Getting away from it all in the UK?
May 13, 2009 10:40 AM   Subscribe

Secluded nature style summer holidays/vacations in the UK?

I live in the UK, and a friend from the USA will be visiting me for a couple of weeks in the summer. (Sometime around July.)

Despite living here, I've never gone on holiday (read "vacation" if you prefer :) in this country, I've always gone abroad.

Can anyone recommend good holiday destinations in the UK, with an emphasis on seclusion and "getting back to nature". So, good things would be forests, beaches, anywhere without any other people, etc. etc.
posted by Mwongozi to Travel & Transportation around United Kingdom (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm not sure the uk is big enough any longer to get that much seclusion, unless you go to soctland on a rainy weekday. Devon and Cornwall have always been my favourite parts, but that is the Celt in me, and I'm a sucker for cream teas. Places like barnstaple, or bigbury-on-sea.
posted by fistynuts at 11:05 AM on May 13, 2009

Head off to Mull, just off Scotland's west coast. Step off the Cal-Mac ferry at Tobermory (Balamory don't you know) and enjoy this island. Go whale watching or fishing or camping or walking or, well you get the picture...
posted by cameronfromedinburgh at 11:19 AM on May 13, 2009

West Wales is beautiful. Especially Cardigan Bay.

Cardigan Tourist Info
posted by Petrot at 11:37 AM on May 13, 2009

Mull was amazing, I highly recommend it and this hostel.
posted by sundri at 12:13 PM on May 13, 2009

The Outer Hebrides, off the west coast of Scotland may fit the bill. Lots of good coastal and moorland walks, the impressive Callanish Stones and a beach that, were it somewhere a few degrees warmer, would regularly be listed among the best in the world.
posted by IanMorr at 12:33 PM on May 13, 2009

Agree with the Western Isles recommendations above - Mull was lovely and I enjoyed a stay on Raasay very much, not least because it was the birthplace of a favourite poet (there's an outward bound centre you can stay at though appears they had a fire earlier in the year.)
West Wales is also gorgeous though I don't know it as well - a friend used to do working holidays at the bird sanctuary on Bardsey Island off the Llŷn Peninsula and that looks like it might be your thing. A similar but even more remote northern option would be the work parties on St Kilda.
posted by Abiezer at 12:53 PM on May 13, 2009

Friends of mine would recommend Herm in the Channel Isles, as being secluded and lovely. Lundy, off the Devon coast, is pretty remote! If you're a Christian then staying at the Abbey on Iona is wonderful and you have as much company as you want while you're there, but you can go off for the day and be by yourself too. Or find a quiet spot in the abbey and just be still. The Isle of Skye isn't too hard to get to and there's amazing mountains for walking in (there's plenty that you can walk in, you don't need to be a mountaineer - I'm not!) like the Cuillins in the south and The Old Man of Storr. Mmmmm (makes me wish I was going back there!) If you need somewhere that's easier to get to, what about renting a holiday cottage on Dartmoor? That's pretty remote and there's amazing walking there. We stayed in some cool tipis not far from Dartmoor (3 tipis in their own field on a farm that felt like it was miles from anywhere, with wood-burning stoves, compost loos and a campfire spot down by their own private lake - very cool!) so not many people around. That was gorgeous and not too hard or long a journey to reach.

If any of these sound promising, post again and I can expand on them. If I knew how to do the private MeFi mail thing, I'd be happy to send more info that way too...
posted by monster max at 1:03 PM on May 13, 2009

I'm seconding Petrot on Cardigan Bay, although anywhere in West Wales is stunning. I used to live there, and it's a friendly place with plenty of open beaches which are usually not full of people. My favourite is Poppit Beach near St Dogmael's, which is long, broad and sandy. If you drive up towards Lampeter, you can get into the hills to visit (for example) Strata Florida Abbey. Or aim a little south of Cardigan to get into the Preseli Hills. All these places are accessible, a bit wild in places, not crowded. With a bit of work you can get total isolation, very wild.
posted by BrokenEnglish at 1:26 PM on May 13, 2009

Skye, via Glencoe and Mallaig.

The West Highland Line train journey between Glasgow and Mallaig was recently voted the best train journey in the world. The scenery is incredible. From Mallaig it is a short ferry trip to Skye.
posted by fire&wings at 2:48 PM on May 13, 2009

Scottish Highlands and Islands - I particularly like the area around Gairloch.

Yorkshire Dales


Natural Retreats has options, but they're a bit pricey.
posted by idiomatika at 4:15 PM on May 13, 2009

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