Stays in splendid isolation: 10 of the UK’s best off-grid retreats | Travel


The Box BNB, North Yorkshire

This tranquil retreat on the outskirts of the North York Moors started life as a shipping container, though today it’s a chic contemporary space with floor-to-ceiling windows and a raised deck area for alfresco dining. Above all, it’s the views that make the Box so special – an enormous bedroom window will reward you with pretty sunrises and star-studded night skies.
From £140 a night, minimum two-night booking, coolstays.com

Waterfall Cabin, Cambrian Mountains

Waterfall Cabin, Cambrian Mountains, Wales

Set in an enchanting forest on a privately owned Cambrian estate, Waterfall Cabin has no wifi, no distractions, not even a postcode – and yet this off-grid gem is far from spartan. Beautifully furnished with slouchy sofas and tartan throws, it has a log fire to keep you toasty and a kitchen kitted out with gleaming copper pans. Spend your downtime absorbing the silence, then explore the estate’s gorges, follies and secret gardens. By evening, the alfresco hot tub is an ideal spot for stargazing. On a clear night, and with nothing to dim the display, you’ll witness the Milky Way at its best.
Sleeping two, Waterfall Cabin costs from £150 a night, kiphideaways.com

Silent Retreat, Sharpham, Devon

Silent Retreat, Sharpham, Devon

So you regularly meditate, yet you still feel stressed, you need an escape but complete solitude sounds a step too far – if that rings true, a communal silent retreat could well be the answer. Set near the River Dart, Grade I-listed Sharpham House is the glorious base for this five-night retreat – and though silence may initially seem challenging, you’ll at least have time to master the practice. Morning “sharing” workshops with fellow retreatants mix with mindfulness sessions and silent walks through the estate’s bosky grounds – and with bedrooms ranging from cosy to grand, alongside delicious homecooked vegetarian cuisine, you’ll return home fully recharged.
Sharpham House offers a range of residential courses, including solo retreats. The Silent Retreat costs from £545pp full-board, sharphamtrust.org

Crofter’s House, Isle of Skye

Crofter’s House, Isle of Skye
Photograph: Alamy

Solitude is easily found on the Isle of Skye and Crofter’s House is far enough from other houses to ensure a peaceful stay. Just two minutes from the shores of the Sound of Raasay, the cottage has dreamy views of the sea in one direction, then Ben Tianavaig from the rear – an easy climb promising fantastic panoramas from its summit. Inside a pared-back Scandi vibe mixes with seashell-toned panelled walls, a wood burner and simple furnishings. On a fine day, throw open those windows, grab the binoculars and keep a lookout for otters, seals and eagles.
Crofter’s House, from £95 a night, minimum three nights, sleeps two, furtherafield.com

Sessile Oak Farm, County Tyrone

Sessile Oak Farm, Northern Ireland
Photograph: Jonny Campbell

Perfect for a camper van adventure, Sessile Oak Farm is a remote spot with spectacular views over Curraghbruck hills, with 15 acres of ancient woodland to explore, alongside bike trails and wild swimming. This idyllic setting is one of a series of remote places handled by Wild With Consent – a new company that tracks down legal off-grid locations across the UK (currently, it’s illegal to park anywhere overnight other than a campsite), so as to share the wild without damaging it. So rest assured, solitude here is guaranteed.
Stays at Sessile Oak Farm are from £45 per night. Barbecues, dogs and
firepits allowed, wildwithconsent.com

Tiny House, Dorset

Tiny House, Dorset

Let the fabulous views of lush green valleys and rolling hills work their magic at this off-grid Dorset retreat. Tiny House is a tranquil and eco-friendly base, nearby is the exquisitely named village of Plush, and the house itself sits in a wildflower meadow. More ultra-modern cabin on wheels than traditional cottage, Tiny House has a flow-through layout, a dinky bathroom and a well-equipped kitchen. In fine weather, its picnic table is the perfect spot for an alfresco meal.
Sleeping two, Tiny House costs from £270 a night, minimum two-night booking, shufflelife.com

Blackbird narrowboat, Devon

Blackbird narrowboat, Devon
Photograph: Brett Charles

This luxurious repurposed narrow boat is perfect for a few days of serenity in North Devon. There’s also a dinky riverbank bathhouse with a free-standing slipper bath and uninterrupted lake views. Spend time dangling a line to catch rainbow trout, training the boat’s binoculars on kestrels and buzzards or striking out on some great woodland walking trails nearby.
Sleeping two, Blackbird has three, four or seven-night stays from £400, tregullandandco.co.uk

Walney Island Lighthouse, Cumbria

Walney Island Lighthouse, Cumbria
Photograph: John Eveson/Alamy

Gaze out to sea from the romantic setting of this one-bedroomed lighthouse on Walney Island Nature Reserve, a shingle island at the southern tip of Cumbria. Depending on the season, you can witness breeding eider ducks and oyster catchers, chiff-chaffs and waders. South Walney is also the only grey seal colony in Cumbria, so your lighthouse home is ideal for uninterrupted viewing, especially at high tide when the mammals are at their most playful.
Walney Island Lighthouse Hide, from £400-£810 per week, depending on season, sleeps two, oneoffplaces.co.uk

Rockhouse Retreat, Worcestershire

Rockhouse Retreat, Worcestershire

Nourish the soul in stunning surroundings in this quiet corner of the unspoilt Habberley Valley nature reserve, just 2km from the historic town of Bewdley on the River Severn. Caves, with their inbuilt temperature regulator, are highly eco-friendly, and Rockhouse Retreat has been used for over 800 years. This sandstone oasis even appeared on Grand Designs, and with underfloor heating, a well-equipped kitchen, hot running water and cosy beds, it’s very far from being a primitive dwelling.
From £231 a night, therockhouseretreat.co.uk

Peace and quiet on Eigg, Hebrides

Peace and quiet on Eigg, Hebrides
Photograph: Ellis O’Connor

Small it may be, but Eigg’s residents are a forward-thinking bunch. In 1997 they acquired their island in a community buyout, then later established the world’s first electricity grid powered by wind, sun and waves. Mix in wild moorland, two golden beaches, a thriving artists’ colony and countless eagles, and you’ll quickly realise Eigg is truly special. With no wifi or internet, this is a place to switch off and feed the soul – and when there are no artists in residence, you can stay in one of three cosy bothies complete with organic wool duvets, recycled furniture, books and maps and outdoor showers.
Seven-night stays at Eigg’s bothies, from £550, eiggtime.com

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