With the world standing still before the raging pandemic, it’s okay if you’re looking to indulge in some escapism. Whether you’re planning a post-lockdown staycation in the UK or are simply curious to explore some of Britain’s most serene towns and villages, this list won’t disappoint.
Exploring the UK’s Hidden Gems
If visiting buzzing metropolises like London and Manchester aren’t exactly your cup of tea at the moment, you’ll be happy to know the UK has so much to offer in terms of quiet, picturesque seafront villages with honey-hued houses and narrow cobbled streets that look as if they were taken straight off of a postcard. So, buckle up and enjoy our top five favorite spots.
When it comes to finding serene spots in the UK, you can’t go wrong with Portree in Scotland. With its gorgeous pastel-hued houses and emerald green still waters, this small town is as peaceful as it gets. Portree is the capital of the Isle of Skye and the liveliest village on the Island in the Highlands of Scotland.
A single trip to Clovelly is bound to steal your heart. This picture-perfect fishing village is iconic with its white-washed houses, breathtaking seaside views, and tiny cobbled streets. If you ignore geography, it might feel like you’re taking a stroll on a small Greek island. There are no cars on smaller streets, so you can enjoy a peaceful and relaxing walk.
Castle Combe, Wiltshire
Castle Combe is often referred to as “the prettiest village in England” with its medieval-like streets and honey-colored houses. You wouldn’t be wrong feeling like time has stopped here. No new houses have been built in Castle Combe since the 1600s, thus preserving its Cotswold stone cottages. Add in strict parking restrictions, the incredible valley views, and you have yourself a quiet, full-on fairytale destination.
Cushendun, Northern Ireland
If you are a fan of Game of Thrones, you’d be happy to know the famous Cashendun Caves were featured in the series (season two). If you’re looking for a tranquil destination filled with village pubs, independent shops, and delicious restaurants, this is definitely the place for you.
Mousehole’s narrow streets have retained much of the old world charm with its themed galleries and shops. It’s a tiny but incredibly picturesque fishing village and a hidden gem on the map of the UK’s most tranquil places to visit.
Some of the Best Trails to Hit for an Amazing Wellness Walk
They say nature is the body’s best medicine. Whether you need healing or not, hikes or long walks through nature are a great way to find peace and clarity among the trees or wide-open spaces. Completing a long and challenging trail can be rewarding in many ways, from understanding and appreciating historic trails to a sense of confidence from completing a personal goal. For anyone planning to make such a journey, here are a few great trails that have much to offer:
Japan’s Pilgrim Trail
For over a millennium, pilgrims have been trekking the sacred paths of Japan’s Kii Peninsula in search of spiritual wellness and renewal. Today, any adventure-seeking enthusiast can follow in their footsteps along the Kumano Kodō. This famous trail was conceived as a test for the body, spirit, and mind. Legends say that the Kii Peninsula was home to primal nature spirits. These trails were named a World Heritage site in 2004. There are seven Kumano trails to choose from, and most of them pass by some of the most sacred Japanese sites.
The Grand Descent
Taking walks through the Grand Canyon is no easy task. One of America’s greatest wonders, there is hardly another place on Earth as inviting to geologists as this famous canyon. With over a mile depth, the layers of rock, earth, fossils, and sediments can take scientists on a trip back in time. The amazing view of the canyon from above and a more intimate look at its trails and the nature thriving at the bottom are more than worth the trip for any ambitious hiker.
A Wellness Walk Through the Balkan Trail
This 120-mile hiking trail passes through three nations and trekking it takes two weeks. To create the trail, its founders mapped the pathways known only to local shepherds. Many local farmers have opened guesthouses along the trail to take in hikers looking for shelter and a hot meal. The entire trail is painted with amazing sites, untamed nature, and fresh, crisp air. The welcoming shepherds and knowledgeable guides are always happy to share stories about the region and its history.