Top 8 Beautiful Islands to Visit in The Great British Isles

Top 8 Beautiful Islands to Visit in The Great British Isles

Have you ever heard of the Isle of Wight, Skye or Arran? These are just some of the many islands in Great Britain with gorgeous landscapes that are definitely worth a visit!

Escape the cities and visit some of Britain’s most beautiful islands, where there are rugged windswept landscapes, rolling hills and soft sandy beaches to be found. The UK’s many islands boast rich and varied wildlife as well as incredible views.

1. Isle of Wight

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Image credit: John Saum

Located just off the southern coast of England, the Isle of Wight is one of Britain’s best known and most accessible islands. Spotted with pretty villages and small towns, it’s popular with UK tourists and weekend holidaymakers looking for beaches, camping, fresh local seafood and wonderful natural spots. “The Needles” are striking chalk formations stretching off the west coast of the island.

2. Anglesey

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The largest island in Wales, Anglesey lies off the northwest coast of the country. Regular ferries run from here to Dublin from Holyhead town. It’s an alternative route to take for travellers who prefer not to fly. If you are starting in England, you’ll also get to pass through some lovely Welsh countryside.

3. Skye

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great british islands

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The stunning landscape of Skye makes it popular with hikers, outdoor sports enthusiasts and anyone in need of a dose of nature. The “Cuillins” are a range of mountains offering spectacular views to climbers who reach their peaks. You can also hunt for dinosaur footprints at a number of locations where they have been found on the island. The largest town, Portree, is a charming settlement that also makes for a great base while exploring the island.

Also read: Isle of Skye: The Gateway to Scotland’s Most Dramatic Scenery

4. Skomer

great british islands

Image credit: James Stringer

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Skomer island is located off the west coast of Wales. It is a beautiful spot for wildlife lovers and a national nature reserve. There is a large Atlantic puffin colony and many visitors go just to see or photograph the birds. Half of all the world’s Manx shearwater birds are also here, as well as various other land and marine wildlife.

5. Arran

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Image credit: James Stringer

This scenic Scottish island offers many coastal walking routes and picturesque paths through hilly terrain. Arran is rich in prehistoric remains for those who are interested in stone circles, ancient rock art and the like. The villages on the island are worth a visit too, including the small village of Blackwaterfoot. Or stop by the Isle of Arran Distillery for a drop of traditional whisky!

6. Lindisfarne (Holy Island)

great british islands

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Lindisfarne, or Holy Island, is a tidal island in the Northeast of England. You can access the island on foot during low tide across sand and mudflats. A castle has stood on the island since the 1500s. Visitors to the area can also explore ancient ruins and old churches. The island’s tradition of using overturned old fishing boats as storage huts still continues today and you will see them scattered around. The wildlife is abundant here too with an interesting intertidal habitat and plenty of bird and seal spotting.

7. Isles of Scilly

great british islands

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Image credit: James Stringer

The Isles of Scilly are in fact an archipelago made up of five inhabited islands and multiple smaller surrounding islands. They are located off the southwest coast of Cornwall and enjoy one of the mildest climates you’ll find in England. Blue waters, sandy beaches and beautiful landscapes are found across each of the islands. Scilly also offers amazing archaeology and ancient history, as well as wonderful marine wildlife. If you are at St. Agnes island, you will have reached the southernmost settlement of the United Kingdom.

8. Fair Isle

great british islands

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For the adventurous, consider Fair Isle. It is one of the wildest and most remote inhabited islands in Britain. It is located between Orkney and the Shetland islands off the northern coast of Scotland. You may have heard of Fair Isle as a knitting pattern, and yes it was named after this tiny island! There is a permanent population of approximately 60 people on the island, one shop, one school and a bird observatory & guesthouse.

Also read: 7 One-Week Itineraries in the United Kingdom

Venture to one or more of these fascinating islands for a Britain that is rarely seen by the average tourist.

About Author

Rebecca Mei Dook
Rebecca Mei Dook

Becca is a fan of impromptu travel, world cultures, ocean views and chocolate anything. When she's not travelling, you can find her either roaming the muddy paths of the English countryside or wandering around her favourite neighbourhoods in Singapore. After taking an AncestryDNA test, she now dreams about visiting all the places that make up her ethnicity.


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