More and more people are now taking time to themselves and opting to travel on solo adventures. Nothing beats the freedom of going wherever you want, whenever you want and without the headaches that often come with travelling as a group. Leaving your bubble and stepping out alone makes it easier to engage with your surroundings, doing whichever activity you enjoy most and meeting new people on the way!
New to solo travel? Keep it local and over a week, there are a ton of amazing experiences to have in the UK. You have the option of going completely solo, where you are totally in charge and can reach complete isolation in the wild, or joining a group of solo adventurers on an organised trip and having everything sorted for you. For the former we’d recommend being more experienced in the outdoors before venturing out on your own, the latter being a much easier trip but it’s down to your preference. Experiencing something for yourself doesn’t necessarily require you to be out there alone, and you wouldn’t want to arrive back home and have missed out on the best spots either!
Travelling solo in 2020
Interestingly research has shown that solo adventures aren’t being necessarily taken by singles but from all relationship statuses and ages, people heading out on a solo weekend away for some alone time from the hustle and bustle of daily life.
Have you ever struggled to make dates work with all your friends when planning trips away? Busier lives equal much less flexibility with your spare time, so solo adventure travel means you can go away when best suits your diary.
Take advantage of the long weekends in May and go on an adventure!
Going away for a weekend
A solo weekend away is a great first step to solo travel, and you can have some amazing wilderness experiences in the UK’s many beautiful regions. With plenty of convenient options available that don’t require any flights, you can be more spontaneous and go where the sunshine is. Arrive back into work on Monday morning refreshed, inspired and with some stories to tell!
There are tons of options available when looking for weekend trips from London. Mountains, lakes, beaches and forest all within a few hours of travel. With so much choice, it’s hard to pick the best weekend trips from London, we’ve spent years exploring and designing epic trips for all abilities and areas of the UK!
Read below for our top 10 solo adventures…
Pembrokeshire – Wales
There is so much to choose from when planning a trip to Wales, with mountainous areas, waterfalls and expansive lakes all over. We love planning trips to Wales for the remarkable coastal areas around the Pembrokeshire peninsula, especially in May when the sun is (mostly) out and the water has started to warm up a little. Great waves on one side, amazing snorkelling on the other, Pembrokeshire always delivers and is well worth a visit. Coasteering, where you move along the coast rock climbing, jumping and swimming, is very popular here and it’s a great place to try it for the first time. Exploring the many secluded coves by kayak is also great, with lots of amazing wildlife to spot and calm clear waters to paddle through.
You can get much from your wales vacation, a world away from the city but only a short train ride from London. Have a look at our Wales tour, a 3-day adventure around the Pembrokeshire region. Guided kayaking and cooking over a fire under the stars, you can’t get better than that!
Connemara – Ireland
Ireland vacations need a little more work to visit, but great things come to those that make the effort. Although not technically in the UK, a short flight to or ferry to Dublin or Rosslare puts you on the vibrant each coast, where we would encourage you to head west to the coastal areas around Killary and Connemara. This area is similar to the fjord regions of Norway and West Scotland with dramatic deep channels or calm, clear water cutting through the high cliffs. Ireland tours offer plenty for both adventurers and foodies, with fantastic, locally sourced seafood available from the local pubs and restaurants.
Diamond hill is a great hike, and although not officially a mountain, it certainly has the same prominence and offers great views of the surrounding coastline. A moderate hike of around 2 hours, it would be well worth a visit during your solo trip to Ireland. Many companies are offering Ireland tours for singles, IGO included, so do get in touch if you are interested in coming away with us.
Loch Ness – Scotland
A firm favourite of the IGO team, Scotland has it all. You’ll be wading through deep snow at one minute, stripping down to a t-shirt on a white sand beach the next. May is when things start to settle down a bit weather-wise, the days have drawn out and it can get nice and warm. Travelling to Scotland alone is easy, with lots of trains running north from major hubs. The Caledonian Sleeper is the best way to travel up there, with beds allowing you to arrive refreshed and ready to explore.
The areas between Fort William and Inverness are in our opinion, always the best places to start your adventure. Fort William sits at the foot of Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the UK and is a good location to base yourself if travelling to Scotland alone. Put some time into researching the best routes up to the summit, as the main path can be busy and isn’t the best way up! The legendary Loch Ness, the largest loch in Scotland contains more water (7,452 million cubic metres) than all English and Welsh lakes together. This is great kayaking territory and you’ll be treated to lots of wildlife and amazing views, along with plenty of lochside pubs to keep you going. IGO runs some great Scotland tours for singles throughout the year, come with us and we’ll show you the best bits!
Coastal Exmoor – Devon
Considering how remote Exmoor feels, it is remarkably easy to get too. Often forgotten as people plan trips to the busier beach towns of North Devon, this hidden gem has miles of rugged trails along the coast along with the largest coastal forest in the UK. This also has a couple of the countries best coastal wild swimming spots. Lee Bay is a secluded and easily accessed beach near the Valley Of Rocks, and the hidden Tunnel beaches near Ilfracombe are really special for a sunset dip.
You can get to Devon easily by rail, the London to Exeter service gets you there in just 2 hours where connections to Barnstable depart frequently. If you have time, then you can get the ferry over to Lundy Island from Ilfracombe and Bideford. This remote nature reserve is home to lots of puffins and seals and is still wild and mostly undeveloped so you can disconnect (no wifi!). May is also a great time to go Puffin spotting, as well as numerous other birds, wild deer and plants in full flower.
Northumberland National Park – Northumberland
Northumberland National Park covers an area of more than 1,050 square kilometres between the Scottish border in the north to just south of Hadrian’s Wall, and it is one of the least populated and least visited of the National Parks. You can stargaze and watch the aurora from some of the UK’s darkest skies, hike to the remote waterfalls of Hareshaw Linn or sea kayaking from Amble.
It’s proximity to Newcastle means you can be in the area within 3 hours from London, so perfect for a solo weekend getaway. There are plenty of great options for accommodation depending on if you prefer the coast or to head inland, but we’d recommend spending a night in either to make the most of your trip. Get on a guided sea kayaking excursion from Amble to Coquet Island, where you can spot lots of puffins and seals. This birdlife haven also holds 90% of the UK’s roseate tern population – one of the country’s rarest nesting seabirds. For walks, head up to the Cheviots, a range of rolling hills straddling the Anglo-Scottish border between Northumberland Scotland. Once you’re finished exploring treat yourself to a well-deserved drink and dinner at the many countryside pubs, there is plenty on offer.
However you like to travel, solo with an organised group or going alone to unplug, there are endless options in the British Isles for a solo weekend adventure. Keen for a longer trip?