Falkland Islands (Malvinas)
Despite it being a stalwart of Britishness, Stanley more resembles Patagonia than Portsmouth. But, despite the windswept, vast and achingly beautiful landscape of the Falkland Islands, don’t be too surprised to find the odd pub serving ales and even fish’n’chips. While landmarks such as Christ Church Cathedral, with its whalebone arch are 100% local, there is a also good smattering of imported garden gnomes and Union Jacks to remind you whose territory you are really on.
The Falkland Islands’ ownership has long been a matter of controversy, ever since colonisation in the 18th century. At various points in their life they have been considered French, British, Spanish and Argentine. The Falklands War in 1982, despite only lasting for a short while, proved that the Brits clung to this remote outpost and the islands remain part of the British Commonwealth today. Margaret Thatcher, under whom the war was masterminded, remains something of a local hero as can be seen in the street signs (such as Thatcher Drive). For those who want to dig deeper into the past, the Historic Docklands Museum provides lots of information on the chequered historical and political background of the Falklands.
However, the true heroes of Stanley are of course the thousands and thousands of penguins. Five species nest here during mating season (including the rare rockhopper penguin). There are virtually no barriers between you and the wildlife; allowing for a truly interactive, authentic and totally unforgettable experience.