Here at Good Housekeeping, we love relaxing on gorgeous beaches, soaking up the beauty of the worlds best natural landscapes and learning about different cultures.
But you dont always have to travel long distances for exciting experiences as weve got a wealth of stunning beaches, amazing landscapes and interesting traditions right here in the UK.
Cornwall, the Isle of Wight, the Jurassic Coast and the Isles of Scilly are home to some of our favourite British beaches, but for really remote landscapes, bracing dog walks along the shore, unique food and drink tastings and fascinating heritage, there is nowhere quite like the Scottish islands.
There are over 900 offshore isles to explore, grouped into four main clusters: the northernmost Shetland Islands, the Neolithic Orkneys and the Inner and Outer Hebrides - famous for their white-sand beaches and brilliant outdoor activities.
Visitors will also find islands in Scotland's inlets and firths and on its iconic freshwater lochs (just watch out for mythical monsters!). Yet somehow, Scotland's beautiful islands are still one of Britains best-kept secrets.
To make things easier, weve narrowed down our 15 favourite Scottish islands and all of their best bits, with how you can visit, whether you love a spot of island hopping, travelling in luxury or you're after an eco-friendly escape.
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Located in western Scotlands Inner Hebrides, the Isle of Mull is the fourth-largest Scottish island, known for its white-tailed sea eagles, a favourite on the BBCs Coast and Springwatch, the 700-year-old Duart Castle and the colourful houses that line the waterfront of Tobermory.
This town, which is the largest on Mull and the inspiration for CBeebies Balamory, is sprinkled with pubs, eateries, specialist shops and nature trails.
You can visit on a luxury private yacht with fellow Good Housekeeping readers.
FIND OUT MORE
Islay - also known as the Queen of the Hebrides - is Scotland's whisky isle, where you can sip single malts in one of nine working distilleries.
Its also the perfect spot for bird watchers, who will be keen to see the beautiful hen harriers up on Loch Gruinart Nature Reserve and the large flocks of wild geese who visit the isle every winter on their long journey to Canada.
Top tip: its pronounced 'eye-lah'.
You can visit Islay with Good Housekeeping this summer.
FIND OUT MORE
Although tiny Eigg is only home to 90 people, its community is also made up of marine animals and birdlife, including gorgeous Atlantic seals, minke whales, dolphins, porpoises and a variety of seabirds.
On Eigg you can climb Britains largest pitchstone ridge, watch eagles fly over dreamy white sand beaches and learn about the worlds first renewably powered electricity grid, plus its just a short sail to the town of Inverie in Loch Nevis, where you can have a drink at the most remote pub in the British Isles.
Visit Eigg on a luxury cruise with Good Housekeeping.
FIND OUT MORE
One of Scotlands most popular islands, Arran packs in the culture. Time your visit to check out one of the many cultural festivals held on the island and make sure to taste the local cheese, beer and oatcakes.
You can also while away the hours admiring artworks inspired by the island scenery at Arran Art Gallery, or taking in the magnificent period furniture, waterfall and woodlands of Brodick Castle.
Other fun activities on Arran include seeing the early Christian carvings in Kings Caves, or a walk from Arran Brewery to Glen Rosa, where you can enjoy spectacular views of the Goatfell ranges scraggy peaks.
5Lewis and Harris
Lewis and Harris are two real Scottish heritage islands. Youll still hear Gaelic spoken on the streets of Stornoway, the islands main town, and you can browse hand-woven Harris tweed clothing in the shops - perhaps what the area is most famous for.
Archaeology buffs will love the mysterious Neolithic landing stones at Callanish, which are even older than Stonehenge, and at the ancient blackhouse villages you can experience the unique Gaelic farming system of crofting.
You can visit Lewis during a cruise along the west coast of Scotland.
FIND OUT MORE
Jura gets its name from the ancient Norse word for 'deer', so its no surprise this narrow Southern Hebridean island is one of the wildest places in Scotland, where the 200-odd inhabitants are outnumbered by the local deer.
Jura is a walkers paradise and the west of the island is especially unspoilt - featuring wealth of wildlife, stunning views and a sense of total peace. Its probably why George Orwell chose Jura as the place to finish writing his bestselling novel 1984.
One of the craftiest of the Shetland Islands, Fair Isles past is interwoven with a rich history of wool, textiles and the inimitable Fair Isle technique. Fair Isle knits, with their classic geometric patterns, were made famous by the royal family back in the 20s and are still popular today.
You can learn all about the process of knitting with our sister magazine Prima. From seeing Uradale sheep on a local farm, to watching the dying process and even trying your hand at knitting in a workshop alongside experts Hazel Tindall and Kathleen Anderson, this is the perfect short break for everyone from beginners to knitting pros.
Visit the Shetlands with Prima.
FIND OUT MORE
Weve all heard of Orkney crab. Well, theres nowhere you can have it fresher than here, in a restaurant on the craggy cliffs of Orkneys wild Atlantic Coast. But theres plenty more to do on Orkey.
Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site to see the Standing Stones of Stenness, the Ring of Brodgar and the 5000-year-old village of Skara Brae - where remarkable dwellings appeared from beneath the sand dunes in a storm just 150 years ago. Interestingly, Gaelic was never spoken in Orkney, and locals - who speak a distinctive dialect of the Scots language - are called Orcadians.
The Isle of Skye is on everyones bucket list, and with less foreign travel on the cards this year, we think nows the perfect time to make the trip. Skye offers spectacular sunsets over the mountains and into the sea, delicious seafood with a French twist in the Michelin-starred Loch Bay and magical hikes around the otherworldly Fairy Glen.
Portree, the isles capital, has a lovely harbour fringed by dramatic cliffs which is great to stroll around - a walk up to the Apothecarys Tower offers a view thats simply not to be missed.
Visit Skye and Scotlands West Coast gems with Good Housekeeping in July or on an East to West sailing from Edinburgh to Glasgow, both on the square-rigged sailing ship, Golden Horizon. For something more intimate, visit in autumn on a luxury yacht.
To arrive at this private tidal island on Scotlands West Coast you have to cross a rattling wooden-decked bridge at low tide. But its worth it. The views across Loch Linnhe and its maze of small islands are spectacular, and the blue-green hills of Appin to the North and Morvern to the South stand proud in the distance.
There are also 300 acres of private gardens on Eriska, a gorgeous coastline, wildlife including deer, otters and badgers, and a Victorian mansion which was renovated into a luxury hotel and spa. Stay for pampering, sports and leisure, and walks through the secluded grounds.
Read Good Housekeeping's review and book a stay.
FIND OUT MORE
Tiny Gigha (pronounced 'Gee'a') is the 'Good Isle' of the Hebrides, and is owned by the islanders themselves. The community here has been growing since the island was bought by its inhabitants back in 2002.
With a warm microclimate, Gigha is perfect for holidays taking in the sandy beaches and clear turquoise seas. Achamore House, set in over 50 acres of woodland gardens, has a renowned Rhododendron and Camellia Collection and exotic plants that are beautiful year-round.
Experience island hopping in the Hebrides with Good Housekeeping.
FIND OUT MORE
Inchmurrin in Loch Lomond is the largest freshwater island in the British Isles. Now covered in woodland, it used to be a deer park owned by the Dukes of Montrose and features the atmospheric ruins of a castle.
Stay in self-catering accommodation on Inchmurrin to enjoy swims from one of its many pretty beaches and visits to the highly rated Inchmurrin bar and restaurant.
FIND OUT MORE
Although Hirta is a UNESCO double World Heritage Site and the 'jewel in the crown' of the National Trust for Scotland, a visit to the remote St Kilda archipelago is totally dependent on the weather - which is what makes it feel all the more dramatic.
The islands are the stunning remains of a volcanic crater, where thousands of seabirds like to nest. Its also a spot known for sightings of minke whales. But its difficult to live on this exposed island. Although Hirta was inhabited for over 5,000 years, the remote island community all self-evacuated in 1930. Want to know more? Head to the tiny St Kilda museum.
Visit Hirta during Good Housekeeping's island hopping cruise in the Hebrides.
FIND OUT MORE
Another of Loch Lomonds islands, Inchconnachan is in the Trossachs National Park and has an especially unusual feature: its home to a population of wallabies - yes, those cute marsupials native to Australia and Papua New Guinea!
It turns out the eccentric Lady Arran was fond of exotic animals and introduced them to Loch Lomond, where she grew up. You can visit the island on a ferry from Luss and stay at the old coaching inn, The Winnock, which has been welcoming weary travellers passing through Loch Lomond and the Trossachs for centuries.
If youre feeling inspired to explore Scotland, browse the full list of Good Housekeeping Holidays Scottish breaks.
We want to help you stay inspired. Sign up for the latest travel tales and to hear about our favourite financially protected escapes and bucket list adventures.
This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Originally posted here:
- From private islands to fancy cars, here are the things Jay-Z has gifted Beyonc - MSN UK - September 5th, 2021
- An incredible private island for sale in the Summer Isles at the price of a central London parking space - Country Life - September 5th, 2021
- Putin Says Private Businesses, Japanese Firms On Disputed Kurile Islands To Receive Tax Breaks - Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty - September 5th, 2021
- Optimistic Researchers Say There Still Time To Head Off Climate Change Before It Starts Killing Rich People - The Onion - September 5th, 2021
- Hilton to Debut in Spectacular Santorini with Stunning Beachfront Property - Hospitality Net - September 5th, 2021
- The Return of the Dream Honeymoon - The New York Times - September 5th, 2021
- Punta Mita, Mexico, Is Having Its Day in the Sun - Mansion Global - September 5th, 2021
- Saint Lucia Island Innovation Ambassador to Participate at Virtual Island Summit 2021 - St. Lucia News From The Voice - The Voice St. Lucia - September 5th, 2021
- Exploring the Elizabeth Islands (and swimming with cows) - The Boston Globe - July 12th, 2021
- Holiday on Welsh private island goes viral on TikTok and stuns people around the world - Wales Online - July 12th, 2021
- Dusit International subsidiary Elite Havens recognised for offering one of 'The World's Most Amazing Vacation Rentals' in new Netflix series -... - July 12th, 2021
- Attempt to Spend Elon Musk's $160 Billion Wealth With This Online Simulator - Newsweek - July 12th, 2021
- How Neighbor Islands Are Working To Address Overtourism In Hawaii - Honolulu Civil Beat - July 12th, 2021
- Beautiful Scottish island goes on sale for the same price as Edinburgh city centre flat - Edinburgh Live - July 12th, 2021
- Islands receive more than $2 million in recreation... - Journal of the San Juan Islands - July 12th, 2021
- Secluded Camp with 4000 ft of Lake Frontage in NY's Adirondacks Scheduled for Luxury Auction July 16th - Markets Insider - July 12th, 2021
- Revisiting 'The Island of Dr. Moreau': Marlon Brando's fever dream - Far Out Magazine - July 12th, 2021
- Carnivals First Cruise Live Blog: Day 7, Heading Home (and a COVID Test) - Cruzely.com - July 12th, 2021
- Where Sun, Sand and Splendor Are Still to Be Discovered - The New York Times - June 10th, 2021
- The Best Smaller Islands to Visit in the BVIs - AFAR Media - June 10th, 2021
- Norwegian Donates $25000 to the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation - Cruise Industry News - June 10th, 2021
- This Entire B.C. Island Could Be Yours For Less Than $640000 - 604 Now - June 10th, 2021
- St Barts to re-open its borders to vacationers on June 9 - GlobeNewswire - June 10th, 2021
- Celebrate World Oceans Day 2021 All Year Round At These Sustainable Luxury Resorts - Forbes - June 10th, 2021
- Why agents need to have villas and private homes in their sights - TTG - June 10th, 2021
- Privacy Is the New Luxury: 5 Caribbean Destinations Offering Ultra-Luxe Experiences - Yahoo Finance - June 10th, 2021
- Be the ruler of your own island on BC's Sunshine Coast for just over $1 million - BC News - Castanet.net - June 10th, 2021
- This Riviera-inspired island resort will be the ultimate party hotspot - What's On - June 10th, 2021
- Escape the island with a staycation on a smaller one - BreakingNews.ie - April 5th, 2021
- The private islands you can rent in France, Spain and Greece from just 12pp a night... - The Sun - April 5th, 2021
- A New Private-Island Resort in the US Virgin Islands - Caribbean Journal - April 5th, 2021
- Immunity pods of family and friends start to venture out on private vaxications - The Boston Globe - April 5th, 2021
- Royal Caribbean Thanks Emergency Services, NHS And Armed Forces With UK Homecoming, Set For This Summer - KPVI News 6 - April 5th, 2021
- Camping Returns To Apostle Islands National Lakeshore - National Parks Traveler - April 5th, 2021
- Ghislaine Maxwell Faces Two New Trafficking Charges, Raising Pressure On Prince Andrew And Others Listed In Jeffrey Epsteins Little Black Book -... - April 5th, 2021
- Staycation in Scotland: 6 remote and beautiful Scottish Island escapes - HeraldScotland - April 5th, 2021
- Private Plane Vacation Packages Are the Big New Thing in Resort Travel - InsideHook - April 5th, 2021
- Valentine's Special: 16 Spectacular Heart-Shaped Islands and Lakes on Earth (PHOTOS) | The Weather Channel - Articles from The Weather Channel |... - February 15th, 2021
- Skulls, Private Islands, And Wu-Tang: Fun Things Jeff Bezos Could... - 2oceansvibe News - February 15th, 2021
- Dream Honeymoons: A Stopover in Dubai Makes this Maldives Adventure Doubly Sweet - My New Orleans - February 15th, 2021
- Can You Afford to Live on a Cruise Ship With Social Security Alone? - Cruzely.com - February 15th, 2021
- Privacy is the New Luxury: The World's Most Exclusive Villa Holidays to Book For 2021 - Luxury Travel Magazine - February 15th, 2021
- 19 things to know before your first trip to the Maldives - Cond Nast Traveller India - February 15th, 2021
- Luxury, waterfront home on Venice Island listed at $3.5M - Sarasota Herald-Tribune - February 15th, 2021
- Things to do in Maldives, where the world seems headed this year-end - Moneycontrol.com - December 5th, 2020
- Is Princess Plus Worth It? Program Details and What to Know - Cruzely.com - December 5th, 2020
- Conspiracy theories are a threat to democracy - Canton Repository - December 5th, 2020
- Juliet Twena: The 'must see' sights on my bucket list - part one - Jersey Evening Post - December 5th, 2020
- 15 Biggest Islands on Earth - Yahoo Finance - October 19th, 2020
- How to Plan the Ultimate Caribbean Luxury Vacation - Caribbean Journal - October 19th, 2020
- Escape To The Secret Sophistication of The Florida Keys - Ocean Drive Magazine - October 19th, 2020
- Disney Cruise Line has 2022 itineraries and an update on Disney Wish - Travelweek - October 19th, 2020
- D'Aguilar: Be patient on tourism restart - EyeWitness News - October 19th, 2020
- Ngpuhi protesters prepared to stand in front of bulldozers to stop development on whi tapu land - RNZ - October 19th, 2020
- Miss 'overseas' holidays? Head to the Hauraki Gulf - New Zealand Herald - October 19th, 2020
- Beaver Island Retreat, In Up-North Michigan Indianapolis Monthly - Indianapolis Monthly - October 19th, 2020
- Airlines really want you to fly this winter, and these Caribbean islands are ready for tourists - The Dallas Morning News - October 10th, 2020
- BVI Tourist Board Meets With Major Tourism Industry Partners - The St. Kitts-Nevis Observer - October 10th, 2020
- 'We lost ourselves': Future Islands, the synthpop band who nearly blew it - The Guardian - October 10th, 2020
- French bank BNP is asked for information on Jeffrey Epstein's wealth - Independent.ie - October 10th, 2020
- BVI Businesses Are Soon Going To Be Lovin' It. - The St. Kitts-Nevis Observer - October 10th, 2020
- BVI Tourist Board Meets With Major Tourism Industry Partners - Government of the Virgin Islands - October 8th, 2020
- Belize Reopens: Heres The Ultimate Secluded Getaway - Forbes - October 8th, 2020
- Privately funded search team claims to have found possible signs of life on islands near where Gulf Livestock 1 sank - 9News - October 8th, 2020
- Government To Discuss Reopening Protocols With Service Industry - Government of the Virgin Islands - October 8th, 2020
- The perfect fix for your travel itch comes in the form of private jets - Lifestyle Asia - October 8th, 2020
- Cayman Islands Removed from the EU Blacklist | Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP - JD Supra - October 8th, 2020
- These New Luxury Blimps Hope to Become the Superyachts of the Skies - Robb Report - August 20th, 2020
- Hot Property: Eagle Island - Cowboys and Indians - August 20th, 2020
- Turks and Caicos is open, but some resorts are closed - Travel Weekly - August 20th, 2020
- The rise of the 'jetcation': How hotels are using private jets to entice customers - Telegraph.co.uk - August 20th, 2020
- 13 Underrated Places That Americans Are Allowed to Visit Now - Best Life - August 20th, 2020
- The Bitcoiners Who Live Permanently Not There - Yahoo Finance - August 20th, 2020
- Seabourn works to grow events business in wake of Covid-19 suspension - Breaking Travel News - August 20th, 2020
- South Korea's Jeju Island Selects ICONLOOP Blockchain Technology for Private, Secure COVID-19 Contact Tracing A new blockchain-based mobile app... - August 20th, 2020
- Vakkaru Maldives' Unmatched New Hospitality Concept Will Take the Utmost Care of You - Hospitality Net - August 10th, 2020
- Bridesmaid for Princess Diana was guest on Jeffrey Epstein's island and flew in his jets - Mirror.co.uk - August 10th, 2020
- How to Visit Someones Island in Dreams in Animal Crossing: New Horizons - How-To Geek - August 10th, 2020
- Resorts reopen in Maldives as travel restrictions lift - Breaking Travel News - August 10th, 2020
- Paradise beaches, cocktails and hiking trails in Mauritius and you can stay at 6k-a-night hotel for 1,250 - The Irish Sun - August 10th, 2020