The Top 10 Largest Islands in the UK

While most people from the UK will know that the biggest islands are in Scotland (excluding GB and Ireland) but would you know the names of them? Maybe not, but once you have read this list you will know the ten biggest…


Isle of Wight, England - Google Maps
Isle of Wight, England – Google Maps

10 – Isle of Wight, England – (Approximate Area: 147 sq Miles)

Wiki Info: The Isle of Wight /ˈaɪl əv ˈwaɪt/ is a county and the largest and second-most populous island in England. It is located in the English Channel, about 4 miles off the coast of Hampshire, separated by the Solent. The island has resorts that have been holiday destinations since Victorian times and is known for its mild climate, coastal scenery, and verdant landscape of fields, downland and chines.

Arran, Scotland - Google Maps
Arran, Scotland – Google Maps

9 – Arran, Scotland – (Approximate Area: 168 sq Miles)

Wiki Info: Arran has been continuously inhabited since the early Neolithic period, and numerous prehistoric remains have been found. From the 6th century onwards, Goidelic-speaking peoples from Ireland colonised it and it became a centre of religious activity. During the troubled Viking Age, Arran became the property of the Norwegian crown, until formally absorbed by the kingdom of Scotland in the 13th century.

Orkney Mainland, Scotland - Google Maps
Orkney Mainland, Scotland – Google Maps

8 – Orkney Mainland, Scotland – (Approximate Area: 206 sq Miles)

Wiki Info: 85% of Orkney’s population live on the island, which is more densely populated than the other islands of the archipelago. The lengthy history of the island’s occupation has provided numerous important archaeological sites and the sandstone bedrock provides a platform for fertile farmland. There is an abundance of wildlife, especially seabirds.

Isle of Man, Irish Sea - Google Maps
Isle of Man, Irish Sea – Google Maps

7 – Isle of Man, Irish Sea – (Approximate Area: 220 sq Miles)

Wiki Info: The island has been inhabited since before 6500 BC. Gaelic cultural influence began in the 5th century and the Manx language, a branch of the Gaelic languages, emerged. In 627, Edwin of Northumbria conquered the Isle of Man along with most of Mercia. In the 9th century, Norsemen established the Kingdom of the Isles. Magnus III, King of Norway, was also known as King of Mann and the Isles between 1099 and 1103.

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Islay, Scotland - Google Maps
Islay, Scotland – Google Maps

6 – Islay, Scotland – (Approximate Area: 246 sq Miles)

Wiki Info: There is ample evidence of the prehistoric settlement of Islay and the first written reference may have come in the 1st century AD. The island had become part of the Gaelic Kingdom of Dál Riata during the Early Middle Ages before being absorbed into the Norse Kingdom of the Isles.

Anglesey - Google Maps
Anglesey – Google Maps

5 – Anglesey (including Holy Island), Wales – (Approximate Area: 275 sq Miles)

Wiki Info: Anglesey is by far the largest island of Wales and the seventh-largest island in the British Isles. Anglesey is also the largest island in the Irish Sea by area, and the second most populous island in the Irish Sea (after the Isle of Man).

Mull, Scotland - Google Maps
Mull, Scotland – Google Maps

4 – Mull, Scotland – (Approximate Area: 347 sq Miles)

Wiki Info: It is widely believed that Mull was inhabited from shortly after the end of the last Ice Age, around 6000 BC. Bronze Age inhabitants built menhirs, brochs and a stone circle with examples of burial cairns, cists, standing stones, stone circles, pottery and knife blades provide compelling evidence.

Shetland Mainland, Scotland - Google Maps
Shetland Mainland, Scotland – Google Maps

3 – Shetland Mainland, Scotland – (Approximate Area: 373 sq Miles)

Wiki Info: The Mainland is the main island of Shetland, Scotland. The island contains Shetland’s only burgh, Lerwick, and is the centre of Shetland’s ferry and air connections. It has an area of 374 square miles (970 km2), making it the third largest Scottish island and the fifth largest of the British Isles after Great Britain, Ireland, Lewis and Harris and Skye.

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Skye, Scotland - Google Maps
Skye, Scotland – Google Maps

2 – Skye, Scotland – (Approximate Area: 643 sq Miles)

Wiki Info: The island has been occupied since the Mesolithic period and its history includes a time of Norse rule and a long period of domination by Clan MacLeod and Clan Donald. The 18th-century Jacobite risings led to the breaking up of the clan system and subsequent Clearances that replaced entire communities with sheep farms, some of which also involved forced emigrations to distant lands. Resident numbers declined from over 20,000 in the early 19th century to just under 9,000 by the closing decade of the 20th century.

Lewis and Harris, Scotland - Google Maps
Lewis and Harris, Scotland – Google Maps

1 – Lewis and Harris, Scotland – (Approximate Area: 859 sq Miles)

Wiki Info: The northern part of the island is called Lewis, the southern is Harris and both are frequently referred to as if they were separate islands. The boundary between Lewis and Harris is where the island narrows between Loch Resort (Reasort, opposite Scarp) on the west and Loch Seaforth (Shìophoirt) on the east (north of the more obvious narrowing of the island at Tarbert).

Author: Gus Barge

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