Country Living - 10 of the most beautiful islands in the UK

Posted on 11 June, 2021

Photo by Sandy Manoa on Unsplash

Written by Lisa Walden for Country Living

Need a little future travel inspiration? The most beautiful islands in the UK have been uncovered in new research, with the Isle of Wight scooping the top spot.

"Whilst the British Isles has so many amazing places to explore on the mainland, the islands offer a fantastic opportunity to escape from the mainland and experience something a little different without travelling far from home," says Shannon Keary, Digital PR Manager at Island Cottage Holidays.

"From magnificent views and crystal waters to warmer microclimates and wildlife-rich beauty spots we wanted to celebrate these small, yet mighty islands! 2020 has certainly given us an appreciation of the incredible destinations right on our doorstep, and we hope that this research will encourage people to look to the British isles for their 2021 holiday inspiration!"

Take a look at the full list below...

1 Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight has been crowned the most beautiful British island, with thousands of Instagram uploads each year. While there might not be many people travelling there at the moment, it is famous for its mild climate, coastal scenery and verdant landscape of fields.

2 Isle of Skye

Over in Scotland, The Isle of Skye has breathtaking rugged landscapes, picturesque fishing villages and medieval castles. Perfect for outdoor adventures, why not add this to your must-visit list...

3 Shetland

Go off piste with a visit to Shetland — a beautiful island archipelago in the heart of the North Sea. Located between Norway and mainland Scotland, you'll find breathtaking beaches, wraparound views and plenty of wildlife. Don't forget your hiking boots — a hike here is among some of the best pastimes.

4 Isle of Man

Taking the fourth spot in the study is the Isle of Man – a dreamy island famous for its rolling hills, natural beauty and quirky attractions. Known as the gem of the Irish Sea, it's definitely one to add to your must-visit list.

5 Guernsey

The second largest of the Channel Islands, Guernsey is bursting with local charm and inspiring nature. With glistening sea views, we're not at all surprised it made the top 10.

6 Anglesey

With coastal paths, unparalleled beauty and sandy beaches, Anglesey is one of the most beautiful islands in Britain. A visit here will have you longing to come back each year.

7 Orkney

Orkney is an archipelago in the Northern Isles of Scotland. Steeped in history, it has rolling green fields, spectacular landscapes and beautiful beaches featuring sloping sand dunes. It's right at the top of our post-lockdown travel wish list...

8 Isle of Mull

The picture-perfect Isle of Mull — famous for its colourful houses — is the best place to come if you're looking to spot whales, dolphins and sea eagles. From hidden beaches to its quaint villages, it really does tick all the right boxes.

9 Isle of Arran

Famous for its miles of coastal pathways, numerous hills and rugged mountains, the Isle of Arran is the perfect getaway for walking enthusiasts. Sometimes referred to as "Scotland in miniature", it's definitely worth visiting in the future.

10 Hayling Island

Once dependent on fishing, farming and salt production, Hayling Island is now a popular summer tourist destination. Situated off the south coast of England, visitors will love its silky stretch of sand, seaside attractions and water sports.

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