Travel the seas and escape to the tiny islands that have strayed away from the UK’s mainland. Although they are just a few miles out, they can often feel like another world, where wildlife thrives and time stands still. So stay longer than a day in these island cottages and explore the islands from head to toe, discovering secluded beaches and ancient history.

Holy Island

A holiday here will be quite the adventure. Cut off from the rest of the world twice a day, this small tidal island is accessed only by a narrow causeway that becomes submerged by the North Sea. It sits just five miles from the Northumberland coast and is steeped in 16th-century history and wildlife-rich nature reserves. Climb the crag-top castle of Lindisfarne or go spotting for seals and dolphins that grace the coastline.

Brownsea Island

Stay on this treasure island less than a mile from the mainland, where pirates once lived and where rare wildlife thrives. It sits in the middle of Dorset’s Poole Harbour against the backdrop of the Purbeck Hills. Walk through dense woodlands, a curious abandoned village and out to the lagoon and beach.   

Isle of Wight

Its stark chalk cliffs may be a visible across the Solent from the mainland, but arriving on the Isle of Wight is like entering another world. From the famous coloured sands at Alum bay, to its status as dinosaur capital of the UK, this special island has a magical feel. You could drive from one end of the island to the other in less than an hour, so you can have a real island adventure.