5 amazing places you can visit in the British Isles without a passport


UK coastline

As travel has started to open up, many people are suddenly realising that their passports have expired (I've experienced this first hand with my children's passports) and with the virus having a big impact on the Passport Office, passports are now taking up to 10 weeks, almost three months, to get back and at times even longer and with 1-week appointments being like gold dust, many families are realising they may not be able to get away this summer. 

However, there are some pretty incredible places within the British Isles that you can travel to without a passport as part of the Common Travel Area which includes England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands, as well as a few other smaller islands. As an adult however you will need a photographic ID such as a driver's licence or an expired passport can be used up to a maximum of 5yrs after expiry, there are also one or two "approved" ID cards such as Citizen Card although I've not used on myself so I cannot vouch for it personally. 

If you are stuck in this situation or simply want to explore more of what is on your doorstep, here are 5 fantastic destinations within the British Isles

1. The Isles of Scilly

One of the most surprising (in the best way possible) staycations I have ever been on has to be our trip to the Isles of Scilly, it really is a special place and unlike any other in the UK. For those who don't know, the Isles of Scilly are a small archipelago off the Cornish coast with the island of St Agnes being the most southwestern inhabited outpost in the UK. The climate is mild and is one of the sunniest places in the UK, coupled with white sand beaches and crystal clear waters you will often find yourself thinking you could be somewhere more far-flung like the Caribbean. When we visited we spent a few days on the car-free island of St Martin, which was just bliss, we also spent a day exploring Tresco and then a few days on the main island of St Marys. I don't feel I can do this place enough justice in such few words but you won't regret visiting the Isles of Scilly. 

Isles of Scilly
St Martins, Isles of Scilly

2. Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh has got to be one of the most enchanting cities in the UK, when your walk around the old city it feels like you have stepped into a mystical world. Its quaint and cute shops along the Royal Mile and the iconic Castle overlooking Princess street immediately tell you you are somewhere special. I may be a little biased having lived in Edinburgh for over a year but I always love going back. It's great for solo travellers as well as families with plenty to see and do and I highly recommend a walk up Arthur Seat and Calton Hill to take in the views across the city. 

Bagpipes on the Royal Mile, Edinburgh

3. Guernsey

Yes, you can travel to the Channel Islands without a passport if you are a UK citizen despite it technically not being part of the British Isles and with it being so close to France and that clearly having an influence on the island, making it feel like your somewhere different. My boys and I visited Guernsey in 2019 and we talk about revisiting often. Despite being fairly small in size there is so much to see and do, especially if you like history as it has a fascinating WW2 past. The beaches are also quiet and unspoilt with plenty of hikes and trails to be had along with some delicious local food spots. 

Rock pooling on Guernsey

4. Isle of Eigg, West Coast Scotland

While there are many Hebridian Islands, my favourite one I have personally visited has got to be the Isle of Eigg, which is around 5 miles long and 3 miles wide but its natural beauty is truly breathtaking and it's truly a place to get away from the hustle and bustle and relax. The island is all about learning how to slow down, reconnect with nature and enjoy the local history and wildlife as it's known for it's interesting geology and birdlife. There are a few camping, glamping, bothy and b&b options on the island and you can take the ferry from Mallaig. You can read more about accommodation and how to get to the island here

Isle of Eigg

5. Dublin

If your looking for a culturally packed city break then Dublin is a great option and it's pretty easy to get to with a variety of airlines flying along with ferries from the mainland UK. Like any capital city, it has plenty of museums, and historical places of importance such as the Trinity College Library and Book of Kells and Ha'penny bridge along with cultural must-dos such as the Guinness factory and taking in the cafe and pub culture of Temple Bar.

A few other ideas for alternative staycations in the British Isles are exploring the Brecon Beacons in South Wales, heading across the water to the Isle of Man and Isle of Wight, heading to the big smoke that is London or exploring the Lake District or quaint streets of York. Where is your favourite place in the British Isles?

British Isles


  1. I actually had not thought about not needing a passport for Dublin. It is one place I have not been to before and have always fancied a trip to.

  2. Great Post ! I have read your other posts which are really informative for any traveler. Thanks for sharing such a beautiful informative information on the blog.

  3. Those are all marvelous places. I'd keep this in mind when I get the chance to visit Europe.

  4. I love to visit that place someday, too. My family are planning to visit somewhere and I guess this place is so cool.

  5. I have a friend who is visiting Scotland and Ireland right now. She is going castle crazy at the moment. :)

  6. This is very great to know. I want to plan a trip.. I like planning events and trips and one less thing I would need is a bonus.


Lovely comments

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