Off the beaten track holidays are for the free spirit in all of us. They’re a way to escape the crowds and help us focus upon our own creative pursuits, sports, and interests. Both old and new. Either alone or in the company of good friends and family, give yourself the opportunity to escape to a quiet corner of the UK.
Whatever your holiday includes and whoever you chose to take along for the adventure, we have found some of the best. Go off the beaten track for holidays in some special and secluded locations across the British isles.
Plan ahead, take one in the spring, August, September, or October! Or book a getaway at the last minute, after taking inspiration from our favourite off the beaten track holidays in this blog…
Where can I go for an off the beaten track holiday in the UK?
Off The Beaten Track Horse Riding Holidays
If you’re an experienced rider or beginner, you and your horse have the opportunity to trot around the English countryside. From Cheshire, Sherwood Forest, or Shropshire, choose a trail map that will take you along quiet roads for a peaceful horse riding holiday. After a long day in the saddle, relax in a 19th-century farmhouse with a homemade meal. Your horse will also enjoy walking through untouched fields, fords, and forests, before finishing the day with some straw and hay.
Mournes, County Down, Northern Ireland
If horses are one of your favourite animals but you no longer ride, why not go off-grid and stay in a horsebox conversion in Northen Island? Wake up to see the majestic Mourne Mountains from one window and woodlands from another. Here, two serene settings will offer you many walking trails and photographing opportunities.
For the more adventurous members of your party, choose a day out at Castlewellan Forest Park, which provides a range of outdoor activities from cycling to orienteering. There is also Newcastle beach, which is a short drive away. If you want to stay in a different kind of accommodation than usual and want some more unusual staycation ideas, read our unusual staycation blog!
Luxury Off The Beaten Track Holidays on the Coast
For a luxury break, a coastal holiday in Cornwall could be the ticket. Take the whole family and enjoy some quality time together. Stay inside the mouth of the Camel Estuary in Rock, (North Cornwall) within a luxurious holiday home. Complete with 180-degree sea views and a hot tub, spend your days building a seaside fortress and catching some rays on your private beach.
If you have a surfboard to hand, hit the waves and master surfing while you’re away. To try another water-based activity like canoeing or kayaking, pay the Pembrokeshire Coast a visit and stay in a remote holiday cottage in Wales. With accommodation that includes an indoor swimming pool, tennis court, or games room, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Rural Holidays in Carmarthenshire, Wales
Go glamping in rural Carmarthenshire which is the perfect setting for stargazing under a dark sky. During the day, visit the coastlines of Carmarthen and Cardigan Bay to spot dolphins and seals. To gain some inspiration for your latest gardening project visit the National Botanical Garden of Wales and explore the brilliant British Bird of Prey Centre.
The Isles of Scilly
For a mini adventure, sail or fly via helicopter to The Isles of Scilly. With a backdrop of desolate, white sandy beaches and a turquoise sea, immerse yourself in the creativity of island life, through crafts or photography. When onshore, feast upon an array of locally sourced produce while enjoying the scents of sub-tropical plants. While on water, seek out grey Atlantic seals and explore this enchanting archipelago by island hopping.
However, if it’s just the white sands you’re looking for during an off the beaten track holiday, head to Holkham Beach in Norfolk or Studland Bay in Dorset. Both these seaside destinations have plenty of wildlife to spot in winter and summer, as well as miles of sandy beaches to scamper along.
Perthshire is a good choice for an off the beaten track holiday because it has plenty to offer wildlife watches. Here you’ll find Big Tree Country, an unspoiled wilderness, which is home to the secret red squirrel and leaping salmon. There are also different walking trails you can follow or give geocaching ago! Either way, live like a local and stay in a cosy lodge, farmhouse, or barn.
Perthshire is also referred to as the stopping point to the road to Scotland’s Highlands…
Remote off the beaten track holidays in the Scottish Highlands
The Scottish Highlands is known for its whisky, highland cattle, and enchanting castles. However, tucked away in the Alladale Wilderness Reserve is a bunkhouse house lodge that you can rest in. Surrounded by 100 square kilometers of rugged mountains, forests, rivers, and lochs, this is one of the most remote buildings in Scotland.
The location is also the perfect destination for hiking, wild swimming, and mountain biking. Reserve your bike, free of charge, and enjoy a holiday full of unparalleled experiences. For more ways to entertain your family while away read our activity holiday blog.
The Peak District
Ignite your family’s senses during an off the beaten track holiday in the Peak District. Motor through the moorlands to admire its many colours, before stopping at Trentham Monkey Forest to feed 140 free-roaming Monkeys. Have your lunch at the famous landscaped, Victorian Garden – Biddulph Grange.
Or listen out for the sounds of chugging trains and steam locomotives, while breathing in the smells of the industrial revolution, at the Churnet Railway (Rudyard Lake Steam Railway).
Book yourself into a riverside cottage for a quiet weekend retreat. Teesdale in Yorkshire is said to be one of England’s most unspoilt areas. With the Dales on your doorstep and a log fire to keep you toasty, spend the day baking. Or warm yourself after a walk among the North Pennines (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty). Barnard Castle is also round the corner, as is the medieval stronghold of Raby Castle in Durham, which is surrounded by 200 acres of parkland and a woodland adventure playground.
Canal boat trips away from the crowds
Escape the hustle and bustle of life and take a trip down the waterways – perhaps in Derbyshire. Jump aboard your narrowboat from Marcia Marina the largest inland marina in Europe, and glide gracefully along the Trent and Mersey Canal.
Feeding the ducks and swans is optional, ordering a ‘Taste of the Shire’s’ hamper is encouraged. Tuck into local treats onboard while fishing, reading, painting the scenery, and wildlife watching. You will also have many opportunities to stop and visit friendly pubs and pastures at your leisure.
If a canal boat holiday is something you’ve wanted to do for a while, read our canal holidays blog for more inspiration!
Travel Insurance for Off The Beaten Track Holidays
Wherever you end up in and around the UK remember to book your UK travel insurance with Free Spirit. Find all the features and benefits of our policy here.