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Scotland’s 10 greatest islands

Arran sports two distilleries (a brace of breweries too), plus a great butcher, baker, ice-cream maker, and even a chocolatier. It’s the only island with all of Scotland’s wildlife Big Five (red deer, seals, otters, red squirrels and golden eagles). You can cycle round it in a day. 

Where to stay

The Auchrannie is the only real resort in the islands, with a brace of swimming pools, myriad dining and accommodation options, and leisure facilities for dreich days. Doubles from £199.

Where to eat

Watch the gannets diving for dinner while you tuck into baseball-sized scallops caught in the waters right outside the Kilbrannan Restaurant. Their Arran lamb is stellar too.

Best for the Outer Hebrides in miniature

The Outer Hebrides spread out over a whopping 130 miles and myriad isles, so if you’re short of time pick “Barradise”, an ideal microcosm. Arrive on the Loganair plane that swoops down onto the beach, the world’s only scheduled beach landing. The island capital of Castlebay sports Bùth Bharraigh, a brilliant community-run tourist information centre, shop and hub.