activities. From water parks to aquariums, fairytale castles to bike circuits, you can always find something for everyone.
Located off the Northwest of Wales Anglesey has been awarded as Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty for its coastline, miles of golden sand, and calm beaches. It is effortless to reach here, thanks to the Severn Bridge. You can drive across the bridge while enjoying the beautiful scenery.
It is one of the rocky and most romantic islands around the UK and one of the largest Scottish Isles. Skye is well known for its mountainous, dramatic scenery, ample wildlife and misty skies and all of them have made it a big hit among the visitors. Thanks to its large size, Skye holds a spacious and remote appeal irrespective of its popularity.
Many people get here to explore the exotic scenery and clean air. There is a lot to do more than hiking, walking, and exploring the view. You can take speedboat trips across the island, which are exciting ways to explore the sights.
If you want to make it slower, enjoy the boat trip along the coast for 2-3 hours. You can also take jeep safari tours, which offer a great tour on days when the weather is extreme for all activities.
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Isle of Man
The Isle of Man is one of the best British islands which have a central position between Ireland, England, Wales, and Scotland, even though the island is not the part of the UK, but a self-governing body. Because of the location, the island is easily accessible from most parts of the nation, which makes for a memorable and comfortable trip.
It has recently been titled as UNESCO Biosphere Reserve thanks to the diversity of its habitats. It is such a great place with a lot of human-made wonders to explore.
You will need to travel by air or the sea to get here. You can take flights from Blackpool or Liverpool, which takes 20 minutes, and 1 hr from London.
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Tresco, Scilly Isles
Located around the Coast of Cornwall, this offshore oasis is among the best islands in the UK, which are naturally beautiful, with exotic white sand to give competition to the Caribbean.
Visitors embrace its relaxed feel and well-tended appearance, and it is the only private island in Scilly Isles. It gets more than its sunlight in summer months like mainland Cornwall. You will have the feeling that you have come to the tropical paradise if you visit here at the right time.
You can also find the Valhalla museum in the gardens, which houses a vast collection of 30 figureheads from shipwrecks on the coast.
Alderney, The Channel Islands
Less famous than other larger channel islands the UK, Guernsey, and Jersey, Alderney is among the most exotic Channel Islands and has an offbeat charm about it.
Located off the Northern France coast, Alderney has a population of only less than 2000, and a microclimate, which makes for ideal channel island holidays in summer.
The Saye Bay and Braye Beach are some of the most desired destinations for sun lovers. If you want to explore the rich past of Britain, you will be amazed by the wartime history of the island, including lots of well-preserved fortifications and bunkers.
The lighthouse offers impressive views in its summit on the clear sky. You can explore many attractions, which are quite familiar with a visit to Alderney.
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St Martin’s, Scilly Isles
Located in the sunny isles of Scilly, St Martin’s is the fantastic island in the UK and among the best beaches in the world. Located at around 2 miles and having a population of only 100, St. Martin’s small landmass has a punch for its unique size, with artisan bakery, diving school, tearooms, and a range of restaurants.
The beautiful seaside spots and sandy coast is the main attraction for a lot of visitors in St. Martin, especially Great Bay, Par beach, and Little Bay. It is an ideal destination for the ones having the holy grail of un-crowded beaches, which have passed the test of time.
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One of the best islands in the UK for having a great escape from city life and getting in touch with nature, Lundy is located off North Devon coast as a peaceful and ideal retreat where you can find ample wildlife and unspoiled greens.
Lundy is located only 4 miles across with a population of only 28, and it does not have motor vehicles and roads. In winter, a 7-minute helicopter ride from Harland Point is the only option to reach there.
You can take The Oldenburg; a scheduled wood-paneled vessel is the only option in summer. It takes up to 2 hours to cross from Bideford to Lundy. You can spot dolphins en route if you are lucky.
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Jersey, Channel Islands
It is probably one of the biggest Channel, Islands UK. It is located only 9 miles by five across and is the destination you can know well in a few days. Just like Guernsey and the Isle of Man, Jersey does not belong to the UK.
Located off the coast of Normandy, Jersey has a blend of English and French influences and Saint Helier, its capital is a bustling cultural hub where you can enjoy cinema, great seafood, music concerts, food, and various outdoor activities in summer.
You will love the fascinating medieval sites if you want to explore its history. Elizabeth Castle played a vital role to defend the island against attack since around 550 AD to World War II, and in the 20th century.
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Don’t go with its confusing name. Mainland Orkney is an island covered by the North and Norwegian Seas. With Stromness settlement and Capital of Kirkwall, Mainland Orkney is by far the largest island of Orkneys, with a population of whopping 17000. You can discover the unique culture, heritage, and traditions of Orkney, with a chance to explore the less popular, more remote islands.
The Orkneys are fascinating and mysterious places to explore, with relics that belonged to the ancient past. The Neolithic ancestry of the islands can be seen in most of its rugged landmarks, punctuated by monuments, stone circles, and tombs.
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Isle of Coll
Do you want to get away from the bustling crowd and get away from it? The Isle of Coll is the best go-to island for you. It is hidden away in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland. It is a small isle, which has been almost untouched by humans for years.
Therefore, it is the best island for you to feel the tranquility of nature. With almost no tourism, there are only two recognizable roads on the way to the mobile reception. It is a kind of well-kept secret as it is covered by golden sand and is full of exotic wildlife.
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Isle of Arran
Located between the Ayrshire and Kintyre in the Firth of Clyde, the Isle of Arran is full of exotic natural beauty and pre-historic and fascinating significance. With a population of over 4000, Arran is one of the larger islands in Scotland and offers a lot of activities and a beautiful and diverse landscape. For culture vultures, Arran has a folk festival and a comedy festival.
It also serves hikers with a Mountain Festival. The six standing stones give intriguing and mysterious sights of Machrie Moor. These sandstone structures were believed to be built around the Bronze Age. There is also a piece of evidence to have earlier Neolithic activities across the island.
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Located just off the South Devon coast, Burgh Island is a charming and well-maintained spot with cinematic history and high literary. The island-inspired most of the work from Agatha Christie, especially Soldier Island and views from the Poirot series.
It also has been associated with Noel Coward, a visitor at is Art Deco hotel. This opulent landmark was built in the 1930s, which covers the rocky coastline of this small island.