One of the very best things about the UK is the variety of holidays you can experience here. We love an active holiday; sightseeing and having adventures on the coast. But sometimes, you just need to slow things down and chill. If you want to escape the hamster wheel of life during your next family weekend break let me suggest some relaxing places to visit in the UK.
Of course, chilled out destinations only live up to their name if they are accompanied by special places to stay. Step in Unique hideaways who offer luxurious glamping accommodation in some of the most relaxing places to visit in the UK.
Choose from Airstreams to house boats and tree houses to shepherds huts where you can switch off, get back to nature and enjoy quality family time.
To help whittle down the destinations to pick from, here’s some of the most laid back:
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Devon: one of the most relaxing places to visit in the UK
If you’re a long term reader you’ll know I’m biased when it comes to Devon in South West England. As well as being the county we call home, it really is my favourite place on Earth.
There’s nothing more calming than sitting on one of its hidden beaches and listening to the waves sweeping up the shore.
You can also lose yourself (hopefully only hypothetically) in the moors and tors of Dartmoor National Park, or amble along side Grand Western Canal. It’s a walker’s paradise.
Another essential ingredient for a relaxing holiday is good food and drink. And there’s plenty to be found in Devon.
From cream teas (done the right way with cream first, of course) to freshly landed fish in Brixham and artisan gin distilled in Salcombe, your taste buds are in for a treat.
Make yourselves a reservation at one of the county’s many Michelin star restaurants and you can also avoid the washing up!
Relaxing things to do in Devon
Here are some of the top things to do in Devon to clear your mind and bring you closer to nature:
Whether you base yourselves on the South or North coast of Devon there’s lots of companies offering wildlife and, in particular, dolphin watching cruises.
Sail from Brixham, Plymouth and Ilfracombe for the best chances of spotting these inquisitive marine mammals dancing through the waves.
Dartmoor National Park covers 368 square miles offering families a multitude of walking opportunities.
From easy to conquer tors like Haytor near Bovey Tracey to more challenging hikes like the Two Castles Trail from Okehampton and Launceston castles, there’s something to suit all abilities and ages.
Here’s some of our tried and tested Dartmoor walks with kids.
There are several unique and beautiful waterfalls to be found in Devon.
Where to stay
The Wagon with Faraway Views near Crediton | sleeps 4 | dog-friendly
Cornwall: a destination made for relaxation
Coming a close second to Devon in my list of favourite places to staycation is Cornwall.
This south western tip of the UK is the ultimate destination for escaping the rat race with 422 miles of coastline, picturesque ports and beaches that could have been plucked straight out of the Caribbean.
Things to do in Cornwall
Here are my tips for making the most of your relaxing break in Cornwall:
Cornwall’s sea temperatures are slightly higher than the UK average, notching up 7°C during the winter up to 18°C in the summer. So what better place to unleash your inner Wim Hof and try wild swimming?
Porthtowan Tidal Pool, Kynance Cove and Polperro Bathing Pool are beautiful places for a dip in nature.
Always swim with others, and check the sea conditions and tides in advance.
One of Cornwall’s most famous attractions is also one of its most unique to visit.
Eden Project is home to the World’s largest indoor rainforest and includes three biomes, or zones, designed to house flora and fauna from around the globe.
Walking through these lush environments is a wonderful experience for the whole family.
In fact Cornwall boasts many sub tropical gardens including the Lost Gardens of Heligan where you’ll find a jungle of giant rhubarb, banana trees and towering palms.
Open air theatre
The Minack Theatre is somewhere you’ll never forget seeing a show. Its open air stage and auditorium clings to the cliffs above Porthcurno with views out into the English Channel.
You’d be forgiven for letting your mind wander across the waves during a performance.
Where to stay
Mount View Sunrise Safari Tent near Penzance | sleeps 6 | dog-friendly
Isle of Wight: a microclimate of calm
Scientists have recently revealed that spending time near water has amazing benefits for our mental health. So what better place to go for a relaxing break than an island?
The Isle of Wight is one of the best UK islands to visit. It’s less than a mile off the South Coast of England and has its own micro climate making it one of the warmest and sunniest places in the UK to enjoy a holiday beside the sea.
It also doesn’t take long to get there by ferry or Hovercraft, so you can start immersing yourselves in slower island life as soon as you board.
Things to do in the Isle of Wight
Here’s some ideas for making the most of your relaxing family weekend break in the Isle of Wight:
Kick back on a beach
There are more award-winning beaches on the Isle of Wight than anywhere else in England.
If you are looking for one more off the beaten path then head to Steephill which is only accessible on foot from Ventnor.
Did you know the Isle of Wight has some of the darkest skies in the UK?
In fact it has been recognised as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve highlighting its outstanding beauty and the balance between people and nature including low light pollution.
Step outside after dark and you’ll be treated to nature’s illuminations.
Cycle the island
The Isle of Wight has 200 miles of cycle tracks, byways and bridleways to explore.
There’s the challenging 65 mile Round the Island route and trails that are better suited to a more relaxed peddle while you enjoy the scenery.
Where to stay
Stargazers’ Retreat near Ventnor | sleeps 5
Pembrokeshire: where wild equals relaxing
With its wild coastline, ancient standing stones and abundance of wildlife, including thousands of puffins, Pembrokeshire in Wales is a nature-lover’s paradise.
Things to do in Pembrokeshire
Here’s where to maximise your relaxation time while visiting Pembrokeshire:
Birdwatching on Ramsey Island
Ramsey Island off the coast of St David is a haven for guillemots, razorbills and kittiwakes.
Take a boat trip to Ramsey Island to see the wildlife for yourselves.
Follow the Victorians to Tenby
This seaside town became famous as a holiday destination thanks to the Victorians who raved about its health restoring properties.
Relaxing on Tenby’s beaches, admiring its pastel coloured houses or picking up the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path continue to be an antidote to 21st Century stresses.
Watch the sunset
Pembrokeshire’s epic coastline – rated as the second best in the world by National Geographic magazine – is West facing. So it’s the perfect place to head with a packed tea and watch the sun go down.
Don’t forget a tin of gin or something you like to toast one of the most relaxing places to visit in the UK!
Where to stay in Pembrokeshire
Station A near Fishguard | sleeps 4
Powys: one of the most relaxing places in Wales
If the thought of breathing in mountain air sends you into a meditative state then Powys needs to be on your short list of relaxing places to visit in the UK.
It’s home to a European and Global Geopark where you’ll find some of the UK’s darkest skies as well as canals and rivers teeming with wildlife.
For history lovers there’s castles galore.
Things to do in Powys
Here are some highlights from the many things to do in Powys, Wales:
Explore the Brecon Beacons
No visit to Powys would be complete without a ramble in the Brecon Beacons.
We can recommend attempting the highest peak, Pen y Fan, for incredible views of the surrounding national park. At 886 metres tall, it’s the highest peak in southern Britain.
Step back in time
Wales is famed for its castles and Powys has its fair share. Powis Castle in Welshpool is a Medieval castle that is now looked after by the Welsh National Trust.
It has Italianate terrace gardens lined with topiary and one of the UK’s most significant collections of South Asian artefacts. These ill-gotten gains are a reminder of Britain’s uncomfortable colonial past.
Ride the Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway
Take all the effort out of seeing the beauty of Powys by riding this steam railway that puffs up some of the steepest gradients in Britain.
As you travel along the Banwy river valley it’s possible to spot hawks, deer and otters from the train carriages.
Where to stay in Powys
The Cabin near Presteigne | sleeps 4
If you’re in need of a quieter getaway with your family I hope you’ve found some inspiration here in my list of relaxing places to visit in the UK.
Where’s the slowest paced place you’ve been for a holiday?
Disclosure: this is an advertorial feature with Unique hideaways.