10 Amazing UK Islands to Explore

Although the UK is an Island, there are Islands that are part of the UK located off-shore from each country, England, Scotland, North Ireland and Wales.

Although the UK is an Island itself, there are Islands that are part of the UK that sit off-shore from the major land masses of England, Scotland, North Ireland and Wales. In this article we’re going to explore where some of these are, some key characteristics and potentially how you can visit some of them!

1. Orkney – Scotland

The first island on our list is Orkney. This archipelago sits North East from the coast of Scotland. It offers up stunning scenery and thousands of years of history. So whilst technically not an island on its own this collection of islands is home to over 20,000 people. The largest island, known as the Mainland covers an area of 202 Square Miles and Kirkwall is the largest settlement.

How to Get There:

A number of flights operate via Scottish Airports including Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Glasgow and Inverness. Ferries travel to the Islands for those looking to drive and public transport offers routes to the ferries for those travelling on foot.

2. Lewis – Outer Hebrides, Scotland

The Isle of Lewis sits in the North West corner of the Hebrides or Western Isles of Scotland. It’s part of the larger Isle of Lewis and Harris and is the northern part of these isles. It’s 683 Square Miles and it is steeped in Rich Norse History. The Island also offers up incredible beeches, gorgeous scenery and both Gaelic and English are spoken.

How to Get There:

You can travel to Lewis via ferry from Ullapool on the mainland. More information can be found here: https://www.calmac.co.uk/article/2144/Lewis.

3. Isle of Skye – Inner Hebrides, Scotland

The Isle of Skye is 50 Miles Long and is connected to Scotland’s North West Coast by bridge. It’s part of the Inner Hebrides Archipelago. It features rugged landscapes, stunning fishing villages and castles. The population is around 10,000 and the capital is Portree.

How to Get There:

One of the easiest ways to get there is by car travelling over the bridge from the mainland. Additionally you can get to Skye via public transport from Inverness. Additional information on accommodation can be found here: https://www.isleofskye.com/ and additional information about transport here: https://www.visitscotland.com/destinations-maps/isle-skye/see-do/skye-fort-william-itinerary/

4. Isle of Mull – Scotland

Often known as just Mull the Isle of Mull is part of the Inner Hebridesand like the isle of Skye. It’s the fourth largest island in Britain and covers 338 square miles. The population is approximately 3000 and is host to some iconic sporting competitions including the highland games. Add in great scenery, multiple distilleries and the colourful settlement of Tobermory it’s a great place to visit.

How to Get There:

You can get to the Isle of Mull via Ferry from Oban, more details can be found here: https://www.calmac.co.uk/article/2165/Mull.

5. Anglesey – Wales

With iconic beaches and a history Anglesey sits just off the North West coast of Wales. It can be accessed via bridges from the mainland and the population is approximately 70,000. Great walking locations, outdoor activities and great food and drink make it a great visit.

How to Get There:

Anglesey can be reached via bridge either by driving or public transport. More information about the Island can be found here: https://www.visitanglesey.co.uk/.

6. Scilly, England

The Isles of Scilly are another Archipelago, located off the Cornish Coast. They feature incredible beaches and of the 140 islands, 5 are inhabited. These major islands include, St. Marys, Tresco, St. Martins, Bryher and St. Agnes. The population is over 2000 and the total area of the islands is more than 360 square miles.

How to Get There:
The Isles of Scilly can be reached by air or boat, more details can be found here: https://www.islesofscilly-travel.co.uk/.

7. Isle of Wight, England

The Isle of Wight, is located just off the South Coast of England. It’s actually a county of England, and has been iconic for many years as a holiday destination. The Island as a whole is 960 Square Miles and has a population of over 140,000. In terms of things to do there’s attractions galore from adventure activities to scenic walks and gorgeous beaches.

How to Get There:

You can reach the isle of Wight via the Hovercraft or ferry services. The dedicated Tourism site offers more details here: ​​https://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/.

8. Farne Islands, England

The Farne Islands are located off the coast of Northumberland in the North East of England. There are between 15 and 20 islands depending on the tide and are iconic for their Wildlife. The island is home to many seabirds and seals.

How to Get There:

The island is accessible from Seahouses and public transport can be taken to get there however it’s generally easiest to drive. More details can be found here: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/farne-islands.

9. Rathlin Island, Northern Ireland

Rathlin Island is located off the coast of County Antrim in Northern Ireland. The island is 6 miles long and 1 mile wide. With less than 200 residents the island has a small number of buildings however the sea and nature views that it offers are beautiful.

How to Get There:

The island can be reached via the ferry service from Ballycastle in County Antrim. More details can be found here: http://www.rathlincommunity.org/.

10. Sark, England

Sark is an island that is part of the channel islands. It sits off the coast of Normandy, France and has an approximate population of 500 within a 2.1 square mile area. Stargazing opportunities from this island are incredible and only tractors, bicycles and horse-drawn vehicles are prohibited here. The stunning scenery and its unique features make it a great place to visit.

How to Get There:

Sark can be reached by boat / Ferry from Jersey and Guernsey. To reach the island from the UK you would need to travel to Jersey or Guernsey first or directly by boat. More information can be found here: https://www.sark.co.uk/how-to-get-here/.


We hope this article inspires you to visit some of the incredible islands dotted around the UK and shows just how much exceptional scenery, wildlife and adventure lies within the isles of the UK.

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