We all know that a busy lifestyle can take its toll, so taking time out to explore places that are off the beaten track can really help to restore our wellbeing.
After all, when you’re in need of a slice of solitude, or just seeking privacy with your other half, a walk along a solitary coastline or a jaunt through woodland can be a calming and relaxing experience that can take you down a gear… but steer you in the right direction.
A tonic for the soul, here are some secret hideaways where you can run wild, feel the wind in your hair, and best of all, don’t have to worry about bumping into anyone you know…
1. Horning, Norfolk
Village life at Horning centres around the northern bank of the River Bure where you’ll find quaint old cottages, tea rooms, restful pubs and some waterside shops.
A mile or two down the road is the church and stroll further along the country lanes and you’ll be on the boundary of Broadland – found to be the most peaceful local council a few years back.
2. Chapman’s Well, Durham
A nature reserve with large areas of open countryside, butterflies flutter, birds sing and wild animals run free among the ponds, meadows and woods. With 328 acres to explore, you can even go fishing for the day.
3. Chapel Porth Beach, Cornwall
Perfectly secluded, this craggy cove is unapproachable during high tide. But time it right, and when the weather is calm, and you’ll be rewarded with a long stretch of golden sand, the sound of gently lapping waves and a charming café serving snacks and drinks.
4. Exmoor National Park, West Somerset
You might need to pack your walking boots to tackle the sweeping moorland, dark woods, wild coastline and trickling brooks and rivers, but hang around until nightfall and chances are you’ll be in for some brilliant stargazing – the land is recognized as an International Dark Sky Reserve.
5. Arthur’s Seat, Edinburgh, Scotland
The site of an ancient fort and 823 feet above sea level, Arthur’s Seat offers spectacular views over Edinburgh and the North Sea.
There’s also a 15th century medieval chapel where you can meditate, say your prayers or simply close your eyes and have a doze.
6. Freshwater, Isle of Wight
Completely unspoilt, this hidden gem is on the west coast of the Isle of Wight. Follow the footpath from the village up to the clifftop which leads to the Needles rocks and you can see the Dorset coast.
With nothing but seagulls flying overhead and the sea on either side, no wonder it was a favourite escape for the Victorian poet, Alfred Lord Tennyson.
7. Brompton Cemetery, London
With its Victorian headstones, statues and monuments, this Grade 1 listed cemetery is one of the oldest garden cemeteries in Britain.
The highlight is the chapel, but step away from the colonnades and wander along the quiet walkways and gravestones and you’ll find some much needed tranquillity.
How often do you stop to take time out? Tell us in the Comments Box below