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

April 6, 2022

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

Whitby has been revealed as the best destination to escape constant communication, doom scrolling and phone checking this year. A digital detox is an opportunity to leave electronic devices behind and take time to reduce stress and focus on social interaction in the physical world. Research on where to go in the UK for a digital detox considered data across several metrics including quality of internet access, mobile phone coverage and the amount of green space in a given area, among others. Forty of the UK’s most popular holiday destinations were considered in the study, which found that Whitby, Skipton and Nairn in Scotland are the best holiday spots for such a break, whilst Cotswold spa town Cheltenham finished bottom of the list.

After months of doom scrolling and constant communication, many will be looking to escape the everyday and disconnect from their digital devices for a short while. In light of this, last minute holiday booking site Last Minute Cottages has revealed the best destinations for a digital detox, where visitors can focus on the present and their surroundings.

The research considered the best destinations in the UK to temporarily avoid the stresses associated with screen time, based on the following nine-point criteria: 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. The last five metrics were chosen to ensure the locations ranked also offered a great value getaway.

Based on this data, each destination was given a score out of 330. Whitby finished atop the national ranking, with 218 points because of its poor mobile data coverage and abundance of green space. Skipton came in second place with a score of 215 points, with one of the lowest internet qualities. Whereas, Cheltenham was revealed to be the worst destination to visit for disconnecting with the digital world, scoring only 105 points.

The Top 5 ‘Destination Disconnect’ locations and the average cost of a 4-night holiday let is:

  1. Whitby, North Yorkshire - £569
  2. Skipton, North Yorkshire - £484.40
  3. Nairn, Scottish Highlands - £497.20
  4. Keswick, Lake District - £801
  5. Loch Lomond, Southern Scotland - £856.80

The full results of the study and further information can be found here:

The Top 5 locations with the most limited mobile data are:

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

The top 5 locations with the most green space are:

  1. Loch Lomond, Southern Scotland
  2. Nairn, Scottish Highlands
  3. Stroud, Cotswolds
  4. Keswick, Lake District
  5. Cirencester, Cotswolds

The Cornish town of Polperro was revealed as the top destination for those looking to make themselves virtually unreachable, as there’s almost no mobile data coverage² and with a local population of only 1,554, it is a great location for a ‘digital detox’ and personal space. However it fell down in the national ranking because of the high volume of traffic passing through the town annually and limited number of activities and attractions⁶ to keep visitors engaged and off their phones.

Matthew Fox, CEO of the Snaptrip Group, said,

“The concept of a digital detox continues to grow in popularity, so it's no surprise that many of us want to put down our phones, put a stop to the doom scrolling, and recharge without the distractions from our digital devices.

“So, to help busy UK holiday-makers find the perfect location to get away from their daily grind  and get some well deserved rest and relaxation, we decided to create a ranking of the best destinations in Britain for a ‘digital detox’.”




For this study, looked at 40 of the most popular holiday destinations in the UK.

To rank each location, nine metrics were taken into consideration; the quality of internet access, mobile phone coverage, green space, annual daily flow of traffic, average cost of food, average cost of a holiday let, average rating of accommodation, number of attractions and the population per sqm.  Each location was given a score of 1 to 40 based on where they ranked in the list, with 40 being the best and 1 being the worst. Some destinations were given the same score if they ranked the same as each other.

The sources for each of the rankings can be found below.