Island life: our favourite island holiday cottages

Accommodation, Destinations

Posted by Courtney on 28th July 2021

A lighthouse on the Isle of AngleseyTwr Mawr Lighthouse, Llanddwyn Island at sunset, Anglesey

Do you want to get away from the crowds? Are you after an escape to an island holiday cottage? Luckily for you, the UK has one of the biggest coastlines in Europe, and with that comes a plethora of isles, islets and archipelagos all waiting to welcome you on your British island holiday.

With the coastline literally all around you, showering you with cool ocean breezes and dramatic light shows from the setting sun, the time is now to book your island holiday home and put some distance between you and the mainland. No need to venture abroad when there are panoramic spectacles, landscapes rich with wildlife and azure waters that, on their day, could even give the white sands of the Caribbean a decent run for its money.

We’ve got lots of ideas for island holidays in the UK, featuring dog-friendly island cottages, hot tub properties and coastal retreats across the Isle of Wight, some Scottish islands and the Isle of Anglesey. Hit the button below to see our best Isle of Wight cottages.

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Isle of Wight cottages

Coastal properties

Tennysons View Cottage

Tennysons View Cottage - Freshwater | sleeps 2

You’re not going to have to look far to find some top coastal cottages when on the Isle of Wight and this apartment in Freshwater is no exception. Sitting within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and on the edge of Tennyson Down, which can be viewed from the balcony, this property boasts sea views from the terrace which will entice you to walk mere metres to the golden sands of Freshwater Bay. After a beach walk, relax in the shared garden or tee off at the 18-hole links course nearby.


Beach Haven in Bembridge

Beach Haven – Bembridge | sleeps 6 + 2 dogs

When the sun bounces off this yellow brick townhouse, you’ll forget you’re still in the UK. As the name suggests, Beach Haven is perfect for lovers of the coast, offering glimpses of the harbour for those inside the property and direct access to Bembridge Beach for those wanting to venture out. A great coastal retreat for couples or a family with four-legged friends, this property makes the most of the island sun with its pretty, shared courtyard with garden furniture.


Dog-friendly properties

Lots of outdoor space at Byre Cottage in Shanklin

Byre Cottage – Shanklin | sleeps 6 + 2 dogs

Just because you’re bringing the pooch along on your island break, doesn’t mean that you (or the pooch) don’t want to be pampered. That’s where Byre Cottage comes in. This is a Grade II-listed stone cottage with a stunningly attractive interior featuring original wooden beams and a roaring fireplace. It also has a pretty, enclosed rear garden with space for all six guests. You won’t even want to leave this barn conversion to visit the quaint village or sandy beach, but you should, because you brought the dogs after all.


Picture perfect Sweetwater Lodge in Calbourne

Sweetwater Lodge - Calbourne | sleeps 4 + 2 dogs

The pups will adore the space given to them in the garden of this pretty, thatched cottage. The outside space is so expansive at this Grade II-listed property, featuring a delightful pond, a babbling stream and some woodland. We suppose that humans will love it too because as you approach the picture-perfect cottage, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were in a fairy tale. The unique hexagonal kitchen is a joy to cook in and the summer house is ideal for afternoon tea in the garden.


Hot tub properties

Westport Cottage

Westport Cottage | sleeps 7 + 2 dogs

Not much can heighten a staycation like a hot tub can, and when that hot tub is found at a cottage as stylish as this one, it doesn’t get much better. With five bedrooms including a wonderfully accessible bedroom and bathroom set up, alongside stylish social spaces downstairs and sliding doors leading out to the garden, this is a stunning holiday home for your next island break. If you like the idea that this is an accessible cottage, you'll be pleased to note there's even a hoist for the hot tub - get in touch if you'd like to enquire about this feature. 


Sea views at High Rising Cottage in Gurnard

High Rising Cottage – Gurnard | sleeps 6

Elevate your island holiday experience by staying in this Siberian Larch-clad detached property , which is virtually swimming in blossoming gardens. Enjoying sea views from almost all the rooms will become an obsessive pastime and wandering the lush grounds with your fellow guests and enjoying meals in the secluded garden will remind you why you chose such a lovely cottage. The hot tub hire can be arranged prior to your stay for an additional charge so you can stargaze into the early hours in this beautiful remote location.


Romantic properties

Beautiful interiors and exteriors at The Clock House in Ventnor

The Clock House – Ventnor | sleeps 2

Fall in love all over again at this charming period property in the seaside village of Ventnor. This single-level cottage has character throughout including alluring wooden flooring, original wooden beams, thoughtful, warm decor and even an ornamental ceiling in the bedroom to give it that special touch. The bathroom is just a delight and you have both the tiled, Mediterranean-style conservatory and the private, walled garden in which to enjoy your intimate meals, making this one of the best places to stay on the island.


Cosy living at One Dores Hill Cottage in Wootton

One Dores Hill Cottage – Wootton | sleeps 2

Soak up this wonderful setting with your loved one as you venture out into the local countryside arm in arm, before returning to your beautiful 200-year-old cottage to snuggle in for the night. Featuring a red brick inglenook with a warming wood burner, this is the perfect place to burrow for the evening as you share stories of the day you first met. Wake up and enjoy some breakfast in the enclosed lawn garden where you can enjoy views over the surrounding fields towards the coast.


Family-friendly properties

A fantastic space at Middle Barn in East Cowes

Middle Barn - East Cowes | sleeps 5

This rural barn conversion is such a great place to bring the kids for an island holiday: bright open interior spaces; spacious exterior areas including a lawn garden and decking with a pergola; and open countryside next to the River Medina in which to explore. On the first-floor mezzanine, you’ll find a gorgeous social space: original oak beams are complemented by the high vaulted ceilings and the huge arched windows which allow for a cascade of light to flood the area. There’s even a telescope for you to peruse the goings on in the fields and by the river.


Reeth Cottage

Reeth Cottage | sleeps 6 

Discover the island's southern tip and make the most of the coastal wonders on your doorstep at this cottage which sits in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. This wonderful family-friendly cottage is especially perfect for young families as it has delightful play equipment for youngsters in the garden and a toy box bursting with a few more goodies for kids. When grown-ups are ready for a little 'me time', the contemporary bathroom upstairs offers a skylight for stargazing from the bath as you soak away the day. 

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Scottish island cottages

Isle of Skye

An Gleann has a great setting

An Gleann | sleeps 4

This contemporarily styled lodge sits in a beautifully isolated area with views of the valley and mountains surrounding it. Although remote in its location, you are close to Uig Bay and its ferry terminal, which can be used to explore the Outer Hebrides or to take a whale-watching boat ride. The Fairy Pools at Glenbrittle are not to be missed, a magical set of waterfalls that have to be seen to be believed. After enchanting days out exploring, return to this chic lodge and dine alfresco on the decking whilst breathing in the valley vistas.


Breakfast by the beach at Portree Bay House

Portree Bay House | sleeps 4

Wake up and enjoy your breakfast from your beachfront garden and dip your toes in the bay as you look out onto the Cuillin Hills. This bright and rustic Georgian property benefits from an enviable location in Portree Bay, which not only means you have the nearby water and pretty village to explore but also the Cuillin range and the Old Man of Storr to conquer should you see fit. The old-timey telephone box in your garden is the most photographed in Scotland and you’ll have the best seat in the house for sunsets over the bay.

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The Isle of Arran

Nautical stylings at St Minver

St Minver | sleeps 2

Couples staying at this nautical-themed semi-detached property in Brodick will enjoy unbroken views of the sea from their rooms as well as from the outdoor space. The garden at the front is full of beautiful, dense shrubbery and the rear suntrap patio is perfect for enjoying a meal with a loved one. The sandy beach is just 500 metres away so you can wake up and enjoy coastal walks straight away. The historic 19th-century Brodick Castle and its gardens are only 1.5 miles away too, so you’ll have plenty to keep you occupied at this coastal cottage.


Great views, open spaces and a putting green at A' Chrannchuir

A' Chrannchuir | sleeps 9

Beautiful, rustic and rural Scotland. It doesn’t get much better than this. Set on the west coast of the island, A' Chrannchuir is perfectly situated to explore the lochans, wooded areas, mountains and coastline of the beautiful Isle of Arran. This property showcases some wonderful outdoor spaces, some of which are enclosed making it perfect for little ones. For those of you sporting your plus fours, there is a four-hole putting green so you can practise your accuracy whilst your fellow guests relax on the garden furniture or get the BBQ sizzling.

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Orkney Islands

Tranquillity abounds at Neuketineuks

Neuketineuks - Kirkwall | sleeps 2

If you’re heading to the northern coast of Scotland, you’re going to want to go one further and explore the Orkney Islands too. This tranquil detached cottage on the Orkney mainland is perfect for a couple wanting to get away from it all and experience some remote island life in the cobalt waters of the North Sea. If you stay by the water, you may even see seals, orcas and dolphins, but if you wander inland, there’s plenty of historical and archaeological interests to keep you engaged. Head back to your property and enjoy some well-earned refreshments on the sunny patio.


Enjoy a cold one on the 'Gin and Tonic Terrace' at The Peedie End

The Peedie End – Westray | sleeps 2

This romantic annexe on the small island of Westray will showcase its uninterrupted sea views when you pop yourself down to the ‘Gin and Tonic Terrace’ after a day of exploring the coastline. Known as Queen o’ the Isles, Westray has a plethora of sandy beaches and is a great place to stay if you’re a keen wildlife watcher. Grab your binoculars and head to the pretty walled garden or sit by the pond in the second enclosed garden in the evening and cross your fingers so that you might get to glimpse the Northern Lights.

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Anglesey

Charming inside and out at Paws Retreat

Paws Retreat | sleeps 2 + 3 dogs

As you might have guessed from the name, this property actually invites more canine companions to stay than it does humans. This could be due to the numerous outdoor areas including an enclosed garden or it could be due to the proximity to the Menai Straits where the pups can practise their doggy paddle. Fear not, it’s great for you bipeds out there too, with its mountain views, colourful yet cosy interior and outdoor picnic bench and decking area. If you can drag yourself away from this charming retreat, head north and visit the famous town of Llanfair­pwllgwyngyll­gogery­chwyrn­drobwll­llan­tysilio­gogo­goch.


Lake Dinam Cottage - perfect for a family with dogs

Lake Dinam Cottage | sleeps 4 + 2 dogs 

A cottage suited to those who want to get out and try some activities, this property is set on a 16-acre equestrian farm next to a lake. Walk or cycle the coastline, or head straight to one of two nearby sandy beaches and try your hand at kitesurfing or windsurfing. Slow it down with a spot of golf before heading back to your single-storey accommodation where a wood burner awaits on soggy evenings or the hot tub and BBQ beckon on balmier nights.

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Remote island stays

Did you know we even have properties on remote islands such as Lindisfarne, also known as Holy Island, and the Shetland Islands? Stay in one of the oldest houses on Holy Island, when you book 18th-century Deja Blue, a stone-built cottage with contemporary features, well placed for you to visit beaches and access the Dark Skies Park. Marrats Houl in Unst on the Shetlands is so far north that you have a great chance of viewing the Northern Lights. Sleeping two, it’s a great getaway location for a couple wanting a romantic break. 


Stay with us

This small collection of desirable cottages will no doubt have given you something to ponder as you decide on your next getaway to a UK holiday island. Whether you yearn for the remote isolation of the Isle of Skye, the seafood delicacies of Anglesey or the award-winning beaches of the Isle of Wight, we’ve got the cottage for you dotted along the miles and miles of UK island coastline. Don’t forget to view the best of our Isle of Wight cottages here:

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Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.