Temple Island enjoys an idyllic location surrounded by wooded hills. It marks the start point of the Henley Royal Regatta, the prestigiou­s annual rowing event held since 1839. The island has an elegant ornamental temple designed by the architect James Wyatt and built in 1771.

Garrick’s Ait was popular for its willow trees in the 18th century, whose wood was made into all manner of things including cricket bats, ladders and fence poles. This island is named after the 18th-century actor and theatre manager David Garrick, whose house and Temple to Shakespear­e are nearby.

Sonning Eye has long been a favoured artist’s location, thanks to its location on one of the loveliest stretches of the Thames; Pre-Raphaelite painter George Price Boyce lived here. More recently, film star George Clooney and his wife Amal bought a 17th-century mansion (complete with its own boat house, of course) on this idyllic heart-shaped island.

Oliver’s Island takes its name from the myth that Oliver Cromwell once took refuge here. There was even talk of a secret tunnel connecting the island with a nearby inn, the Bull’s Head, built to help Catholic priests escape their Protestant persecutor­s. No trace of this has ever been found, however, and the only inhabitant­s are now herons, cormorants and Canada geese.

Queen’s Eyot is owned by Eton College, England’s most famous public school, and is accessible only by private ferry. The four-acre island, a few miles upstream from Windsor, is home to a clubhouse where the boys of Eton could once buy snacks and beer.

Lock Island was uninhabite­d until the late 19th century, when Londoners moved here to escape the grime of the city. During the Blitz, more families fled the bombs for this relatively safe haven, and their descendant­s live here to this day.

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