With so many unexpected things to enjoy - outdoors adventures and cosy wintry retreats - UK islands have something to offer for any budget. With staycations being more of a thing than ever, forget city breaks. Its time to go coastal.
According to some sources (and people who have a lot of time on their hands), there are 6,289 islands around the coast of Great Britain. Yep. 6,289. Only 803 of these are big enough to appear on the map. Even still, that would take you nearly 15 and a half years of weekends to visit them all.
No one has time for that, so here are our Island-hopping highlights.
Just off the coast of Cornwall there's a paradise waiting to be discovered. Access is via plane or boat from various locations on the south coast. When you arrive, there's a whole lot of lovely stuff to try - spas, restaurants and galleries, but the main attraction is the scenery. From bright white beaches to gardens with palm trees, it's easy to forget you're not in a Caribbean paradise (even in the chiller months). The crab sandwiches might give it away though.
Capture the perfect shot in Fingal's Cave
We know that holidays are about more than just showing off on social media, but it does feel great to get an amazing photo. Staffa, one of the islands in the Inner Hebrides, is the place to go if you want something spectacular. Getting to Staffa Opens an overlay [Will show a security message first] is a mini adventure in itself, with daily boat tours operating from local islands. As well as the guillemots and puffins, the hexagonal basalt columns that make up the surface of the island are really something worth sharing.
Spend the night in 'No Man's Land'
A circular fort. That's also a four-star hotel. In the sea?
This is one destination that will make a great story afterwards. Built between the years of 1867 and 1880 in the Solent, the fort Opens an overlay [Will show a security message first] originally protected Portsmouth against invasion. These days, the impressive building is used for more relaxing purposes. Hop over by boat or helicopter for a long lunch, dinner, spa day or stag and hen do. Check out 360 views and try not to get too spooked by its military history.
Be at one with nature on Skye
Back up in the Inner Hebrides, Skye Opens an overlay [Will show a security message first] is pretty well known as one of the most beautiful spots in the British Isles. But why not experience it a bit differently? These cosy wooden shepherds' huts are perfect for a wintery getaway with everything you need to get close to nature, in loads more comfort and style than a tent. For fans of stunning views, wood-burning stoves, knitted blankets and absolutely no phone signal.
Dive into a world of wildlife off Lundy
Lundy Opens an overlay [Will show a security message first] in the Bristol channel has a resident population of just 28, but it attracts hundreds of day-trippers because of its amazing marine wildlife. Get up close to spider crabs, corals and ballan wrasse (a type of fish) in the waters of Landing Bay. Remember to pack your wetsuit though - and you might even spot some seals.
So, what are you waiting for? Nature lovers and beauty-hunters can all do their thing right here in the British Isles. Go decadent in an amazing hotel, or get back to nature on a budget.