Home-made hidden gems for day trippers.

You don’t have to travel miles to find a secluded island setting for your holiday. Great Britain is made up of more than six thousand islands, of which hundreds can be visited, so there’ll be one to suit your needs. Whether it’s a day trip you have in mind or if you feel like going Scilly and joining the well to do off the Cornish coast, you can venture off terra firma to a new British island destination.

If you’re looking to escape the tourist hoards for a day, why not try Piel Island, off the under-visited Cumbrian Coast? The island, one kilometer off the southern tip of the Furness Peninsula, is home to the English Heritage-owned Piel Castle, an impressive ruin dating back to the fourteenth century made up largely of stones from the beach, and it’s free to visit. The island is also a haven for wildlife with many different species of sea bird to view.

Not into bird watching? There’s a must-visit recently refurbished pub, the Ship Inn, which not only serves a good pint to restore you after a walk, but also has some quirky history. The island was gifted to the people of Barrow-in-Furness by the Duke of Buccleuch in the early 20th century and its Council has the right to select the ‘King of Piel’, who is the landlord of the Ship Inn. So if you fancy a pint pulled by a King, this is the place to go!

Piel Island is linked to the mainland by small ferryboats which run during the summer months. You can also walk there at low tide from Walney Island but with care.

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