Is the possibility of not getting to travel overseas in 2021 because of the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic getting you down? Well, don’t despair just yet. Because technically, you could travel ‘overseas’ for a holiday without even leaving the United Kingdom!

While many of the UK’s islands are little more than inaccessible spits of rock, a good number offer some of the best scenery, hospitality, and, yes, beaches, the country has to offer. So why not make the most of having to stay closer to home and find out exactly what ‘the British Isles’ are all about? Here are just some of the UK’s must-see islands waiting to be explored.

For those seeking a traditional summer holiday, Anglesey has no fewer than 27 beaches to choose from, most of them sandy, ranging from popular wide-open expanses to hidden little coves where you might well be the only visitor, even in the height of summer. Holy Island, a smaller mini-me to the west of the main island, is the location of Anglesey’s largest town, Holyhead, a major port where you can catch a ferry to Dublin.

If nature is more your thing, Orkney’s gently rolling hills are quite a contrast to the rugged mountains of the Scottish Highlands. Look out for sea eagles around the western cliffs, which plunge dramatically into the churning North Sea. And don’t miss out on the chance to take a boat trip to do a spot of whale spotting!

Inevitably in a list like this, there are even more great destinations we have left off than we have included. You may be thinking, what about the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man, for example? Well technically, as Crown Dependencies, these islands are not legally part of the UK, which means there is no guarantee you will be able to travel to them as part of a ‘staycation’ this year.