These islands might be remote, unheard of and sometimes even uninhabited, but if you love nature they’re well worth a visit
1. Samson, Isles of Scilly
Looking from Tresco Appletree bay beach to Samson, Isles of Scilly | Fotolia.com
This 0.15 sq mile island has been uninhabited since 1855, and now just the ruins of cottages remain. It’s a beautiful spot with a sparking white beach, bright blue sea and some 2000 seabirds.
2. Isle of Tiree, Hebrides
Surfing on Balevullin beach | Duncan Stephen via Creative Commons
The most-westerly of the Inner Hebrides, Tiree has some of the highest sunshine levels in the UK, which combined with the warming Gulf Stream and reliable winds makes it ideal for surfers. Around half of the island’s 770 residents are Gaelic speakers.
3. Herm, Channel Islands
Belvoir Bay on Herm | Fotolia.com
This car-free island three miles from Guernsey is made for get-away-from-it-all holidays, with an impressive network of coastal paths, sea kayaking and fishing. There’s even a campsite so you can really experience its nature.
4. Ynys Llanddwyn, Angelsey
Llanddwyn Island at sunset | Fotolia.con
Ynys Llanddwyn remains attached to the mainland in all but the highest of tides, meaning that walking paths abound. The stand-out star is the beach, which has blue-flag status thanks to its clean sands and waters.
5. Rathlin, Country Antrim
Ruins on Rathlin | Fotolia.com
The most northerly inhabited island in Northern Ireland, Rathlin is geologically interesting, being of prehistoric volcanic origin. Along with dramatic, 70 metre high cliffs, the island is home to tens of thousands of seabirds, making it popular with birdwatchers.
6. Havergate Island, Suffolk
Spot Avocets in Havergate Island
Wildlife lovers and birdwatchers will love Suffolk’s only island. Situated at the confluence of the River Ore and Butley River, it’s run by the RSBP and famed for its Avocet, Barn Owk, Tern and Wheater populations. Access is by boat from Orford Quay.
7. Tanera Mór, Summer Isles
Tanera Mor from above | Fotolia.com
Once a thriving herring community, the last inhabitants left Tanera Mór in 2014 but the wildlife is still going strong with otters, herons and red buzzards all prominent. Seals, basking sharks and porpoises can often be spotted in its waters too.
8. Grassholm, Pembrokeshire
Gannets abound on Grassholm | Fotolia.com
13km from the Pembrokeshire coast, Grassholm is Wales’ most westerly point and national nature reserve run by the RSPB. The third most important site for gannets in the world, its waters are also popular feeding grounds for porpoises and bottle-nosed dolphins.