From movie streaming and dating to food delivery and virtual worlds – we’ve got so much technology at our fingertips nowadays that sometimes we just crave the ability to disconnect from the outside world and go off the grid. So, we scoured our collection of villas to try and find the ones that have no WiFi or very weak signal (not an easy task!), providing you with the chance to unplug and unwind with a digital detox.
Tanat Valley Farmhouse, Wales
Internet situation: No WiFi
It might sound like we’re lying to you, but if you take the kids away to this farmhouse in Snowdonia, you’ll actually see their faces and not just the top of their heads – because they won’t be glued to their phones!
This gorgeous farmhouse dates back to 1652, and it’s been lovingly renovated while retaining its original character – the open-fire, traditional farmhouse kitchen, Victorian-style roll-top bath and wooden beams attest to this.
Overlooking valleys, mountains and farmland (the house is on a working farm), it’s the perfect place to get out and about, breathe in that fresh countryside air and get the kids active. There’s plenty of hillwalking right on your doorstep or, if you want to head a little further, Berwyn Mountains is 20 minutes away by car, while Snowdonia National Park is just half an hour’s drive.
Price from £12pppn
The Fortalice, Scotland
Internet situation: Limited internet and phone signal
Located in the Highlands and surrounded by natural countryside, this castle dates all the way back to 1560. It was partially destroyed by the Duke of Argyll in 1640 and rebuilt into this magnificent bolthole, meaning you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time as you enter the Fortalice. The great hall is perfect for banquets and feasts, while there’s even a tiny chapel to host weddings.
It’s also great for exploring the outdoors – make use of the bicycles and head off along a cycling trail, strap your boots on and go for some hillwalking, or teach the kids how to fish for salmon and trout at one of the nearby rivers.
What’s more, if you want to take full advantage of your digital detox, you can entertain yourselves with one of many bookable experiences available, from hosting a traditional Ceilidh to trying a whisky tasting.
Price from £59pppn
Berry Wood Barn, Wales
Internet situation: WiFi (if you really need it), but no mobile network coverage
Berry Wood Barn is ideal for engaging in some physical activity away from your phone. We would highly recommend any keen cyclist bring their mountain bikes and take advantage of the numerous trails through the hills and across Offa’s Dyke. The loops in and around the valleys are great fun for road cyclists too!
You definitely won’t go hungry with a fabulous selection of delicious Welsh restaurants within easy reach. Michelin-starred Walnut Tree Inn is just a few miles away, as is The Hardwick Restaurant with its Michelin starred chef, Stephen Terry. On Sundays, don’t miss scrummy lunch at the Bell in Skenfrith.
Price from £24pppn
Château De La Chance, France
Internet situation: Limited WiFi in the lounge and pool area
On the banks of the River Lyon, this stunning 11th-century château caters to large groups looking for an authentic French retreat. Lovingly renovated while preserving so much of its original character, this historic property’s interiors span high ceilings, stone walls and antique furniture along with a stunning courtyard, fire pit, grand piano and library.
Make use of the bicycles to explore the 5 hectares of surrounding gardens and parkland, or maybe go for a walk along the trails instead, winding through vineyards and spotting wildlife along the way.
Sandwiched between two wine-producing villages, this château is also just a short 1.2km walk away from a weekly farmer’s market, allowing you to pick up some local produce and cook up a feast. Looking for something to serve with it? Ask the owners about organising a wine tasting – they have great relationships with various wineries in the area.
Price from £40pppn based on an occupancy of 40 people
Sandcrest Cottage, Cornwall
Internet situation: No phone signal
A British staycation at its best, this cottage is positioned right on the Cornish coastline, tucked away just behind sandy Mawgan Porth. With sea views on its decking, you’re only a few yards from a top surfing hotspot, while famous Watergate Bay is just down the road – don’t miss the well-known eateries from top chefs like Jamie Oliver and Rick Stein.
Back at the cottage, you’ll find crisp white interiors, skylights and French windows, bringing the outside into your holiday home. Not enough? The doors all open out onto the deck too, complete with a BBQ and hot tub.
Price from £61pppn
Brooks Cottage, Devon
Internet situation: Limited mobile network access
If you’re looking for a tranquil, rural escape that is quintessentially English, then look no further. This sweet little hideaway is nestled in the heart of the Devonshire countryside, surrounded by farmland, gardens and lovely walking trails. A roaring fire sits at the heart of the living room, while the fully-equipped kitchen boasts a gorgeous Aga for amping up the farmhouse feel.
Our perfect day here would involve a walk in the countryside, coming back and curling up with a good book by the fire, and then dining on organic chicken and sausages from the next-door farm – but owing to its storybook setting, the narrative is truly yours for the writing.
Price from £74pppn
Has this list of lovely villas got you craving a digital detox? Either head to our website or get in touch with our concierge team to make a booking. And if you want to unwind without feeling truly removed from the digital world, check out our top 10 wellness villas.
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