World topping UK islands

The UK’s fabulous islands have been voted as some of the best in the world. Four of the top 10 best European accolades go to Scottish islands and one Scottish island even made it into the top five islands in the world.

International travel site TripAdvisor asked travellers to vote for their favourite isles. In Europe, Lewis and Harris in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland, took top place.

The Orkney Islands were voted the fourth best islands in Europe, while the Isle of Mull took ninth place.

TripAdvisor's Top 10 European islands

Greece and Scotland dominate this top 10 island hotspots in Europe.

1. Lewis and Harris, Scotland

2. Naxos, Greece

3. Island of Gozo, Malta

4. Orkney Islands, Scotland

5. Milos, Greece

6. Cephalonia, Greece

7. Santorini, Greece

8. Island of Capri, Italy

9. Isle of Mull, Scotland

10. Paros, Greece

Top isles in the world

In the world’s top islands league, Lewis and Harris were again voted as a winning isle, taking fifth and beating world famous islands such as Thailand, Chile and Madagascar.

Best islands in the UK

The Travellers’ Choice TripAdvisor awards included a top 10 British islands vote, too.

  1. Harris and Lewis, Outer Hebrides, Scotland
  2. Orkney Islands, Scotland
  3. Isle of Mull, Scotland
  4. Jersey, Channel Islands
  5. Isle of Skye, Scotland
  6. Isle of Arran, Scotland
  7. Isle of Man
  8. The Hebrides, Scotland
  9. St Mary’s, Isles of Scilly
  10. Anglesey, North Wales

What is there to do on Harris and Lewis?

Being voted the best island in Europe is an impressive accolade. If you fancy making a visit here's what to expect.

The largest island in the Outer Hebrides, Lewis and Harris is a family outdoors holiday heaven on earth. Although one large island when seen on a map, Lewis and Harris are usually referred to as two separate isles.

In Lewis the legendary Callanish Standing Stones poke up from the ground like a strange rock city. For a peak at what life used to be visit the Blackhouse, the Shawbost Norse Mill and Kiln and the Carloway Broch.

In southern Harris, the eastern beaches boast some of the oldest known rocks in the world, dating back millions of years. From here you can take a boat trip to the volcanic islands of St Kilda.

11 things not to miss on Harris and Lewis

  1. Luskentyre beach, Harris: Rated as one of the world’s best beaches
  2. Callanish Standing Stones, Lewis: A significant ancient archaeological attraction.
  3. Walk through the machair, Harris and Lewis: Long strips of colourful flowers line the edges of the islands in summer.
  4. Cycle quiet roads, Harris and Lewis: From families to keen riders there’s a road or trail to suit all riding aspirations – and views that will leave you awestruck.
  5. Carloway Broch, Lewis: Visit the remains of an Iron Age broch (round house).
  6. Uig sands, Lewis: Another stunning expanse of sandy beach.
  7. Gearannan Blackhouse village, Lewis: Take a fascinating step back in time to this highly rated historic attraction.
  8. Walk for a week: Explore the Outer Hebrides for a week on foot on a self-guided Island Hopscotch walking holiday.
  9. Surfing, Lewis: The beaches, waves and wind combine to create one of the best places in the UK for learning to surf. See Surf Lewis.
  10. Butt of Lewis Lighthouse: A long and windy drive brings you to the location of the lighthouse. As you would expect, the sea views are spectacular.
  11.  Lews Castle, Lewis: A beautiful and interesting place to visit for half a day.

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