British Isles: Breathless Beauty & Cold Isolation


Wind is the defining element of the thousands of islands that encircle the British Isles. Wet and salted, it sculpts every branch and bush, burns palm fronds (yes, our islands do have palm trees — albeit bedraggled), shifts shorelines and leaves surfaces rimed and rusted, skin tanned. Incessantly, it buffets the seabirds and whines at windows; often, it sends the ferry back to port, marooning islanders on their anvil of rock and sand.

Mary Miers, July 30, 2022

Ours are not the great city islands of Venice and Stockholm or the blue-lagooned atolls of the tropics, but kelp-fringed outposts of tough survival for generations of farmers and fishermen and places of insular retreat. They encapsulate extremes — of weather, architecture, landscape and emotion — preserve faith and tradition, offer refuge or redemption, feed dreams and intensify dramas.

Life on the islands of Britain: ‘Mesmerising in its beauty and deeply cruel in equal measure’

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