Top 5 relaxing holidays in the UK

Our top five relaxing holidays in the UK are about getting back to nature and leaving the pressures of the modern world far behind. You’re invited to seek out the wild and woolly shores of Scotland as you retrace the threads back to the past on a handicrafts holiday. Further south, beyond the Big Yin’s wall, you’ll find equally relaxing climes in England. From festive family camping in Bedfordshire to a stone cottage on a farm in Devon – if you’re looking for a quiet break, here’s where the stresses of the daily grind start to unwind.

Keep reading to discover our best relaxing holidays in the UK.

1. Art & photography holiday in Orkney

This is your opportunity to reconnect with nature. The wild and calming environment of Orkney will be your muse – from the winding cobbled streets of Stromness to the standing stones of Stenness and the Old Man of Hoy – as you capture the sea and landscapes using a range of creative mediums.
The essence of this relaxing art and photography holiday in Scotland is self-discovery. No experience is necessary – just a willingness to explore the senses and spend time with like-minded people. A women-only art and photography retreat allows for an even more focused holiday.

2. Farm stay in Devon

Book yourself into a self-catering cottage in rural Devon, and you’ll see signs of stress disappearing from the moment you set foot over the stone threshold. Set within eight hectares of farmland, you can stroll down to the river and spy on kingfishers and dragonflies by day, before returning to the cottage to watch the stars at night.

With a range of hiking, cycling and historic coast and country trails right on your doorstep, it’s no wonder that city folk arriving in Devon always feel so relaxed. Borrow a bike and pop to the local farm shop for supplies or, if you fancy a night away from the outdoor barbecue, see what time the local pub opens.

Our top selling trip: Devon self catering cottage, England
All our trips: Devon holidays
Read more: Devon travel guide

3. Small ship cruise in the Inner Hebrides

Set sail for a week of slow cruising around the sounds of Mull, Luing, Shuna and Jura, and you probably won’t see a living soul other than seals, dolphins and seabirds from the moment you depart to the moment you return to the Isle of Mull. This is a relaxing way to spend a week in the Inner Hebrides, getting to know the local skipper and cook, as well as your fellow shipmates – a maximum of 11 passengers. Seafaring tales, stargazing from the deck and the gentle lapping of waves will lull you into a deep sleep.
Travel Team
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4. Traditional crafts holiday in Scotland

A traditional crafts holiday in Scotland gives you an opportunity to forage, dye, shear and explore in the stunning Scottish Highlands. Getting to know a range of old-fashioned farming and crofting philosophies gives an added educational element to this trip, as well as a deeper understanding of the natural world. Discover inspiration amongst the heather-strewn Highlands as you learn how to create your own felted souvenir to take home… alongside a bottle of the local Glen Affric whisky, no doubt.

5. Family camping

If you’re a family that loves to camp, you’ll be well aware why this can be such a relaxing holiday. Yes, there’s washing up to do, and cooking – but therein lies the fun. Kids get involved in the chores just as much as the adults. And if they don’t, then let them go feral for a few days; they’ll always come back when they’re hungry. A family camping holiday in the UK is one thing, but staying in a festival-style tent is something else. There are LED lights, hand-woven rugs, a bed and a cosy inside space where you can curl up next to the fire.

Our top selling trip: Festive family camping holiday, Bedfordshire
All our trips: England holidays
Read more: England travel guide
Written by Chris Owen
Photo credits: [Page banner: Mikadun] [Orkney: d kah] [Inner Hebrides: Desire Kranenburg] [Scottish highlands: Damien Ramage]