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Scotland Unplugged: Our guide to a Scottish digital detox

Annierose Knox - View Comments

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 and looking after yourself; mind, body and soul.

Staying healthy doesn’t always need to involve lengthy treadmill sessions, sweaty workouts and lacklustre salads. Here in Scotland, switch a gym workout for a day scaling a mountain peak, ambling through a leafy forest or cycling past centuries of history. You can still watch the calories too, by refuelling on our delicious local produce.

Of course, WiFi is available in most places you travel across Scotland, so you can choose whether or not to go completely ‘off the grid’. Here are some 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 log off!

A smooth start

Fresh fruit at Earthy, Portobello. Photo by Castaway in Scotland via Flickr | Creative Commons

Everyone knows that a nutritional breakfast is the best way to kick off the day. In Edinburgh, my personal favourite spots are Hula Juice Bar on Victoria Street, where there’s a huge choice of colourful  juices and smoothies with organic boosters to give you that extra kick of energy, or Earthy (various locations across the capital) which offers wholesome dishes such as poached eggs, avocado and spinach on toast or coconut, lime and red quinoa muesli.

Explore on foot

Loch Katrine from the summit of Ben A’an

Forests are truly magical places to get away from it all. In Perthshire, discover why the region is dubbed ‘Big Tree Country’ on a woodland stroll through the Hermitage near Dunkeld, stopping to admire some of the oldest trees in Scotland.

Lace up your walking boots – the mountains are calling. A Munro is a mountain over 3000 ft; on a clear day an ascent up one of Scotland’s 282 peaks will reward you with panoramic views and a huge sense of achievement. It is great exercise that doesn’t cost a penny! Before you climb, be sure to check out mountain safety guidelines and check the forecast to make sure that conditions are agreeable.

…Or by bike

The Butt of Lewis, the final point of the Hebridean Way Cycling Route

Test your fitness levels on two wheels instead, with a long distance challenge. The Hebridean Way Cycling Route is a 185-mile (297km) 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.

Take a few deep breaths

The Spa Dome at EcoYoga Retreats © EcoYoga Ltd

If intense cardio 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. Namaste.

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.

Berry nice indeed

Cairnie Fruit Farm, Cupar © Richard Campbell

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

A ceilidh at Fintry Town Hall © Stuart McClay

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.

After all of that, 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.

Are you looking to escape the humdrum of modern life? Or, perhaps you’re just looking to get active this summer? Find out more about active breaks and our favourite outdoor activities.

Once you’re back on the grid, share your photos with us using the hashtag #ScotSpirit

Check out tips on escaping it all in Scotland in our iKnow Community and share your own ways of detoxing.