We get it – weekends are precious. Those glorious hours between Friday night and Monday morning are to be treasured – no commute, no deadlines, no queuing for mediocre coffee that’s draining your bank balance… Instead, it’s all about you. But, rather than repeating the indulgent sofa weekends, boozy brunch weekends, the visiting-your-family-out-of-guilt weekends, how about something a bit different? We all like a little brag in the office kitchen come the start of the week after all…
Let’s Take This Off-Grid
Don’t panic, but we’re going to need you to put your phone down – there’s no signal where we’re going. However, when you’re surrounded by landscapes as stunning as these, you might find that you don’t miss that buzzing device at all. That’s right – these are our top picks for an off-grid adventure:
The Log Cabin – Nestled in the woodland of the Lake District, Shank Wood cabin can be found at the bottom of a very steep hill alongside a quietly babbling river. Expect plenty of wildlife, but a distinct lack of fridge, microwave or TV.
The Tree Tent – Yes, you read that right! This charming curio is suspended above the ground, amongst a series of towering trees. It’s also in the midst of 80 acres of private Welsh woodland, so you’re unlikely to be disturbed – except by the odd owl, of course.
The Luxury Tipi – Swap the hubbub of city life for this rather sumptuous escape in the Peak District. Although technically ‘off-grid’, you’ll find numerous home comforts here, including a hot tub and a rather swish on-site washroom… as well as a ‘wellness yurt’ nearby. Who said the countryside couldn’t be chic?
The Extreme Option – Looking for a long weekend escape? Allow us to suggest this Arctic hideaway. A cluster of raised wooden structures in a vast, unspoilt landscape, you’re sure to find peace of mind gazing out at the serene Norwegian landscape beneath the ethereal northern lights. Do not disturb.
Find Your Zen
You don’t have to be a full-time yogi or health guru to feel the effects of a weekend’s wellness, especially if your week consists of hours at the desk followed by a little too much TV in the evening. Luckily, there are numerous ‘look after yourself’ retreats popping up across the UK to suit a variety of budgets:
The Budget Option – Retreat to the lush landscape of Kent for a weekend of ashtanga yoga, healthy eating and meditation. This particular break is one of the most popular retreats in the UK – time to find out why?
The Romantic One – Rekindle and deepen your love and understanding for one another on this couples retreat in the serenity of the Lake District. With two yoga sessions, a holistic massage and wholefood meals thrown in, you’ll feel thoroughly loved up after this weekender.
The Luxury Choice – Champneys is synonymous with luxury, so why not treat yourself to a decadent wellness getaway at one of their desirable locations? Offering everything from boot camp weekends, to detox sessions and yoga courses, you’ll be in safe hands here!
Time to Give Back
During the week, it can be hard to make time for other people, so why not use your weekends to give a little back? Volunteer weekends are on the rise, and they’re not only a great way to feel good about yourself, but also a fabulous option for meeting new people, learning new skills and really contributing towards the greater good:
For the History Buffs – The National Trust relies on volunteers to keep its numerous properties and gardens up and running for the public. Whether you’re keen to get your fingers dirty rummaging through flower beds, or want to show off your historical prowess by providing guided tours in one of the many houses, your contributions will be greatly appreciated. Find out more here.
For the Eco Warriors – The Marine Conservation Society (MSC) is always on the look out for enthusiastic volunteers to keep the UK’s beaches clean. The charity runs year-round clean-ups and surveys, so why not choose a shoreline destination and build a weekend around doing your bit for the UK’s marine life?
For the Bird Watchers – Help the RSPB look after our feathered friends on a weekend with one of its many volunteering options. Whether it’s staking it out in a hide, building bird boxes or even doing a spot of wildlife monitoring, you’ll be doing your bit to help preserve (and hopefully grow!) our ecosystem. Pack your binoculars!
We hope our list of suggestions will help you to have a worthwhile weekend every now and again. Now, we’re not saying that snuggling up under the duvet until 1pm isn’t a delight in itself, but if you’re looking for something a little different to do in that Friday night to Sunday evening period, the search is over!