Sometimes, there is nothing more liberating than ditching your smartphone. Have you been thinking about trying a digital detox recently? Scotland is a fantastic place to try it out – spend a carefree holiday here ignoring the outside world, surrounding yourself with loved ones and most importantly, looking after your mind, body and soul.
Staying fit and healthy doesn’t always need to involve the next best fad diet, avoiding yummy foods and enduring long, sweaty workouts. Instead, here in Scotland… swap a gruelling run for one of the many adventurous watersports on offer… swap a lacklustre salad for some delicious local produce at one of our farmers markets… and swap a gym class for a scenic coastal walk along one of the many preserved beaches. Scotland has an alternative for everything.
Of course, WiFi is available in most places you travel to across Scotland, so it is up to you whether you go completely ‘off the grid’… but we recommend that you do to get the most out of your digital detox.
To inspire your digital detox, here are just a few of the incredible things to do in Scotland that will make you forget all about those demanding notifications, emails, messages, likes, apps, followers and +1s. Time to sign off, relax, and enjoy Scotland!
Fuel your day
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Everyone knows that the key to a productive day is a nutritional breakfast, so we’ve got a couple of suggestions of places for you to grab the perfect breakfast or brunch. In Edinburgh there is, Hula Juice Bar on Victoria Street, which has a variety of colourful juices, smoothies and acai bowls with organic boosters to give you that extra kick of energy, and Urban Angel which offers a range of delicious dishes including avocado on sourdough toast with roasted tomato, feta, chilli flakes, mint and lime, and toasted rye granola topped with yogurt, spiced pears, mint & blackberries (cue tummy rumbling!).
Explore on foot
Scotland’s coasts are the ideal location to blow away the cobwebs and clear your mind of all that digital jargon, on a pleasant seaside stroll. To mention just a couple, Banffshire coast is not only one of the worlds “outstanding coastlines”, according to National Geographic, but it is also a prime spot to sight bottlenose dolphins. The coastal clifftop walk around the headland of Eshaness in Shetland also provides some of the most stunning views over the land with plenty of wildlife to spot.
Lace up your walking boots – adventure is calling! Whether it’s on a trail, such as The Great Trossachs Path, which spans over 30-miles (48 km), covering The Trossachs National Park and Loch Lomond, or if its climbing one of Scotland’s 282 Munro’s, you can be sure that you will be rewarded with panoramic views and a huge sense of achievement. And why not pack a picnic for when you’ve reached your summit? However, before you climb any mountain, be sure to check out mountain safety guidelines and check the forecast to make sure that conditions are agreeable.
…Or by bike
Test your fitness levels on two wheels instead, with a long-distance challenge. The Hebridean Way Cycling Route is a 185-mile (297 km) route, crossing 10 islands in the Outer Hebrides. The route travels northwards from Vatersay to the northern tip of Lewis, passing through quiet communities with strong links to the ancient Gaelic language, aeons of history, and of course, some of the most beautiful beaches you’ve ever seen. Cycling is also great exercise that doesn’t cost a penny! Why not also stay in a beautiful cottage or B&B such as Duncreggan House in Blairmore, or one of Lassintullich Lodge’ holiday cottages in Perthshire, where you can kick back in front of a log fire after a long days cycling.
If pacing it up a Munro isn’t your cup of tea, don’t worry. Why not awaken your senses with a Scottish riverside yoga retreat? At EcoYoga, you can recharge and unwind in a wild river bath or hot tub, and perfect your lotus position in the peaceful, beautiful landscapes of Argyll. The We Love Retreat in Abernethy is another brilliant getaway, with cosy lodges to stay in whilst you engage in both yoga and meditation to create harmony throughout your body.
Alternatively, splash out on an afternoon of quality ‘me’ time in a luxurious spa. In a secluded corner of the Scottish Borders, relax in the glamorous surroundings of Stobo Castle, where you can enjoy an Indian head massage, a nourishing sea mud therapy wrap and many other treatments. Or diminish all negative digital energy at The Gleneagles Hotel, in Perthshire, where there is both a luxury spa and a two Michelin-starred restaurant for you to reward yourself with during your digital detox.
Berry nice indeed
If you’re visiting in the summer months, you might like to visit a fruit farm and spend the afternoon picking berries. Fife has some delicious soft fruits, and you’ll find various farms where you can stock up on fresh strawberries, raspberries and other juicy summer berries. Spend an afternoon at Cairnie Farm in Cupar, and take home some flavoursome delights to sample in your summer pudding recipes.
Dance the night away
Dance all your 21st century troubles away with a traditional ceilidh, a night of whirling and twirling around to lively Scottish music. Don’t worry if you don’t know the steps – there’s usually a ceilidh caller to explain the dances before they begin, so everyone can join in the fun. Prepare yourself by joining in our interactive ceilidh experience.
Escapes by the water
Take your mind off your social media game by getting involved in one of the many watersports on offer – after all, taking your phone out on the water is far too risky anyway! Have you ever tried paddle boarding? Well now is the time! Some of the best places in Scotland for paddle boarding for all abilities includes Loch Lomond, Loch Insh, St Andrews and Oban. So, get on board and get paddling!
Relax and restore the mind
As part of your digital detox you’ll need somewhere amazing to sleep for the night. Wake up to the calming sounds of nature, in a cabin or lodge. They’re simple, cosy and are often nestled deep in the Scottish countryside. Who needs 4G or 5G when you can be relaxing in a hot tub?
Take your digital detox that one step further and stay in an eco-friendly cottage, glamping pod, castle, hotel or country club. The break away from technology will be a refreshing change of pace, so what better time to also go green and think about our beautiful planet.
Or perhaps you want to stray from the crowds and stay somewhere off-the-beaten-track. There are plenty of hidden gems for you to stay in that remain unspoilt and undiscovered by many. So why not take a look and find your own holiday haven?
Check out tips on escaping it all in Scotland in our iKnow Community and share your own ways of detoxing.