"This is our island. It's a good island. Until the grown-ups come to fetch us, we'll have fun." - Lord of the Flies

Here’s the rules: we have upside-down cake for breakfast, harmonise Bohemian Rhapsody in the shower, and never go a day without getting our feet wet. On island time, we make our own commandments.

Of all the places a person can go, private islands might be the most impassable; pins in the map reserved for the likes of Dion and DiCaprio. And yet… here in the North Atlantic, from The Sea of the Hebrides to the Menai Strait, there’s a handful of islets where turquoise waters reign and none but cormorants know what’s inside the coves. On them, we know places where could-be castaways can live in self-imposed solitude for a little while.


Solas on the Isle of Harris

A modern black house with a turquoise beach behind

Go northward and, little by little, the look of the land changes. Go further still and you’ll reach the Isle of Harris, surrounded by turquoise seas and fringed with white sand: on it sits Solas, a monochromatic hideaway that's miles away from any thoughts of busyness. Here is a place for surfing next to sheep on Luskentyre Beach, where islanders thaw in the sauna post-swim, and the malt scotch whisky is tinged with Caribbean rum.

Book a stay at Solas


Isla Windmill on the Isle of Anglesey

A white lighthouse with a pink cottage attached on a blue sky day

There was a time, not long ago, when to live on an island was a dream only realisable by the few; today, such carefree coastal lifestyles lie just over the Strait from Snowdonia. On Wales’ heftiest island, wrapped up in lore of the patron saint of lovers, Isla Windmill does have something of “a beacon for seekers of adventure” about it. Since the Royal Charter — with its rich cargo — sunk off these shores in the mid-19th century, treasure hunters in search of gold nuggets have come to think of Anglesey as something of an El Dorado.

Book a stay at Isla Windmill


Filly Island in the Cotswolds

A quaint wooden cottage is tucked behind trees, with green grass in front

This might be the tiniest private islet in the land; a place where land-lovers come for a quaint taste of island life. No need for a boat or plane, just bop across the humpback bridge that overs the River Churn, and get about chopping papaya for the fruit bowl. One part secluded island, one part arms reach from all the conveniences of town, Filly Island brings the best of both worlds to the Cotswolds.

Book a stay at Filly Island


Supernova on the Isle of Skye

A white chapel conversion sits in a golden field with mountains as backdrop

It’s not quite got the balmy temps of The Swiss Family Robinson’s New Guinea harbourage, but with its rocky outcrops and shores of crushed seaweed, this Hebridean island is still unmapped in feeling. Despite its vantage point on Skye’s Minginish Peninsula, the only living things likely to come into binocular view at Supernova are cloud-like sheep formations and grazing herds of red deer. A secluded playground, yet more accessible than ever before, the Isle of Skye has been ranked one of the fifty must-see destinations in the world for a reason.

Book a stay at Supernova