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Off-Grid Breaks and Microadventures: Local Retreats for Green Travellers

The time to pack our bags, download digital booking tickets on our smartphones, and make splendid memories is finally upon us. As hectic routines become the norm again, from frenzy commutes into the workplace to packed daily schedules, relaxing breaks are the perfect cure for stressed and busy minds.

Travels are certainly good for our well-being and mental health, but some may worry about their detrimental consequences on the environment. With the effects of climate change on our planet becoming more apparent every year, it is only natural to feel doubtful about setting off on a trip. However, you do not need to hop on a plane or rack up numerous air miles to enjoy a restful or thrilling vacation. Sunbathing in the Maldives or mountaineering in the Alps are fascinating prospects, but the reality is that there are several, enticing opportunities closer to home. The UK contains plenty of great locations almost right on your doorstep.

Choosing to travel locally will immediately limit your carbon footprint. But if you have your heart set on a genuinely eco-conscious holiday, you should consider an off-grid staycation. Based in a rural location, free from the hustle and bustle of cities, you can have your guilt-free perfect escape. What’s more, you will only have access to off-grid gas and will rely on solar panels and wind for your energy and power. This is an original adventure in itself!

Hence, we explore some of the best off-grid getaways that can offer you the seclusion from everyday life you were looking for.

Cornwall

There is no hiding that Cornwall is Britain’s corner of paradise. With vast sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters, it provides visitors with the ideal coastal staycation. If you are aiming to make the most of your short getaway, and are in search of some adventurous activities, you should try shouldering a surfboard and riding the Cornish waves. It is the ultimate chance to connect with nature in its most tidal sense.

If tackling the ocean is not necessarily your cup of tea, there are other, less physically demanding, ventures you can embrace. For instance, long treks along natural reserves that are home to rare bats and butterflies are equally as memorable. Likewise, walking through monkey sanctuaries, jogging along the seashore, and finding your way out of labyrinths can also serve as entertaining micro-adventures.

Once you have taken in the region’s natural beauty, you will be able to retreat inside one of the off-grid huts that dot Cornwall’s beachside. With many rustic lodges in the peaceful areas around Looe and Millook, you will be able to enjoy the peace and quiet you deserve. From stone houses with sea views to isolated, wooden properties, you are spoilt for choice when it comes to off-grid stays.  

Peak District

The Peak District is one of the first locations to spring to mind when thinking about rural getaways. It became Britain’s first national park in 1951 and is rich in natural reserves, stunning lakes, and reservoirs. With quaint, postcard villages, historic churches, and Robin Hood’s reputed gravesite, the area has an array of attractions for local travellers to explore.

In this respect, Eyam is a perfect example of what the Peak District can offer. Home to about 1,000 souls, it is a picturesque village that seems to have stayed still in time, with fascinating buildings from the 9th century and silent pathways that will truly inspire you. If you are looking for ‘off-the-beaten-track’ escapades, the Peak District hosts dense and majestic woodlands that are far lesser known than the famous lakes.

Here, you can spot roe deer, kingfishers, and otters, and disconnect entirely from your every day worries. As for off-grid accommodations, you can hole up in properties that tick most – if not all – eco-friendly boxes. One of them, for instance, is Shank Wood. With a wood-fired hot tub, solar panels, and only two electric sockets, it is a timber log cabin that will give you a detoxing, green retreat.

The Hebrides and Orkney Islands

This option may not be too close to home, but it makes for an unbeatable, restful getaway. Moreover, it is among the best British off-grid holidays you could opt for. The Orkney Islands, in fact, have the lowest population of Scotland’s 32 council areas. It is fair to say that you will always be likely to have a wide range of natural spots to yourself.

Not only that, but the islands are also paving the way in terms of sustainability. Indeed, thanks to an abundance of waves and winds, the locals produce more green electricity than they actually use. Packed with prehistoric treasures and full of diving and kayaking opportunities, the Orkney Islands are a sensational place for your adventurous off-grid vacation.

As for the Hebrides, the archipelago off of Scotland’s western coast is another heavenly location. You will have the chance to cycle all over the islands in the space of a few days, and lodge in rural cottages that make the most of renewable energy. On your trip, you will enjoy the perfect seclusion you are after. You may only end up bumping into the odd seal from time to time!

Ultimately, you do not need to travel for hundreds of miles to embrace an unwinding, adventurous getaway. By opting for a rural, off-grid staycation in the UK, you will be both boosting your mental well-being and safeguarding the environment.

Sources

https://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/files/statistics/council-area-data-sheets/orkney-islands-council-profile.html

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jan/20/orkney-northern-powerhouse-electricity-wind-waves-surplus-power-hydrogen-fuel-cell

https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2019/apr/27/15-best-off-grid-places-to-stay-in-uk-cottages-huts

https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2022/jan/22/splendid-isolation-15-of-the-best-off-grid-stays-in-the-uk

https://www.cntraveller.com/gallery/off-grid-holidays-uk

https://www.thegentlemansjournal.com/article/these-are-the-best-destinations-for-off-the-grid-staycations/

https://www.nationalgeographic.co.uk/travel/2017/12/top-5-microadventures-uk