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Relaxing Hotspots: The Best UK Destinations to Escape for a Wellness Break

Relaxing Hotspots: The Best UK Destinations to Escape for a Wellness Break

May 17, 2021

Looking after our mental health is more important than ever before. With constant exposure to the news, social media and the busyness of daily life, we all need some time to switch off and escape it all – a wellness break is the perfect way to do that.

Here at I’m Insured, we offer specialist mental health life insurance and understand the importance of taking time away to unwind and be kind to yourself. 

With this in mind, we have analysed the UK locations appearing in Tripadvisor search results for the term ‘relaxing’, and ranked them on a number of factors to reveal the best places in the UK for a wellness break.


What is a wellness break?

A wellness break clears the mind. Instead of visiting a busy tourist hotspot, we can go somewhere beautiful, and take the time to focus on relaxing activities that improve our mental and physical wellbeing.

A desirable wellbeing break would often be tranquil and remote – without traffic and the hustle and bustle, fresh air to enjoy outdoor activities and plenty of green space… all whilst being unplugged from technology and switched off from everyday life.


The UK’s top wellness break destinations

I’m Insured have analysed the UK’s best areas for a wellness break. To find an original seedlist, we took the locations appearing in Tripadvisor search results for the term ‘relaxing’, and then compared the following factors to find the areas in the UK that are most suited for a wellness getaway: 

  • Population
  • Air quality
  • Number of wellness activities
  • Mobile signal 
  • Green space
  • Distance from a major airport
  • Cottages to rent with a hot tub


wellness map


 Each place was scored and ranked accordingly. The metrics were designed to analyse how ideal each location is for a wellness break. The research took into account the destination’s population to see how remote it is, whether the air is fresh and the amount of green space to enjoy. The analysis also looked at the lack of signal to make it easier to digitally detox, the number of wellness activities nearby, and the number of rentable 2 person Air BnBs with a hot tub.

This revealed the top 20 locations in the UK for a wellness break:


Rank Location Overall wellness score Remoteness score Noise level score Wellness activities score Cottages to rent with a hot tub score Ability to digital detox score Air Quality Score Green Space Score
1 Watermillock, Cumbria 67.8 32.45 18.41 0.93 4.49 3.89 4.33 3.33
2 Killin, Stirling 59.6 27.30 13.70 0.93 7.55 2.22 2.93 5.00
3 Thurlestone, Devon 59.3 29.02 12.46 5.56 2.52 5.00 0.80 3.97
4 Tortworth, Gloucestershire 58.4 35.00 7.15 0.74 9.66 1.11 0.80 3.97
5 St. Dogmaels, Pembrokeshire 58.3 24.75 25.00 0.93 1.97 1.39 0.19 4.13
6 Taplow, Buckinghamshire 57.3 30.73 3.54 11.30 4.83 0.56 1.77 4.56
7 Wyboston, Bedfordshire 56.4 30.31 7.44 2.96 5.85 0.56 4.82 4.48
8 Otley, West Yorkshire 56.3 28.18 11.97 3.33 6.67 0.56 2.50 3.06
9 Pulford, Cheshire 55.8 33.71 4.93 3.89 2.24 3.33 4.33 3.33
10 Shurdington, Gloucestershire 55.4 22.61 13.96 9.07 5.03 0.00 0.80 3.97
11 Bowness-on-Windermere, Cumbria 54.6 20.06 20.37 3.70 2.24 0.56 4.33 3.33
12 Thurnham, Lancashire 54.2 28.60 6.58 5.37 5.71 0.28 4.33 3.33
13 Pott Shrigley, Cheshire 54.1 34.16 2.83 2.22 3.06 4.17 4.33 3.33
14 Lea Marston, Warwickshire 53.7 32.87 2.02 2.59 8.37 1.39 2.50 3.97
15 Thorpe le Soken, Essex 53.5 21.77 13.15 2.04 3.13 4.17 4.82 4.48
16 Windermere, Cumbria 53.2 14.07 20.41 4.26 6.80 0.00 4.33 3.33
17 Whittlebury, Northamptonshire 53.1 29.44 10.08 1.11 4.29 1.11 3.36 3.73
18 Austwick, North Yorkshire 52.9 31.57 10.92 0.37 1.43 3.06 2.50 3.06
19 Saundersfoot, Pembrokeshire 52.7 19.22 20.58 1.30 4.83 2.50 0.19 4.13
20 Minster Lovell, Oxfordshire 51.1 23.91 15.36 2.04 1.29 2.22 1.77 4.56


Top 5 UK wellness breaks: Watermillock, Cumbria named best spot to get away

  1. 1. Watermillock, Cumbria

    Watermillock, Cumbria polaroid

    Like a lot of the Lake District, Watermillock boasts some of the most incredible scenery the UK has to offer. Sitting on the shores of Ullswater, the lake views you’ll experience on countryside walks are truly something else.

    Remote and tranquil, our data rates it the number one location for a wellness break.

    Watermillock has a small population of just 448 – a world away from busy towns and cities. The quiet and picturesque Cumbrian countryside also ranked highly for fresh air and taking a much-needed digital detox.

    Watermillock allows you to explore the great outdoors in the vast amounts of green space – it truly is the perfect place to escape and switch off.

    Overall wellness score: 67.8


  2. 2. Killin, Stirling

    Killin, Perthshire polaroid

    The remote village of Killin sits at the Falls of Dochart – a spectacular series of rapids, offering stunning views.

    Famous for its salmon fishing, wildlife spotting and watersports, this is the ideal relaxing, outdoor getaway.

    Overall wellness score: 59.6


  3. 3. Thurlestone, Devon

    Thurlestone, Devon polaroid

    The beautiful coastal village of Thurlestone boasts one of the most dramatic coastlines in the UK.

    The stunning beaches provide clean areas for swimming, surfing and rock-pooling.

    Thurlestone is the quintessential break to relax and enjoy unspoilt surroundings.

    Overall wellness score: 59.3


  4. 4. Tortworth, Gloucestershire

    Tortworth, Gloucestershire polaroid

    The charming village of Tortworth in Gloucestershire is home to the incredible Tortworth Estate. Within the boundaries of the 30 acre estate, amble through the inviting paths, nooks and walkways.

    Nearby Tortworth, you’ll be spoilt for choice with the sleepy, time-trapped Cotswold villages and historic castles.

    Overall wellness score: 58.4


  5. 5. St. Dogmaels, Pembrokeshire

    St. Dogmaels, Pembrokeshire polaroid

    The quaint riverside village of St Dogmaels is famous for its coasteering, surfing, kayaking, wildlife watching, climbing, and mountain biking.

    Unplug and escape by ambling along the Pembrokeshire coast path, overlooking remarkable bay and sea views. St Dogmaels is perfect for anyone wanting to explore and unwind by the sea.

    Overall wellness score: 58.3 


Switch off: The top places in the UK to enjoy a digital detox



Keeping on top of emails, messages, social media and news is a daily routine for most of us. But, unplugging and de-stressing can do wonders for our wellbeing.

We’ve ranked UK locations based on their mobile signal – these places are not only relaxing, but they have the weakest connection. A trip to these beautiful destinations means you can easily disconnect and de-stress without being tempted to check emails or Facebook

Our data revealed that Thurlestone in Devon is the top UK staycation to relax off the grid. There are connectivity problems across some of the main providers, making it easier to disconnect and avoid the usual daily digital overload.

These are the top 10 UK staycation locations to unplug and take digital detox:


Rank Location Phone signal score
1 Thurlestone, Devon 5.0
2 Pott Shrigley, Cheshire 4.2
3 Thorpe le Soken, Essex 4.2
4 Watermillock, Cumbria 3.9
5 Porth, Mid Glamorgan 3.9
6 Mawgan Porth, Cornwall 3.6
7 Pulford, Cheshire 3.3
8 Matfen, Northumberland 3.3
9 Austwick, North Yorkshire 3.1
10 Broxton, Cheshire 3.1


The best places in the UK for wellness activities

One of our main ranking factors in the analysis included the number of outdoor activities listed on Tripadvisor’s ‘Things To Do’ section, alongside the number of places available to get a massage within 5 miles of the location.

Beyond the physical benefits, walking and being immersed in the outdoors and fresh air has many mental wellness benefits too!

From watersports and hiking trails, right through to cycling and coastal walks, these are just some of the outdoor wellness activities you can enjoy during your relaxing UK break.

Newquay claims the top spot as the most relaxing place with wellness activities. Not only does Newquay have a unique laid back charm, but there are a huge array of activities – surfing, sea safaris, fishing, coasteering, swimming, spas, and so much more.

Here are the top 10 locations that are the most relaxing, with a range of wellness activities to suit everyone:


Rank Location Wellness activities score
1 Newquay, Cornwall 15.0
2 Windsor, Berkshire 11.9
3 Taplow, Buckinghamshire 11.3
4 Scarborough, North Yorkshire 11.1
5 Llandudno, Gwynedd 10.7
6 Torquay, Devon 10.4
7 Bagshot, Surrey 9.8
8 Harrogate, North Yorkshire 9.8
9 Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands 9.6
10 Egham, Surrey 9.6


Killin is crowned the best place for a wellness break in Scotland



Recharge and restore while you are surrounded by stunning Scottish scenery.

Beautiful Killin is the best place to visit in Scotland for a relaxing staycation. Killin is an idyllic highlands village to escape to and disconnect from technology. With a population of just 765, and one of the highest green space scores, it’s a perfect wellbeing destination.

Scotland is packed with treasures… Brodick, Stobo and Pitlochry also rank highly in the top places for a wellness holiday.


St. Dogmaels takes the top spot as the best wellness break in Wales



Wales is home to many stunning places to slow down and reconnect with the world. It’s also packed with inspiring landscapes and wellness activities.

The remote, coastal village of St Dogmaels is the best place in Wales to go and unwind and relax. With a small population of just over 1,000 residents, you can escape busy towns and cities, to get out into the fresh air and vast green space. St Dogmaels also scores highly for a digital detox, helping to avoid the temptation of checking social media and emails.

Other Welsh locations ranking highly in the wellness break stakes are Saundersfoot and Narberth.


Take a well earned, chilled out staycation this summer…

With many opting to stay at home regardless of the foreign travel updates, we hope you’ll enjoy one of these beautiful UK locations to de-stress and unwind.

Mental health can be a difficult subject to approach when searching for life insurance quotes. Our experienced team can help you find the best policy for your individual circumstances without prejudice. Find out more about life insurance mental health conditions.



To establish the UK’s Ultimate Wellness Breaks, we collated a seedlist from TripAdvisor locations in the UK that appear in search results for the term ‘relaxing’.

We then analysed these locations based on the following seven factors, giving a score for each factor, before combining this to give an overall wellness score:

  • Population (remoteness)
  • Air quality
  • Number of wellness activities
  • Phone signal (the ability to digitally detox)
  • Green space
  • Distance from a major airport (noise levels)
  • Cottages to rent with a hot tub

A total of 83 destinations were analysed, and a full list of sources used in the data can be found below:





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