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A visit to Lewis and Harris is like stepping into the pages of a Scottish fairy... more
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Lewis and Harris
A visit to Lewis and Harris is like stepping into the pages of a Scottish fairy tale. In Lewis—the northern part of the island—the legendary Callanish Standing Stones poke up from the ground like a strange and massive rock city. The Blackhouse, the Shawbost Norse Mill and Kiln, and the Carloway Broch all offer a peek at what island life used to look like. In southern Harris, the east side beaches boast some of the oldest known rocks in the world, dating back millions of years. Cruise over to the volcanic islands of St. Kilda to explore the ruins of a medieval village.
The aptly named Mainland is the main island of Orkney, a collection of Scottish... more
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Mainland
The aptly named Mainland is the main island of Orkney, a collection of Scottish islands with serious Viking cred. On West Mainland you’ll find the Heart of Neolithic Orkney, prehistoric ruins that include a chambered tomb, stone ceremonial circles, and Skara Brae, a well-preserved Neolithic village. Cap off your visit with a hoppy glug from the Orkney Brewery. Over on the East side, marvel at a collapsed sea cave known as The Gloup, take a provincial stroll through St. Mary’s Village or just dip your toes in at Mill Sands or Dingieshowe Beach.
A trip to the Isle of Mull isn’t complete without a visit to the Tobermory... more
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Isle of Mull
A trip to the Isle of Mull isn’t complete without a visit to the Tobermory Distillery, one of the oldest distillers in the country, and a snort of their single malt Scotch. Mull was first settled around 3000 B.C., but thankfully much of the island’s rustic natural beauty has been preserved. Explore the deep-sea cavern of MacKinnon’s Cave, try to solve the mystery of the Lochbuie stone circle and play royal at the 13th-century Duart Castle.
The Jersey shore looks a little bit different in the Channel Islands. No Snookis... more
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Jersey
The Jersey shore looks a little bit different in the Channel Islands. No Snookis here—instead, the partying of choice is the annual Battle of Flowers, a sweet-smelling carnival that culminates in the Moonlight Parade. Kayakers, surfers, divers and sailors will find plenty to love about Jersey’s active watersports scene, and adrenaline junkies will (cliff) jump for a coasteering tour of the caves, cliffs and crags. A day of shopping and café-hopping in St. Helier is an excellent dose of cultural retail therapy.
The landscape is dramatic—even a bit moody, with the Cuillin Range in the... more
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Isle of Skye
The landscape is dramatic—even a bit moody, with the Cuillin Range in the background—but outdoorsy kids will have a blast on the Isle of Skye. Plenty of water sports are available, and you’ll also find great hiking and even pony rides. Portree, the largest town, makes a great base for exploring this striking island.
Packed to the gills with antique silver, porcelain and furniture, the red... more
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Isle of Arran
Packed to the gills with antique silver, porcelain and furniture, the red sandstone Brodick Castle is one of the highlights of the Isle of Arran. The castle overlooks Goatfell, a majestic hill that’s a popular day hike. The Machrie Moor stone circles make for a mystical field trip, as does a tour of The Arran Malt whisky distillery.
The Isle of Man is simply magical, an enchanted journey back in time that... more
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Isle of Man
The Isle of Man is simply magical, an enchanted journey back in time that somehow still feels modern. The island is peppered with stone churches, castles, forts and intricately carved Celtic crosses, all in varying states of preservation. A ride on the steam engine Heritage Railway is a wonderful way to take in the splendid countryside. Don’t miss the Victorian-era Laxey Wheela or Curraghs Wildlife Park, a fun way to get up close and personal with some of the island’s most adorable natives.
The Isle of Islay spans 240 square miles, with an impressive 130 miles of... more
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Islay
The Isle of Islay spans 240 square miles, with an impressive 130 miles of coastline. The island is famous for its malt whiskies, and there are eight distilleries on the island. To be sure, many people visit the Isle to tour distilleries and "appreciate" whisky, but the wildlife and scenery are also a big draw. Bird-watching is particularly popular through the year. Just don't try to squeeze it in after a distillery tour or two. Looking through binoculars has been known to make some people woozy, especially after whisky.
St. Mary’s is a postcard-perfect jumble of castles and coves. It’s the largest... more
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St Mary's
St. Mary’s is a postcard-perfect jumble of castles and coves. It’s the largest island of the United Kingdom’s Isles of Scilly, an archipelago that’s been inhabited for thousands of years. Ancient stone structures, Spanish windmills, lush gardens and breathtaking wetlands all draw visitors longing for a quaint Cornish holiday that’s steeped in history and modern charm.
Prehistoric stone markers and monuments dot the landscape of the Isle of... more
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Island of Anglesey
Prehistoric stone markers and monuments dot the landscape of the Isle of Anglesey, serving as stately beacons to visitors. The beaches of Rhosneigr are great for surfing, fishing and diving. The dunes and pebbly shores of Broad Beach span from the village all the way to the Barclodiad y Gawres neolithinc burial chamber. Hauntingly beautiful Beaumaris Gaol will give you chills. Warm up with a pony petting session at Foel Farm Park.