From Shetland to Scilly, the UK coastline is a fabulous unfinished jigsaw puzzle of islands. Some are blessed with beaches to rival the world’s best and others are teeming with enough wildlife to overwhelm even the presenters of Springwatch. But they all have one thing in common: they’re all favourites for anyone seeking a staycation escape.
Forget palm trees and coconuts, it’s all about island staycations with less time spent travelling, and more time having fun!
From the sailing boats of Cowes to the spectacular sunsets of Sandown, staycations on the Isle of Wight have been delighting families for generations. It continues to be the nation’s favourite island so far in 2017, with thousands of holidaymakers searching for holiday homes across the island.
While Anglesey is the UK’s seventh biggest island, it’s the second most popular of 2017 so far with Holiday Lettings users! If relaxing on the golden sands of beautiful Trearddur Bay doesn’t get your pulse racing, then watching the feathered residents of Puffin Island certainly will. Accessed via the iconic Menai Bridge, Anglesey brings the best bits of island living to a staycation.
Medieval castles, quaint fishing villages, and rugged landscapes… with all that going for it (and more!) it’s not surprising that the Isle of Skye is the most popular island on our list in Scotland. If you can tear yourself away from exploring the island’s mountainous interior, lochs and picturesque peninsulas, head to the town of Portree where you’ll discover plenty of pubs and independent shops.
While technically sharing the island with its northern neighbour Lewis, the Isle of Harris offers up a gallery of signature Scottish attractions. From ruined castles standing on heathered moorland to glorious beaches that could be mistaken for somewhere in the southern hemisphere, you’ll soon see why it’s so high on the list of favourites for holidaymakers so far in 2017.
Nestled in the Irish Sea, the Isle of Man is sometimes missing from the mainstream holiday scene. But it seems that’s not the case, as it’s emerged as the 5th most popular UK island for people looking at holiday homes. With lush glens and miles of rugged coastline to explore, the holiday possibilities are endless. And let’s not forget the event that has put the island on the world stage – the annual TT motorcycle race!
The largest island in the Firth of Clyde, Arran has an array of attractions for the summer staycation seeker. There are beaches aplenty—Pirnmill Beach is perfect for playtime with the kids, Kilmory Beach is ideal for a sunset stroll, and Kildonan Beach’s soft silvery sand is possibly the most beautiful of all of them. But there’s more than beaches—you can wander through lush woodland to see the Glenashdale Falls cascade through the greenery, take a tour of a local whisky distillery, or explore the atmospheric Brodick Castle.
One of the Western Isles in the Outer Hebrides, Lewis is joined to its neighbour the Isle of Harris (fourth on our list). It’s a magical place where history comes alive, from the imposing Callanish standing stones and Bernera Iron Age buildings to the ruins of Carlow Broch. Norse, Viking and Celtic influences all combine here to create an intriguing escape from the everyday.
Atlantic grey seals, Eurasian otters, killer whales, eagles, and more bird species than Bill Oddie can handle… The Isle of Mull is pure joy for wildlife lovers and recognised as one of the UK’s finest destinations for wildlife tourism. Little ones will adore the Mull Aquarium in Tobermory, where they can get up close and personal with the resident marine life through touch pools and interactive games.
For a spellbinding staycation, look no further than the Orkney Islands. The 70 islands making up the archipelago provide a remote and utterly unique experience. Orkney’s most popular attractions include the Ring of Brodgar, an ancient and haunting stone circle, as well as Scapa Flow, the famous natural harbour which was a key location in the naval battles of the First World War. One thing’s for sure: you’re guaranteed a warm welcome.
St Mary’s, Tresco, St Martin’s, Bryher and St Agnes are the five principal islands making up the Isles of Scilly off the Cornish coast, but there are plenty of uninhabited ones to explore, too. Fringed by golden beaches and blessed with a mild climate, the islands are a natural playground. The heritage of these isles is intertwined, naturally, with the sea. Plan a staycation here and you’ll have the chance to sample freshly caught local crab, lobster, and more mouthwatering fruits of the sea.