• Britain’s Isolated Beauty

    Far from the madding crowds, these beautifully serene settings located around the UK will ensure an extended moment or two of peaceful reflection, before you return to the comforting confusion of everyday life.

    Image by Klovovi

1. Gower Peninsula, South Wales

Back in 1956, the Gower Peninsula became the UK’s first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and it’s not difficult to see why.

 Just a short drive from Swansea, the Gower Peninsula feels like a whole other world, complete with soaring limestone cliffs, lush woodlands, and incredible views of the Welsh coast. It’s also home to some of Britain’s best waves, which is why surfers have been making pilgrimages to the golden beaches at Llangennith for decades and will continue to do so for many years to come.

2. Alladale Wilderness Reserve, Ardgay, Scotland

English millionaire, Paul Lister, purchased the Alladale estate back in 2003, with the intention of restoring the area to its former glory. Over a decade later, the Alladale Wilderness Reserve is teeming with wildlife – including red deer and golden eagles – and dramatic natural beauty.

 Up in the Scottish Highlands, about an hour away from Inverness, the reserve is the ideal spot to get away from the hustle and bustle of life and recharge your batteries in a stunning location. Once you’re feeling refreshed, you can try your hand at some of the activities on offer, including guided 4×4 safaris, mountain biking and fishing.

3. Spurn Point, East Riding of Yorkshire, England

Just 30 miles from Hull lies Spurn Point, one of the UK’s most unique locations. A narrow sand spit, just 50m wide in places, that stretches from Yorkshire into the North Sea, it is a designated National Nature Reserve and part of the Heritage Coast.

As well as its isolated beauty, it’s worth making the trip out to Spurn Point just to check out the abundance of wildlife that resides there. Wildflowers grow in spring and summer months, and the area is famous for migration of ladybirds, butterflies and rare birds.

4. London Wetlands Centre, Barnes, London

The big city doesn’t have to be manic! The London Wetlands Centre is a tranquil sanctuary in South London, a wildlife haven set amongst lakes, pools and meadows.

 Named ‘Britain’s Favourite Nature Reserve’ in 2012 by BBC Countryfile Magazine, the 105-acre centre is home to rare birds and exotic pond life from around the world. There are also several peaceful gardens to wander through, an adventure playground for little ones and a heated observatory.

5. Kielder Water and Forest Park, Northumberland, England

If you really do want to get away from it all, Kielder is about as remote as England gets. Over 50 miles away from any major population centres, Kielder has the nation’s darkest night sky, making it perfect for stargazing.

 If astronomy isn’t your strong point, there’s plenty to do in the daytime as well. The enormous park hosts Northern Europe’s largest man-made lake with the chance to partake in water sports, the famous Minotaur Maze, and miles upon miles of purpose-built trails and forest walks. Professional tutors are available for activities such as archery and snorkelling, if that takes your fancy, and there’s a whole ecosystem of natural wildlife to discover.

 It wasn’t crowned as Visit England 2013’s Tourism Experience of the Year for nothing.