The most peaceful places in the UK
Isolated beaches, historic monuments and scenic lookouts -- peaceful spots can lurk in surprising places. The concept of peacefulness can mean something different depending on who you ask. Whether you find peacefulness in one of the UK’s stunning national parks or perhaps in a café, people watching and letting the world move around you, where you prefer to relax is unique to you. If you need a moment away from your daily routine, escape to these peaceful spots around the UK.
Most peaceful places in England
With a long swathe of sandy beach, wild grassy plains and a shoreline that’s shallow enough for fishermen to dock their boats, Scolt Head Island National Nature Reserve in Burnham Norton is not to be missed. Visit in the evening to see the spectacular sunsets.
Follow the Thames Path as it winds along from Kingston to Hampton Court Pier. This peaceful trail runs for approximately 2.9 miles and is a haven from the busy London streets. Enjoy the delicate sound of the fountains in Home Park and take a moment to sit on the benches beside the river and enjoy the view when you reach Ravens Ait.
Eel Pie Island, Twickenham
In the centre of the River Thames in Twickenham, across a bridge from the Diamond Jubilee Gardens, is Eel Pie Island. This small residential area contains only a handful of bungalows, boathouses, art workshops and recording studios that were popular in the 1960s. Take a stroll to enjoy the overgrown shrubbery and spot the sculptures lurking in the leaves.
Daunt Books, Marylebone
With dark wood fittings, ornate windows, William Morris prints and galleries lined wall-to-wall with books, this independent shop is a favourite with those who enjoy picking up a new read in quaint surroundings.
Hampstead Heath is a peaceful spot in North London with 800 acres of woodlands and meadows, several lakes and ponds, and a lovely lookout point on Parliament Hill,. There are even popular swimming ponds that are open throughout the year if you fancy taking a dip on a warm day.
Those in the know miss the crowds and take advantage of early opening hours (from 9:30am in summer) to enjoy a quiet walk through the dark passageways illuminated by the changing lights of the fish tanks. Find a comfortable spot by the larger tanks where you can watch the colourful sea creatures swim by.
White Cliffs of Dover
There’s something very peaceful about watching ferries, cruise ships and shipping containers slowly making their way across the Channel. Stroll to the end of Admiralty Pier for stunning views of the sea, the boats, and the white chalk cliffs that stand 350 feet tall.
The John Rylands Library, Manchester
With its stained-glass windows, red carpets and Gothic architecture, the John Rylands Library resembles a church or cathedral, and its Reading Room is certainly a peaceful place to sit down with a good book. With several different rooms and a huge archive of books, this stunning location is worth escaping to for an afternoon.
Be transported to the Amalfi Coast with a visit to this quaint Cornish fishing village. Polperro's streets are so narrow that they're banned to cars, so you can take a peaceful walk through the village and explore the area on foot.
Most peaceful places in Scotland
River Spey, Scotland
Experience true calm while fishing in the lush landscape of the River Spey, not far from Inverness -- it's one of the most famous trout and salmon fishing rivers in the whole world. Crossed by numerous picturesque bridges and lined with evergreen Scots pine trees, this is a one-of-a-kind fishing spot.
Barns Ness Lighthouse, Dunbar
Surrounded by overgrown grassy plains and sand dunes, Barns Ness Lighthouse is five kilometres from Dunbar. You can listen to the sound of the waves and admire the seagulls flying over the 37-metre-tall lighthouse in this rustic scenic setting. With very little light interference from the surrounding villages, stargazing here is particularly impressive, too.
Rosslyn Chapel, Roslin
Explore the beautiful Rosslyn Chapel, built in 1446, to see its impressive stone carvings depicting nature scenes and biblical stories. With no photography allowed inside the chapel, you can stroll through at your own pace and take a refreshing break away from technology.
Calton Hill, Edinburgh
Climb up to this famous landmark to see the bustling city of Edinburgh from a different perspective. Watch the hive of activity of the city below and enjoy a moment of calm away from it all.
Calanais Standing Stones, Isle of Lewis
The striking 5000-year-old Callanish Stones are laid out in a cross shape, with a central stone circle. As well as visiting the museum, you can admire the peaceful setting of the stones, with the shores of Loch Roag nearby.
Fort Augustus, Scottish Highlands
Situated on the most southern tip of Loch Ness, this tiny hamlet is ideal for those after a peaceful holiday. You can take a cruise on Loch Ness to see if you can spot the famous monster, or hike along the Great Glen Way, which runs through the settlement.
Most Peaceful places in Wales
Featuring beautiful sandy beaches and rows of pretty colourful terrace houses, Tenby offers a traditional seaside setting. Enjoy strolling on the sand, listening to waves roll in and getting away from everything for an afternoon.
Lake Vyrnwy, Powys
Dating back to the late 19th century, this reservoir and stone dam can be found in Powys, situated close to Rhiwargor on the western edge of Snowdonia National Park. Follow the B4393 and stop off in one of the several laybys along the lake’s edge, where you can leave your car and wander down to enjoy the peacefulness of the calm water.
Fairy Glen, Conwy
Enjoy a scenic woodland walk along the River Conwy in Gwydir Forest near Betws-y-Coed. This route will take you past babbling brooks, gentle streams and the stunning photograph spot Fairy Falls.
Blue Lagoon, Pembrokeshire
Take a coastal walk from Abereiddi to the Blue Lagoon. It’s a popular spot for watersports, so choose a day when no events are taking place. There's a sheer drop from the cliffside, so take care when finding your spot to look out over the craggy rocks and the clear waters.
Rhossili Bay, Gower
The best way to appreciate the tranquillity of Rhossili Bay is from the grassy cliffside of Rhossili Down. Bring a camping chair and a warm flask of tea and simply sit, taking in the beauty of the horizon.
Llanfair Slate Caverns
Take a self-guided tour of a man-made mine that's over 100 years old, and which is home to some of the oldest slate in the world. There are nine caverns to explore in total, with a fascinating network of tunnels and chambers, and once you emerge from the caverns you'll be treated to a spectacular view of Cardigan Bay.
Most peaceful places in Ireland
Belfast Botanic Gardens
First opened in 1895, the Belfast Botanic Gardens are perfect place for taking some time away from the busy city. Stroll around the 28-acre site, enjoying the fragrant flora and visiting the tropical Palm House to see exotic plants and birds of paradise, or simply find a shady spot under a tree.
Cushendun, County Antrim
With pathways stretching up the hillsides and quaint cottages spread out over the farmland, Cushendun is the ideal location for a tranquil afternoon stroll.
Benone Strand, Limavady
With views of the North Coast, this sandy beach in Londonderry is a popular retreat. Walk away from the tourist complex to Magilligan Point, where the sands tend to be less busy. Settle down and watch the horizon as the waves roll in and keep your eyes peeled for local birdlife.
Bregagh Road, County Antrim
Famously known as the Dark Hedges, this country lane in Stranocum, County Antrim, is fringed by two an avenue of gnarled beech trees that create a shadowy, atmospheric avenue to walk down.
The Legnabrocky Trail, Cuilcagh
Follow the boardwalk as it snakes through rugged terrain on the border between County Fermanagh and County Cavan. Follow the route from the designated car park on Marlbank Road, 4.6 miles up the stairway to heaven -- your reward will be views for miles. Climb the steep staircase up the Cailcagh Mountain to reach its peak, 2185 feet up. The views are exceptional, and you’ll probably never feel more at peace than at the top of a mountain away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life below.
Mussenden Temple, Downhill
Perched atop a 120-foot cliff, this unique circular building sits within the grounds of Downhill House, an 18th-century manor house. The temple was built in 1785 as a summer library and its circular shape was inspired by the Temple of Vesta in Tivoli, near Rome. You can sit and admire stunning ocean views from its high vantage point.
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