85 Islands to Explore in United Kingdom

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United Kingdom

The United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. It is the sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a very high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world. It was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries.

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Islands to Explore in United Kingdom

Ailsa Craig

Ailsa Craig is an island in the Firth of Clyde off the coast of Ayrshire in Scotland. It is colloquially known as "Paddy's Milestone" as it is roughly marks the halfway point of the sea journey from Belfast to Glasgow. Ailsa Craig is now uninhabited, the lighthouse having been automated in 1990. The quarry is still operated from time to time, but there are no resident workers. The island is now a bird sanctuary managed by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

Alloa Inch

Alloa Inch is an island in the tidal reaches of the River Forth near Alloa, just before the river opens out into the Firth of Forth. There is a derelict farmhouse on the island, as the land was farmed in the past. Due to subsidence caused by nearby coal mining, flood defences were breached. The land now consists of reed beds and salt marshes. The Scottish Wildlife Trust has managed the island as a reserve since 1996. The smaller islet of Tullibody Inch lies just upstream.

Balta, Shetland

Balta is an uninhabited island in Shetland . It lies off the east coast of Unst and Balta Sound. It has an area of 80 hectares (200 acres).There is a natural arch on the eastern side of the island.Balta Island Seafare and Skaw Smolts are the most northerly fish farm and fish hatchery in Britain

Bass Rock Gallery

Bass Rock is a tiny island formed from a plug of volcanic rock in the Firth of Forth, Scotland. It contains the world’s largest colony of Northern gannets, one of the biggest seabirds in the North Atlantic. Much of the rock is “painted” white by the birds’ guano. The rock is uninhabited, but historically has been settled by an early Christian hermit, and later was the site of an important castle, which after the Commonwealth period was used as a prison.

Bound Skerry

Bound Skerry is part of the Out Skerries group in the Shetland Islands. As well as being the most easterly island of that group, it is also the easternmost point of Scotland. It comprises of a lighthouse and The island was bombed twice in World War II by the German Luftwaffe.

Brownsea Island

Brownsea Island is the largest of the islands in Poole Harbour in the county of Dorset, England. The island is owned by the National Trust. The island sits in the middle of Poole Harbour, with dramatic views of the Purbeck Hills. Thriving natural habitats, including woodland, heathland and a lagoon, have created havens for wildlife, such as the red squirrel and a huge variety of birds, including the sandwich tern.

Burgh Island

Burgh Island is an iconic South Devon landmark, located directly opposite Bigbury on Sea beach. The island is accessible at low tide by a strip of sand which at high tide is completely covered, leaving a ride on the unique sea tractor as the only means of access. It is mainly known for two remarkable features: the fantastic, if expensive Art Deco-style Burgh Island Hotel and the unusual means by which the hotel gets its visitors to the island when the tide is high.


Burray is a small island between South Ronaldsay and the Orkney Mainland. Attractions in Burray include the Fossil and Heritage Centre at Viewforth. The island has a reasonable amount of birdlife, with Eurasian curlew, herring and lesser black-backed gulls breeding here.


Copinsay is an uninhabited island in the Orkneys, famous for its large colonies of kittiwakes, guillemots and razorbills. Fulmars and puffins also breed along the cliffs of Copinsay. The island reserve consists of the main island of Copinsay and the four smaller islets of Corn Holm, Ward Holm, Black Holm and the Horse of Copinsay. The historic Copinsay Lighthouse sits atop 250’ high cliffs that extend for a mile along the coast.

Cramond Island

Cramond Island is a tidal island in the Firth of Forth reached at low tide by a causeway which extends for just over ¾ of a mile into the river from the village of Cramond. The island is part of the Dalmeny Estate, owned by the Rosebery Estates Partnership, and is let to Cramond Boat Club. It is believed that Romans first constructed a defence on the island for their harbour at Cramond. In the 1800s the Island was mainly used to graze sheep.


Creinch is an island on the Highland boundary fault in Loch Lomond. As the Gaelic name implies, it is completely covered in ivy draped trees, including some wych elms. In summer it can be difficult to penetrate the interior and in spring, it is carpeted in wild garlic, wild hyacinths and wood anemones.

Davaar Island

A beautiful tidal island, which sits in the mouth of Campbeltown Loch and provides fantastic views of the town and over to Arran and the Ailsa Craig on a clear day. It was linked to the mainland by a natural shingle causeway called the Dhorlin near Campbeltown at low tide. The island is also known for its seven caves, one of which contains a life size cave painting depicting the crucifixion, painted in 1887 by local artist Archibald MacKinnon.


Easdale is a small island in Argyll on the west coast of Scotland. it covers an area of less than 10 hectares but has a permanent population of about 60, plus a similar number who own residential property and visit regularly. The tiny car-free island of Easdale has much to offer the short or long term visitor.


Egilsay is one of the Orkney Islands in Scotland, lying east of Rousay. The island is largely farmland and is known for its corncrakes and St Magnus Church, dedicated or re-dedicated to Saint MagnusIt is home to acres of moorland, steep hills and cliffs, whereas both Egilsay and Wyre offer a more traditional Orcadian landscape of green fields and fertile farmland.

Eilean Donan

Eilean Donan is a small tidal island where three sea lakes meet. Eilean Donan Castle which frequently appears in photographs, film and television dominates the island. The castle was founded in the thirteenth century, and became a stronghold of the Clan Mackenzie and their allies the Clan MacRae. A footbridge connects the island to the mainland.


A privately owned flat tidal island at the entrance to Loch Creran on the west coast of Scotland. The island is run as a hotel with wooded grounds. It is one of the iconic location for a holiday making and also Eriska is now owned by Creation Gem, a family-owned business from Hong Kong.


Erraid is a tidal island approximately one mile square located in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland. The island features a disused signal station for the lighthouses on Dubh Artach and Skerryvore and a row of cottages built for the lighthouse keepers. The island is privately owned and is home to an intentional community, part of the Findhorn Foundation.


Eynhallow is a small, presently uninhabited island. This 75-hectare island is surrounded by ferocious tidal races - known in Orkney dialect as "roosts. Originally believed to be the summer home of the Finfolk, the island was wrested from them by the guile of an Orkney farmer. There is no ferry to the island, although Orkney Heritage Society organises a trip each July.


Fara is a small island in Orkney, Scotland, lying in Scapa Flow between the islands of Flotta and Hoy. It has been uninhabited since the 1960s. Fara always had a good reputation for it's rich pastures but, as with so many other abandoned islands, the people ended up having no choice but to leave due to the poor communications.


Fidra is a currently uninhabited island in the Firth of Forth, 4 kilometres northwest of North Berwick, on the east coast of Scotland. The island is an RSPB Scotland nature reserve. Like the other islands near North Berwick, Fidra is the result of volcanic activity around 335 million years ago. Fidra consists of three sections; a hill at one end with the lighthouse on it; a low-lying section in the middle, effectively an isthmus; and a rocky stack at the other end.

Map of Islands to explore in United Kingdom