Whether you’re craving going off-grid literally or figuratively, we’ve curated a range of getaways in the South West where you can escape the everyday, scale back the screen time and soak up beautiful surroundings
Wildcomfort, south Devon
‘Stay somewhere extraordinary’ is the apt strapline for this planet-friendly and nature-led escape in the wilds of south Devon. Innovative birdhouse cabins, nestled in private woodland, overlook a mesmerising panorama of Start Bay’s coastline and are located just a few minutes’ walk from Blue Flag-winning Blackpool Sands beach.
In its truest sense, this is an off-grid destination that follows ethical practices and honours sustainability at all costs. All of the cabins were crafted in Sussex from sustainable materials, such as locally sourced larch, and the site is powered purely by solar panels. Water is spring-fed and filtered, food waste is composted, products are eco friendly and made in Britain and bioethanol fuel is used in the fireplaces. Even the toilets are operated with gas which incinerates ash into waste for the gardens.
Commendable sustainable practices aside, this is an idyllic and stylish base for kicking back and unwinding. Listen to birdsong as you sip a coffee and watch the sunrise from your private balcony, bask in the warmth of your biofuel fireplace, play in the surf and relish the breathtaking environment.
Hinton Hideaways, south Somerset
If you’re researching a remote romantic break with your amore, look no further than Hinton Hideaways’ adults-only lodgings for a slice of luxe Scandi living in deepest Somerset.
Private treehouses, cabins and roundhouses are nestled within 260 acres of organic farmland and reflect the tranquil natural landscape they inhabit, with differing but equally tempting amenities. Hidden House, on the fringes of the woodland, stands on timber legs among the tree trunks and is just the spot for swaying in a hammock and feasting in the outdoor kitchen. The Hide, a curved timber lodge hidden behind a photinia hedge, is distinguished by its tropical-esque outdoor bath house, while similar rustic-chic roundhouse The Nest features a roomy freestanding tub within the property. The Owl Cabin, with its woodland backdrop and uninterrupted views over historic Castle Hill, is a fairytale-style find with an outdoor firepit delivering hygge feels. And, finally, The Birdhouse lures in guests for its forest bathing opportunities and relaxing infrared sauna.
Although each property has a kitchen, it would be remiss not to explore nearby acclaimed restaurants Holm, Lord Poulett Arms and The Ollerod while in the area.
Windsworth, south Cornwall
Switch off from life’s white noise and go truly off-grid with a sustainable sojourn by the coast at this bolthole near Looe.
Nestled in 70 acres of independent nature reserve (spot the flock of rare-breed sheep while exploring it) and within scrambling distance of a half-mile stretch of pristine private beach, this is a destination free from the crowds typically associated with a holiday in Cornwall.
Outdoor pursuits include swimming in the marine reserve and wallowing in the wood-fired hot tub, while time spent indoors is equally appealing thanks to the comfortable charms of the Old Coach House accommodation. The large stone-built longhouse accommodates up to six people and is beautifully decorated – from the hand-built kitchen to the large sitting room complete with floor-to-ceiling windows. If you’re visiting with a bigger crowd (little ones are welcome too), the annex sleeps a further two.
Although it feels a million miles from the hubbub, Windsworth is located just three miles from Looe – the home of glorious dining spots such as The Sardine Factory and locals’ fish-and-chip-shop-fave Pengelly’s. If you’re travelling to Windsworth on public transport, by foot or by bike, you can score a saving on your stay. Vegetarian or vegan? You’ll also receive a discount.
Gara Rock, south Devon
Endless coastal views and elegant accommodation await those who book a break in the Out of Ordinary penthouse at glam Gara Rock near Salcombe. Perched on the rugged cliffs overlooking the south Devon coast, the hotel offers panoramic vistas of the shimmering sea at every turn and the stylish penthouse is the premium spot for drinking it in.
Stick your phone on airplane mode, pull on some walking boots and enjoy an invigorating blast of sea air as you trail the coastal path mere stomps from the hotel. The pretty town of Salcombe is also just a short ferry ride away for relaxed mooching and beach bathing.
If your ideal off-grid getaway is less outdoor pursuits and more rest and rejuvenation, envelop yourself in a fluffy robe and make your way to the hotel’s Wild Rock Spa. Steam away the stressors of everyday life in the sauna, watch the ebb and flow of sea waves from the bubbling jacuzzi and treat yourself to a pampering in one of the treatment rooms.
However the days are spent, evenings are best rounded off with seasonal dining in the award-winning restaurant. Exec chef Paul Hegley creates dishes from the à la carte menu which utilises handpicked veggies from Gara’s kitchen garden.
Driftwood Hotel, Cornwall
Disconnect from rolling news coverage, to-do lists and house chores awhile and drift into a more relaxing pace of life at this boutique hotel in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty at the heart of the Roseland Peninsula.
Coast-inspired interiors and home-from-home comforts create a relaxed atmosphere and help lull guests into a peaceful state of mind. There’s nothing like waking up from a restful slumber to views of the big blue, and whiling away hours in the cosy lounge, curled up in one of the armchairs by the log fire with a good book and cup of herbal tea.
Renowned as a walkers’ paradise, Driftwood’s seven acres and a limitless stretch of coast path await discovery, as does the hotel’s private beach located just a pebble’s skim away. Sweeping sea views are also enjoyed in Driftwood’s restaurant, which deals in refined dishes that celebrate fresh, local ingredients sourced from land and sea.
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