Island Gazetteer

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The list of islands and their jurisdictions is extensive, so much so it is on this separate page. There are over 5000 islands making up the British Isles, stretching from the Faeroe Isles to the Plateau des Minquiers.

This may be helpful and then again it may not. It is best used by using the automatic-search function on your Browser to find the placename your are looking for and going from what you find there. All variants, alternative names, and localities are listed, so you're bound to find something.

Uninhabited islands and wildlife reserves generally not mentioned.

There are lot of small islands, the greater number in the smaller.
I'm just glad I'm not a Norwegian Cartographer, that's all.

Advice for North Americans: The British Isles are 32 times smaller than the USA, but contain only a quarter as many people, making them 8 times more densely populated, so don't ask the English abroad if they've met the Queen, okay? Have you met the President? If you want a rural-dominated landscape with lots of greenery, visit the Irish Republic.
Certainly don't drive over minor country road junctions without looking, as one tourist couple did, assuming all Britain was like the idyllic backwater they found themselves in at the time. At the first main road they crossed, they were squashed flat by a large truck. True story. So beware of your assumptions. And be careful.

Definitions: Islands, Islets, Rocks, Rocklets, etc

What you define as an island or a community is very much subjective. Some points disappear at high tide and others are only large enough for a single seagull. Do you count these? I don't here.

What's a community? An inhabited place, clearly, but one individual is not a community, not even if they have schizophrenia.

A small crew of a vessel, or a small company of a dozen or so, or even a fairly large transient population may not be a community. Even when there is a community of people, they may not be big enough to host a prison/police/garrison/whatever.
Small crews will have brigs and the power of citizens' arrest, and will fumble along like that until they can send for help. Maritime Law, quiet literally a law unto itself, can come into play under some circumstances. Some other vessels are run by the military, and have their own rules (and guns!). Gun ownership on remote outposts is less frowned-upon as on the mainland, even if it is largely aimed at the local wildlife.

Aswell as all that, the outposts that support them can (and do) include the following:

These may be off-shore of the larger islands, joined by a bridge, causeway, narrow strip of land, pipeline, or exposed mudflats at low tide.

Some may be further out, the most remote, Rockall, being 220 miles away from any other British landmass (, or any landmass at all, for that matter.

Some may move. Hopefully these are only the artificial ones.

Many small islands are privately-owned, by companies and individuals. Most have British or Irish Sovereignty, but a few are partially or fully independent. The IOM only replies on the UK in matters of Defence, for instance.

Divided we Stand

Notes on Politics

Irritating questions arising from avoiding the Political British territory and all that stuff:

The British Isles have also variously been called IONA (Islands of the North Atlantic), and These Islands, but neither of these terms really help, and if somebody's going to misinterpret a geological term as a political one, then get offended about their own mistake, that's their own problem.

Notes about Geographical Extent

The Faeroe Isles, along with Rockall, are part of the Rockall Rise, which are associated with the British Isles, but distant also.
It is debatable whether they are in or not, but here I assume that they are. The rest of the Isles are on the European Continental Shelf; The Rockall Rise is not part of the shelf proper, but it's sort of merged into it.

Extending it further, does this include Iceland? No. Iceland is geographically part of Greenland. There is a deep basin separating it from the Rockall Rise.

So really these are North European Western Islands ("NEW Islands"(?)). Presto! [Accidentally] another IONA. Nuts.

Massive Islands

The large one on the right is Great Britain, and the smaller one on the left is Ireland.

The British Mainland

Irritatingly, this seemed to no name, and is the larger of the main islands on the east. It contains Scotland, England, and Wales. I call it the Sceptred Isle; Shakespeare.
Note that Great Britain is not a country, but a landmass; Britain is the country. This means Britain is bigger than Great Britain.
It contains 157 state prisons.

Notes about Scotland

Scotland is a British province occupying the northern third of Great Britain.

A straight line drawn between NI, Northern Scotland, and Norway, reveals a similar fragmented geography.
This seems to be something to do with northern glacial retreat during the last ice age, and these places being near the edge of the Continental Shelf.

The proper Scottish islands fall into two main groups: The Northern Isles (Orkneys and Shetlands (over 100)) and the Hebrides archipelago (Inner and Outer, around 500).

Splitting the Scottish Highlands down the middle between Fort William and Inverness is the Great Glen, consisting mainly of Loch Ness. The gaps are joined by the Caledonian Canal, effectively creating a hidden island.
The Crinan Canal cuts off the Kintyre peninsula in a similar fashion, between Jura Sound at Crinan and Loch Fyne at Lochgilphead.

The Island of Ireland

I thought this had no name either, largely thanks to the split personality of Northern Ireland and Eire. I call it the Emerald Isle, but infact it is simply called Ireland, with the poetic name "Erin"
- As distinguished from Ēire (Ireland in Irish), which is the country of Ireland, which is not Ireland although it is contained within it: Who think's up this stuff?
Ie, Ireland is a landmass, not a country. The Republic of Ireland or Southern Ireland is, and so is Northern Ireland or NI. Southern Ireland is never called SI, and extends further north than Northern Ireland. I wish I hadn't started looking into this.
It contains 17 state prisons.

Significant Islands and Island Groups

The Isle of Man

Also called Manx; see dedicated entry.
If no man is an island, where does this leave the Isle of Man?

Channel Isles

Jersey

Actually has a (tiny) prison and a police service.
Now it transpares the tiny prison is only to show tourists. Their real prison is HMP JERSEY.

Guernsey

Near the smaller Sark and Herm.
One prison: GUERNSEY STATES PRISON.

Alderney

Plateau des Minquiers

This is marked on my Atlas as British Territory. Don't ask me why it's got a French name. The name means "Fishmonger".

Scilly Isles

Only 5 islands out of 140 in this group are inhabited.

St. Mary's

The paired Tresco and Bryher

St. Martin's

St. Agnes

Offshore Islands

Around the coast of Great Britain

Drake's Island

In Plymouth Sound.

Chesil Beach

Isn't an island.
'Isn't a peninsula either.

A natural tidal formation; classification unknown. The map guide call's it a single bank, so they don't know either.
It's a "strip". Uninhabited, except by hardy/stupid tourists and fishermen tramping up and down it all day.

Isle of Portland

Isn't an island. A peninsula they call an island just to annoy.

Brownsea Island

In Poole Harbour. Enforced as a rural zone by the Scouts. Lord of the Flies territory, but no real anything.

Isle of Wight

Is an island, but not considered to be one, probably due to being next to the naval stronghold of Portsmouth. Considered to be administratively part of Hampshire. Often abbreviated to IOW. Contains 3 English state Prisons: HMP ALBANY, HMP CAMP HILL, and HMP PARKHURST.

Portsea Island

Completely urbanised and largely militarised. Contains most of Portsmouth. Might as well not be an island, even though plugged in by only one main road-bridge. Separating channel only a few meters wide. Contains 1 English state Prison, HMP KINGSTON.

Hayling Island, Thorney Island

Connected by bridges to the mainland; not considered to be islands.

Isle of Sheppey

Bridge, administratively part of Kent. 3 English state Prisons: HMP ELMLEY, HMP STANDFORD HILL, and HMP SWALESIDE.

In the River Medway

By the sound of their names, there could be a danger of sinking into them if anybody set foot there(?).
Between Gillingham and Sheerness.

Hoo Salt Marsh
Nor Marsh
Slayhills Marsh
Greenborough Marshes
Burntwick Island
Stoke Saltings

Isle of Grain

Not an island, just inaccessible other than by bridges across channels of water. Improbably contains a largish town, Grain.

Eel Pie Island

In the River Thames 10 miles SW of central London.
Originally three islands, artificially merged.
The former Eel Pie Island Hotel was built in 1830AD, which served eel in pastry and the name stuck. Due to pollution the pies are no longer made, and the hotel burnt down.

Inhabited by rich artistes &c. Recording Studios.
Sustains a boat-building and craft workshop community.

Considered to part of Twickenham, connected to it by pesdestrian bridge.

Isle of Dogs

Artificially cut off by the Docklands development; London. Part of London.

Canvey Island

Bridges, considered part of Essex. Large oil refinery.

Foulness Island

Bridges, considered part of Essex. Quickmud.(??)

Ramsey Island

Narrow-neck peninsula containing a village, "The Stone".

Osea Island

Part of the delta of the River Blackwater.

Northey Island

Part of the delta of the River Blackwater.
National Trust owned.

Mersea Island

Bridges, considered part of Essex.

Read's Island

Near South Ferriby, in the [River] Humber.
-fort?

Farne Isles

Cluster of small islands near Bamburgh.

Holy Island

aka Lindisfarne. Causeway/Ford at low tide. Popular Pub. "Sorry, we can't get back today, the tide cut us off..." National Trust Castle, disintegrated Priory, golf course. Clearly well used.

Inch Garvie

Inchcolm

Inchkeith

In the Firth of Forth. Has series of forts which guard/guarded Edinburgh.

Cramand Island

Isle of May

Priory.

Bass Rock

Nr. North Berwick. Castle.

Black Isle

North of Inverness. Not an island.
Crossed by Motorway. Rail links. Popular with [mad] commuters.

Stroma

Nr. John 'O' Groats, two small settlements.

Handa Island

Uninhabited, except by tourists. Boat to Tarbet.

Summer Isles

Many (aprox. 100) small islands and islets lying in the mouth of Loch Broom, near Ullapool.
Considered to be part of Ross-Shire.
www.summer-isles.com

Tanera Mhor

Largest and only inhabited island of the Summer Isles.
1.5 miles from Achiltibuie. Plentiful fresh water, deep sheltered anchorage and high lookout points.

One settlement, Aird-na-Goine. Small café, and Post Office, which sells unique Summer Isles stamps. Pitched at photographers and tourists.
Boats from Achiltibuie.

Tanera Beg
Bottle Island
Eilean Dubh
Glas-leac Beag
Glas-leac Mor
Horse Island
Isle Martin
Eilean Mullagrach
Priest Island
Isle Ristol

Eilean Shona

Bridged, part of the Highlands.

Lismore Island

Hidden in Loch Linnhe

Kerrera

Offshore from Oban, small settlement.

Seil and Luing

Bridged, part of Argyle and Bute.

Scarba

Between Luing and Jura, small settlement.

Kintyre

A long peninsula, not an island.

Great Cumbrae Island

Ferry to Largs. Part of Renfrewshire.
I don't believe I've ever heard of that county before.

St. Mary's Isle

Peninsula near Kirkcudbright.

Walney Island

aka Barrow.
Partially occupied by Barrow-In-Furness.
Vast stretches of sand/mud.
Bridge, consider to be in Cumbria.

Roa Island and Foulney Island

Peninsulas near Barrow-In-Furness.

(Unnamed Island)

Near Humprey Head Point, rising out of the very wet sand dunes of Cartmel Wharf.
Uninhabited, but unnamed. I just think it's odd, that's all, after all these named islands that aren't really islands.

Anglesey

Large island near Bangor, NW Wales.
Bridges, part of NW Wales, but it's own county.

Holy Island

Offshore and considered as part of Anglesey. Bridge.

Bardsey Island

Abbey.

Barry Island

Bridge, urbanised, part of Barry, Vale Of Glamorgan.

Sharpness

Industrialised Terminus of the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal,
on the East side of the Bristol Channel, near Berkley.
Bridges & Docks.

Flat Holm

aka Ynys Hafren. Near to Steep Holm, in the Bristol Channel. Considered to be Welsh.
An early radio signal sent by Marconi from Lavernock Point on the mainland was received here.
Now uninhabited, the former site of a cholera sanatorium.
Tourist retreat?
Boats from Barry.

Steep Holm

Near to Flat Holm, in the Bristol Channel.
Considered to be a part of NW Somerset.
Tourist retreat?

Lundy

Inhabited, quiet retreat. Flat-topped with sharp cliffs, over which the wind often blows sheep into the sea. Boat from Bideford or Ilfracombe.

The Northern Isles

Orkneys

Mainland (Orkney)

Capital, Kirkwall. Ferry port, Stromness.

Hoy

Mountainous, high cliffs.

Flotta
Burray
South Ronaldsay
Rousay
Shapinsay

Intensively farmed, large castle.

Eday

Airport called "London Airport".

Stronsay

Hilarously, the largest settlement is named Whitehall.

Sanday
North Ronaldsay

Tallest land-based lighthouse in Britain. Northermost Orkney Isle.

Westray
Papa Westray

aka Papay. Oldest stone buildings in Europe (Two houses there built 3500BC), and shortest flight in World (to Westray; 2 minutes).

The World's last Great Auk was shot here in 1813AD, in much the same manner as the last Dodo on Mauritius in the late 17th century. The Little Auk still survives, probably because it can fly, which always help's in a bird.

Lamb Holm

Uninhabited, but connected to other land by the Churchill Barriers.

Shetlands

Closer to Norway than to Great Britain.
Draughty.
Cars require no MOTs and provisional licences are sufficent.

Mainland (Shetland)

Capital and only town in the Shetlands, Lerwick.
Former capital, Scalloway, with pet fortress.

Bressey
Papa Sour
Muckle Roe
Whalsay

Densely populated for it's size.
Heavy fishing, industrialised.

Outer Skerries

aka Out Skerries.
Richest and remotest of the Shetlands, reputed to be the ideal sort of place for sociologists, dropouts, and travel writers. Housay and Bruray connected by a bridge, and owned by Cussons soap. Ferry to Lerwick.

Housay

Main island.

Bruray

Joint main island.

Grunay

Apparently for sale @ £40,000.

Yell

Has museum, so there must be some people there.

Unst

Northermost Shetland Isle.
Further north are Muckle Flugga Rocks (with lighthouse), and Out Stack, northern limit of British Isles, if you don't count the Faeroe Isles, which I do.

Fetlar

Fertile soil, mostly wasted on yet another bird sanctuary.

Mousa
Noss

Uninhabited since 1939AD.

Outer Hebrides

The (70) Outer Hebrides are also called The Western Isles.
Everything closed on a Sunday.
Nothing open the rest of the week, mind.

Lewis & Harris

The same island. Lewis northern half, Harris southern. Separated by mountain range.
Prehistoric chambered cairn [formerly] used for human sacrifice.
Whales and sharks visit.
Main settlement, Stornoway. Ferries to Scottish mainland from.

Shiant Isles

Here be Oil Tankers taking a short cut.
Many Rigs plug into the Shetlands and Tankers take the oil from there.

North Uist

Mountainous with fjords and lochans.

Benbecula

Tiny island between North and South Uist.
Spoken Gaelic, written Norse. Big military base, serves missile range on South Uist.

South Uist

Controversial missile range in the north.

Barra

Crofters.

Inner Hebrides

The Inner Hebrides have three main clusters: Skye, Mull, and Islay.
Several mountains, many peat bogs and icy-cold streams.
Hence this is an intense whisky production area.

Skye

Bridged, but still considered to be island largely due to ferocious toll.
Large, many settlements.
Skye has a peninsula north of Portree, called Trotternish.
Nearish the A855, a stone pinnacle named The Prison, which it isn't, although it could be [used as one].

Raasay and Soay

Small islands off Skye.

Canna
Rum
Eigg
Muck

Mull

(Large island.)

Coll
Tiree
Iona

Off Mull.
Large monastery, small village.

Staffa

Fingal's Cave.

Ulva

Not the dangly thing at the back of your throat, but another Mullish isle.

Islay

Gigha Island

Ferry to Tayinloan.

Jura

Rugged landscape popular with deer and mountain goats but less so with people.

Colonsay & Oronsay

Two islands connected by a common beach, more of a special boxed set from the Inner Hebrides. Joined at low tide.

Arran

Part of North Ayrshire.

Bute

Bridged, part of [the] Argyle and Bute [region].

Off the Coast of the Emerald Isle

Note: Northern Ireland is not part of Ireland, and the Southern part of Ireland extends further north than Northern Ireland.
Nonetheless, here are listed islands off the coast of the not-entirely-Irish Island of Ireland.

Island Magee

Peninsula Nr. Whitehead.

Rathlin Island

Pop. 100. Lighthouse reserves.
Robert the Bruce sheltered here in a cave, in 1306AD. Nearby whirlpool.
Part of Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland.
Ferries to Ballycastle in the summer.

Doagh Isle

Peninsula.

Inch Island

Peninsula Nr. (London)derry.

Tory Island

Residents pay no tax, thanks to a happy accident in 1884AD.
Erratic boat service from Bunbeg.

Aran Island

Separate from Aran Islands, near Dunglow. Sizable but rocky.
Pop. 700. Pub opening hours noted for being exceptionally flexible.

Rathlin O'Birne Island

Inishmurray

Monastery.

Mullet Peninsula

Peninsula that looks like an island but isn't called one.

Corraun Peninsula

Another peninsula that looks like an island but still isn't called one.

Achill Island

An island, with several small towns, that definatly is an island, but doesn't look like one.
Bridge to the Corraun Peninsula.

Clare Island

Inishturk

Inishbofin

Ruined castle used to be a cromwellian garrison.
The exiled St. Colman, abbot of Lindisfarne, took refuge here in the 7th century.
As if Lindisfarne wasn't remote enough.
Ferry from Celggan.

Inishshark

Lettermullan, Gorumna Island, and Lettermore Island

Series of bridges, near the R336 in Kilkteran Bay.

Aran Islands

The eroded remnants of a limestone ridge near Galway Bay.
A full airport each, very posh.
Overrun with tourists and horse dung, famous for knitted sweaters.
Intermittent ferries available all down the chain of islands, from Galway on one end to Doolin off the other. Rough crossing.

Inishmore

aka Deer Island

Inishmaan
Inisheer

Mutton Island

Scattery Island

Coney Island

Canon Island

Aughinish Island

Foynes Island

Carrig Island

Bridge, castle. Nr. Ballylongford.

Magharee Islands

Includes Illauntanig Religious Institution.

Great Blasket Island

Tearaght Island

Valencia Island

Bridge from Portmagee.

The Skelligs

Lighthouse and Religious Institution.

Scariff Island

Dursey Island

The Bull

Bear Island

Near Castletown Bearhaven.

Whiddy Island

Nr. Bantry, sheltered in Bantry Bay.

Long Island

Hare Island

Calf Islands

Clear Island

Improbably, contains a Youth Hostel, and (apparently) nothing else. Pop. 150.

Fastnet Rock

Islet, considered to be part of County Cork.
The most southerly point of Ireland.
30m High, 4 miles off Cape Clear, in deep water.

Hosts a large famous lighthouse and is the furthest leg of the Fastnet Cup, a biennial yacht race from the IOW. Hundreds of craft take part.

Fastnet Lighthouse is known as The Teardrop of Ireland, in much the same vein as the white cliffs of Dover.

Sherkin Island

Ringarogy Island

Great Island

Nestling well inside Cork harbour.
Containing the small town of Cobh.
Bridge over Eire.

Spike Island

Nr. Ringaskiddy, contains Eire's only island prison, FORT MITCHEL (now closed).

Howth

Urbanised, bridge, Part of Dublin.
Could be a peninsula??

Ireland's Eye

Lambay Island

Copeland Island

Mew Island

Off the Isle of Man

Calf of Man

Off Southern tip of Isle of Man.

Artificial Islands

These include, large moored vessels (eg lightships, Radio Caroline), lighthouses, oil rigs, and forts.

Oil/Gas Rigs & Drilling Platforms

Forts

The Solent

Many forts around Portsmouth.

Sealand

One fort near Harwich and marked on many maps as a lighthouse, was taken over and has become the Independent Principality of Sealand.

Fort Boyard

Other Things

Plymouth Breakwater

Harbour-helper in Plymouth Sound.

Remote Islands

St. Kilda

World Heritage Site.
The secondmost remote western outpost until evacuated in 1930AD.
Several military bases. World Heritage Site.
"An island off an island off an island."

Faeroe Islands

aka Faroe Islands, or Færøerne Isles.
Part of the British Isles run by Denmark; nobody talks about this - why?
Up until 1468AD the Danes owned Orkney and Shetland as well.
Ferries to Aberdeen (Scotland) and seasonally to Bergen (Norway).

Kalsoy

Vidoy

Fugloy

Svinoy

Bordoy

Eysturoy

Vágar

Mykines

Streymoy

Skúvoy

Suduroy

Rockall

One token inhabitant, keeping the middle of nowhere British under International Law.
Islet in the Atlantic, 220 miles west of the Outer Hebrides.
The most remote part of the British Isles. Make's St. Kilda look cosy.

Eddystone Rocks

Nr. Plymouth.

Lundy

Wolf Rock

Rona

Sule Skerry and Stack Skerry

Skerryvore

Dubh Artach

Sanda

Near the Mull of Kintyre.

Ailsa Craig

Equidistant from the Mull of Kintyre, the Island of Arran, and the town of Girvan.
Castle.

Foula

Small remote island to the west of the Shetland group.

Fair Isle

Midway between Shetland and Orkney.
Many sheep.

Bishop Rock

Inland Islands

In the River Suir

Dane's Island

Near Waterford City, contains a golf course; and (apparently) nothing else.
Strand your favourite golfing fanatic here.

aka Island Vryk or, imaginatively, "The Island".
Private island, 310 Acres.
Nr. Ballinakill, Nr. Waterford City, Eire.

Waterford Castle Hotel and Golf Club.
24Hr Chain-linked private car ferry.

Once home to the FitzGerald Family, who virtually started the Troubles, by helping the Earl of Pembroke, during the Norman invasion of Ireland in 1160AD, on this very island. It is a popular place in spite of all that.

The Fitzgerald's stayed until 1958AD, when the ferry was built. Castle opened to the public as a Hotel in 1988AD.
www.waterfordcastle.com

Inside Lough Neath

Rams Island

Oxford Island

Inside Lough Derg

Station Island

Near-ish Limerick. Substantial religious pilgrimage site.

Inside Lake Windermere

Belle Isle

Inside Loch Maree, by the A832

Eilean Sùbhainn

Eilean Riairidh Mór

Inside Loch Leven

By Kinross, Junction 6, M90.

Castle Island

Castle.

St. Serf's Island

Religious Institution.

Inside Loch Fyne

Near Castleton.

Liath Eilean

Inside Loch Awe

Near Lochawe.

Innis Chonain

Inishail

Inside Lake of Menteith

Near Port of Menteith.

The Priory Island

Maybe also called Inchmahome Island.
In Lake of Menteith, Scotland's only "lake" as opposed to "loch".

The ruins of Inchmahome Priory (Augustine).
Robert the Bruce came here three times.

Considered to be part of Perthshire.
Boat from the pier at the Port of Menteith.

Inside Loch Lomond

Near Balmaha.

Inchlonaig

Inchfad

Inchcailloch

Inchmurrin

In Rutland Water

A small lake near Oakham. Artificial. C-shaped Reservoir.

Hambleton

Peninsula containing two villages.

In the Chew Valley Lake

Denny Island

In the Chew Valley Lake, which is a reservoir at the foot of the Mendip Hills, formed when Bristol Water damned the [River] Chew in 1956AD.
'Rather shallow for a reservoir, averaging only 14 feet deep with a maximum of just 37 feet.
Near Chew Stoke, variety of boats available for hire.



This Island Gazetteer is associated with a much-better-presented list of British Prisons.