From secluded islands, to ‘off the grid’ peninsulas and isolated countryside hamlets, here are 10 remote places to visit in the UK.
Despite a population of 68 million, there are still many remote places to visit in the UK. And while city trips will always be a popular choice for a weekend break, sometimes it’s nice to just get away from it all and relax while being surrounded by nature.
Just as breath-takingly beautiful as they are remote, here are ten remote places to travel to in the UK:
1. Fair Isle, Shetland, Scotland
The southernmost Shetland Isle, Fair Isle is considered the most remote inhabited island in the United Kingdom. Famous for its birds, knitwear and ancient history, this tiny island is a treasure trove of adventure. Home to around 60 people, the majority of the islanders are crofters and are known for producing the popular Fair Isle knitted woollen jumpers.
A bird spotters paradise, the island is an important breeding ground for seabirds and a stopping point for migrant species. Expect to see Atlantic Puffins, Arctic Terns, Gannets, Great Skuas and many more. Visitors can travel to the island by ferry or plane from the Shetland mainland.
2. Foula, Shetland, Scotland
Foula is also part of the Shetland archipelago, and home to a population of around 30 people. With some of the highest sea cliffs in the UK, this Shetland Isle is inhabited by numerous seabirds, including the largest colony of Great Skuas. Other amazing wildlife can also be spotted along the shores, such as seals, whales and porpoises. Tourists can visit the island by taking a two-hour ferry ride or 15-minute flight from Shetland mainland. The island has accommodation but no pub or shop, so all supplies need to be brought to the island.
3. Knoydart Peninsula, Highlands, Scotland
Cut off from the UK mainland road network, Knoydart is a peninsula on the west coast of Scotland which can only be accessed by boat or foot. Labelled ‘Scotland’s last wilderness’, it is renowned for its rugged and remote landscape. The area has a population of around 100 and is also home to the UK mainland’s most remote pub, The Old Forge. The peninsula is popular with hill walkers, sailors, wildlife enthusiasts or those seeking an escape from the hustle and bustle.
4. Lundy, North Devon, England
Lundy is an English island 12 miles off the coast of Devon. Only 5km long and 1km wide, Lundy has less then 20 permanent residents. With no streetlights and no cars, a visit to this rural island makes for an unforgettable experience. Due to its isolation, the island is one of the best places for wildlife watching. Wildlife enthusiasts can see a variety of seabirds, seals, dolphins and perhaps even a basking shark if you’re lucky!
5. Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales
Established in 1957, the Brecon Beacons National Park is one of three national parks in Wales. Famous for its grassy moorlands, mountain ridges, fast flowing rivers, waterfalls, glistening lakes and tiny hamlets, the area is known for its outdoor activities. Go on a trek to Pen-y-Fan, the highest point in South Wales and enjoy the views of the Bristol Channel and beyond. The Brecon Beacons National Park is an ideal destination to escape the daily grind, sample the fantastic local produce and enjoy the remote and unspoilt wilderness.
6. Jura, Inner Hebrides, Scotland
Jura is a Scottish island in the Inner Hebrides, rugged and untamed, it is one of the wildest places in Scotland. And despite being relatively close to the Scottish mainland, there is no direct air or ferry link to Jura. So it comes as no surprise that it was described by George Orwell as an “extremely un-get-at-able place”. Orwell chose the peace and quiet of Jura to complete his most famous work, 1984. A population of around 200, the islanders are outnumbered by 6,000 deer which roam the island. Known for its mountains, whisky and swirling whirlpool, Jura is an inspiring remote place to visit.
7. Lake District, Cumbria, England
The expanse of lakes, forests and mountains of the Lake District makes for the perfect remote escape. Despite being a popular place for a weekend away or UK road trip, there are still many places in the area which remain unexplored. A small stretch of the National Park’s boundary runs along the coast and is generally void of the crowds that the lakes attract. Quiet coastal villages, fantastic beaches and imposing cliffs await you along this stunning Cumbrian coastline.
8. St Kilda, Outer Hebrides, Scotland
St Kilda is an isolated archipelago in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. The islands are of great cultural and natural importance and are therefore the UK’s only dual UNESCO World Heritage site. The islands have been uninhabited since 1930. Much of the island can be explored during a day trip, although short overnight camping trips are also possible. With some of the highest sea cliffs in Europe, St Kilda is home to the UK’s biggest colony of Atlantic Puffins and the world’s largest colony of gannets.
9. Yorkshire Dales National Park, England
The Yorkshire Dales National Park is the ideal location if you want to surround yourself with fresh air, endless views and stunning scenery. With over 840 square miles of spectacular limestone valleys, rolling hills and picturesque villages, there is plenty of space to get away from it all. Visitors to the area can explore caves, caverns and waterfalls, as well as some of the best hiking trails in the UK.
10. Barra, Outer Hebrides, Scotland
Situated in the Scottish Outer Hebrides, Barra is the most southerly of the inhabited islands. Full of history, beautiful sandy beaches, flora and fauna, Barra is a special place to visit. The island is accessible by ferry or plane. With the world’s only tidal beach runway, flying to this little island is a bucket list experience in itself. Stroll along the sandy beaches, visit the medieval Kisimul Castle, enjoy water sports or learn about the culture at the island’s heritage centre. Barra is the perfect escape for a few days of tranquillity and adventure.