Last weekend I spent the weekend in Guernsey and I had a fantastic short break. I flew out straight after work on Friday and returned on Monday morning which meant I got to spend the weekend on an island without wasting any annual leave. I'll definitely return to Guernsey and am already planning our next trip but the success of our short mini-break has got me thinking about where else I can visit for just a weekend. Read on to discover six islands that you can visit that are located within an hour from the UK mainland.
Located off the coast of Normandy, Jersey is an intriguing fusion of British and French culture. It’s the biggest of the Channel Islands set and boasts a stunning 47 mile coastline. Whether you’re into sandy beaches or rugged cliffs, Jersey has it all! There’s plenty of hotels to choose from and an abundance of charming cafes and restaurants to whittle away the days. If you want to getaway to Jersey for a relaxing break, budget airlines such as Flybe schedule flights departing from all the UK’s major cities from Exeter to Edinburgh.
For breathtakingly rugged scenery, Scotland’s Isle of Skye is a winning destination. Catch the ferry for a novel experience or simply drive over the Skye Bridge in a matter of minutes. Whichever route you choose to take, it’s well worth the effort. For whiskey lovers, a tour of the famous Talisker distillery is a must. Those wanting to work up a sweat can hike some of Skye’s spectacular mountain paths.
Isle of Man
Nestled in between Ireland and England, the Isle of Man offers visitors quintessential old world charm. The island is peppered with castles, churches and abbeys which will please even the most well-read of history buffs. For those with a taste for adventure, the isle’s undulating interior offers great scenic hikes while coastal trails lead to magnificent viewpoints. For cheap transport to the Isle of Man, tourists need no longer rely on the ferry, British Airways flies direct from London City Airport.
Despite being just a short trip on the A5 off Wales, Anglesey feels worlds away from mainland Britain. Visitors can explore ancient castles, enjoy beautiful nature walks and even engage in some summertime water sports that give Spain a run for its money!
Off the coast of Cornwall lies a picturesque archipelago which flaunts a wonderful Mediterranean vibe. Tresco is by far the most popular island and boasts a fascinating history dating back to the Bronze Age. Whether you frolic in the crystal clear waters or explore the ancient Tresco Abbey Gardens, Tresco and the Isles of Scilly is just a short plane or ferry ride away!
Isle of Sark
It may be the smallest of the major British Channel Islands but the Isle of Sark is definitely worthy of a mention. The short-haul flight company Aurigny can get you there fast by air. The island has a no cars policy which keeps the air incredibly clean – perfect for those wishing to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. Instead, visitors cycle, walk or take a horse drawn cart around the island’s 40 mile circumference. Thanks to the lack of infrastructure, the Isle of Sark is a great place to spot wildlife and indulge in a little star gazing.
With fantastic islands such as these, why bother travelling further afield to get your dose of fresh sea air?