Destination disconnect: The top UK towns for a digital detox revealed

Are you fed up with doom scrolling and all the negative news? Well, you’re not alone. It’s been a few years of an almost constant stream of gloomy content online.

If you’re looking for an escape from the everyday and an opportunity to disconnect from your devices, then a digital detox might just be the perfect remedy. It’s a chance to reduce the stress and anxiety that a 24-hour connection can bring and really focus on being present in the physical world around you. 

The big question, however, is where can we actually go in order to switch off?

We decided to explore this for ourselves, and based on research and a six-point criteria that we’ve developed, we’ve discovered the best destinations for a digital detox, where visitors can get ‘off the grid’ to focus on their surroundings and real-life interactions, without digital distractions.

The results? Surprisingly, Whitby beat the competition to top the list as the best destination for a digital detox! The seaside town - famous for its association with gothic culture - not only boasts an abundance of green space, but its limited mobile data coverage makes it the perfect place to escape from everyday life.


Top 10 locations to disconntect

1. Whitby, North Yorkshire 

2. Skipton, North Yorkshire 

3. Nairn, Scottish Highlands 

4. Keswick, Lake District 

5. Loch Lomond, Southern Scotland 

6. Anglesey, North Wales 

7. Chester, Cheshire 

8. Isle of Skye, Northwest Scotland

9. Tenby, Southwest Wales 

10. Shanklin, Isle of Wight 



Whitby is joined in the top three by Skipton, with its rich history and natural beauty, followed by the seaside resort of Nairn, boasting two world-famous beaches and a population of less than 10,000 people. Keswick took fourth spot, followed by Loch Lomond in Southern Scotland, a great destination for both whisky and outdoor adventures. 


In sixth place is Anglesey, known for its historical sites, rolling beaches - and low quality internet. Chester follows, with plenty of activities to keep visitors occupied, and The Isle of Skye - famous for its picturesque fishing villages and rugged landscape - takes the eighth spot.


Rounding off the top ten best destinations for a digital detox are the seaside towns of Tenby and Skanklin. Both known for stretches of sandy shoreline, numbers nine and ten on the list are ideal destinations for a tranquil break - not to mention a traditional fish and chips by the sea!


Not only did we consider the locations that would be ideal for an overall digital detox, but we also looked at the top destinations for a break with plenty of green space, visitor attractions and, most importantly, top spots for leaving phones behind!



Top five locations with the most limited mobile data

For those who want a break from social media and the constant communication of everyday life.  


1. Polperro, Cornwall
2. Moreton-in-Marsh, Cotswolds
3. Tenby, Southwest Wales
4. Nairn, Scottish Highlands
5. St. Andrews, East Coast of Scotland


Our research found that the Cornish town of Polperro is the top destination for busy people looking to make themselves virtually unreachable, as there’s almost no mobile data coverage². This, coupled with a local population of only 1,554, makes it a great location for personal space. 



Top five locations with the greenest space

For anyone looking to explore more of the beautiful British countryside, while still being reachable to those back home. 


1. Loch Lomond, Southern Scotland
2. Nairn, Scottish Highlands

3. Stroud, Cotswolds

4. Keswick, Lake District

5. Cirencester, Cotswolds



Top five locations with the highest number of local attractions to keep visitors engaged and off their phones

If you want a break where you can remain ‘on the grid’ and entirely reachable, but want a chance to unwind without the distraction of your phone, then one of these destinations with plenty of activities to keep the whole family occupied may be the best choice for a short break.


1. York, North Yorkshire
2. Bath, Somerset
3. Oxford, Southeast England
4. Norwich, Norfolk
5. Chester, Cheshire










To narrow down our list, we judged each location on: the quality of internet access¹, mobile phone coverage², amount of green space³, annual daily flow of traffic, average cost of food⁴, average cost of a holiday let⁵, average rating of accommodation⁶, number of attractions⁶ and the population per sqm. 


Each destination was given a score out of 330, with the top scoring location deemed the best to visit for a digital detox. 

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