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Nairn, Scotland
Photograph: Shutterstock

The best digital detox destinations in the UK

Purely because they have terrible to non-existent mobile coverage

Ellie Walker-Arnott
Written by
Ellie Walker-Arnott
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A digital detox is one of those things that sounds great in theory, but is harder to pull off in reality. The appeal of being uncontactable, surrounded by nature and immersed in the present moment without the ping of a Whatsapp chat to distract you is clear. But then... your thumb moves with a mind of its own and suddenly you’re 20 Insta-stories deep without even really consciously deciding to pick up your phone.

The answer? Places where your beloved hand extension doesn’t even work. These really rather nice UK destinations are the ideal spots to visit if you really want a break from the digital world because, according to data provided by Last Minute Cottages, they have the most limited mobile data out there. Real world peace and quiet, here we come. 

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Best digital detox destinations in the UK

Polperro, Cornwall
Photograph: Shutterstock

1. Polperro, Cornwall

This teeny, picturesque fishing village on Cornwall’s south coast is a stunner, populated with quaint fishing cottages. It’s got an old-fashioned vibe, which is enhanced by the fact that the village is largely car-free and has terrible mobile reception. 

Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire
Photograph: Shutterstock

2. Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire

Apparently, you won’t have much joy when it comes to finding 4G in this pretty Cotswold town. Luckily there’s plenty of genuinely joyful things to do instead, like scouring vintage and antique shops, trying out trad tea rooms and heading out into the surrounding countryside. 

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Tenby, Pembrokeshire
Photograph: Shutterstock

3. Tenby, Pembrokeshire

Tenby in southwest Wales is a top seaside town. It’s got a picture-perfect harbour, soft sandy beaches, ancient castle ruins and even a tiny tidal island (as well as poor mobile coverage). If you can’t resist taking photos of those pastel-painted cottages on your phone, we’ll let you off. There’s no way you’d be able to post them anyway. 

Nairn, Scottish Highlands
Photograph: Shutterstock

4. Nairn, Scottish Highlands

A seaside spot near Inverness, Nairn might not have great reception, but it is one of the driest and sunniest places in Scotland. With your phone out of action, you can make the most of the village’s white sandy beaches, edged with windswept dunes. 

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St. Andrews, Fife
Photograph: Scotland’s scenery / Shutterstock.com

5. St. Andrews, Fife

Mobile coverage is patchy in this famous Scottish university town, so you may as well go tech-free to explore St Andrews’ gothic cathedral and castle ruins, medieval streets and scenic walks. Don’t know what to do with your hands? Pick up a golf club for the afternoon. 

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