Many pensioners choose to retire to islands, partly because of the smaller populations they generally support, but mainly because of the ready availability of fish.

Apart from the Isle of Wight (first settled by Queen Victoria), the Scilly Isles (first settled by Harold Wilson) and Lundy (first settled by puffins), all of the UK’s islands are off the west coast of Scotland.

The best of these, from a pensioner’s point of view, is Foula – the most westerly of the Shetland Isles and on the same latitude as St Petersburg.  At the last count, it had a population of 38 people, 3,500 sheep and 500,000 seabirds, and it’s the only place in Britain to still follow the Julian calendar – which means Christmas Day is on January 6th and New Year’s Day isn’t.

Foula is particularly welcoming to pensioners fluent in Gaelic, have their own sheepdog and can make a nourishing stew from red-throated divers and peat.



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