They’re the first thing we look at in the morning. And the last thing at night. We take them with us everywhere we go. And we sure know how to press their buttons. Yep you’ve guessed it – it’s your mobile. Something we’ve become so intimate with, to be without your mobile is almost to be without a limb. And what with working in front of computers and evenings spent lounging in front of the TV, life can sometimes feel like a series of screens.
Numerous celebs have quit social media, but even Stephen Fry (Twitter royalty no less) sensationally deleted his account after the backlash over his ‘bag lady’ comment. Veteran BBC broadcaster, John Humphries also said social media was ‘pointless’ in a recent interview with the Radio Times: ‘If I want to hear what ordinary people think then I will talk to them in a pub’.
But is there an escape without going offline forever, our tired eyes seem to cry? Yes, yes there is. From a private island in Sweden to a luxury yurt in Herefordshire, these are the ultimate places to go if you want to unplug, switch off and recharge your own batteries for a change.
Innocent Unplugged Festival – Kent
A festival for grown-ups at a secret woodland location in Kent. ‘No wifi, no texts, no traditional electricity, just a load of people camping in a forest with great music, real conversations and lungfuls of fresh air’. Try out laughter yoga, the wood-fired spa and analogue sanctuary while you’re there.
Do say: Party? Let’s get it started.
Don’t say: Got an iPhone 5 charger?
Taking place 28-30 May 2016, a weekend festival ticket (including camping) for the Innocent Unplugged Festival costs £16.50. For more details, see the Innocent Unplugged Festival website.
Acorn Yurt – Herefordshire
A glamorous yurt with a French-inspired interior, double bed and woodburner set amid stunning countryside views and glorious rolling fields. Bed linen, towels, gas, and wood are included so all that’s left to do is pour yourself a glass of chilled vino from the generous welcome pack. Staying at the Acorn Yurt means ditching Twitter and enjoying the ‘tweet’ of real birdsong.
Do say: I spotted a deer!
Don’t say: It’s a Candycrush saga
The Acorn Yurt is open throughout spring and summer, costing £150 per night for two people. For more details, see pitchup.com
Adrère Amellal – Egypt
Forget no wifi, this incredible eco-lodge is an oasis in Egypt’s Western Desert with strictly no electricity, TV or digital distractions. The boutique hotel’s 40 rooms are all individually decorated, and designed to blend into the natural landscape. Come nightfall, candles and oil lamps light the truly breathtaking desert surroundings – the daily grind has never seemed further away.
Do say: Where’s dinner tonight? Each evening, the hotel offers dinner in a different – and equally incredible – location in the desert.
Don’t say: There’s just no reception around here.
Open all year round, a stay at Adrère Amellal is priced from £317 per night. For more information and to book, see i-escape.com.
Idoborg – Sweden
A week of yoga and nourishing vegetarian food with other bare-footed warriors on Idoborg, a magical island in the Stockholm Archipelago. Wake up to the daily spectacle of the sun rising over the sea, relax in a traditional wood-fired sauna or have a go at some kayaking while you’re not in downward dog.
Do say: Namaste.
Don’t say: I don’t do mornings.
Taking place from 23-30 July 2016, a stay at Idoborg costs from £999 for the week. For further details, see scandoir.com.
Royal Palm Hotel – Marrakech
A three-day spring detox package designed to invigorate your mind, body and soul. Switch off your phone and enjoy treatments in the stunning Clarins spa, such as a full body coffee scrub, detoxifying bath, and green clay and verbena body wrap. Forget boot camp in the park – if your heart’s set on getting body beautiful for summer, this is a far better way!
Do say: Lemon water? My favourite.
Don’t say: Stop, let me Instagram that!
Available until 31 May, a stay at the Royal Palm Hotel costs £856 per person sharing, including flights, bed and breakfast and treatments. For further details, see www.beachcombertours.co.uk