Five digital detox ideas to keep you off your phone in the South West

In this digital age, it’s hard to stop reaching for your phone. It’s become second nature to stay connected. Even in the most disconnected, wild places we reach for mobiles to capture the moment. Yet there’s plenty of research to say living in the virtual world isn’t good for our wellbeing and can even make us lonelier. What if we make time to unplug, to live in the moment and reconnect with our beautiful outdoor surroundings? Here are some of my favourite ideas to get you into the great outdoors, keeping you active and distracted from your phone.

Volunteers beach cleaning on The Lizard

Join a beach clean in Cornwall 

Beaches are beautiful places. They're great for the soul and natural adventure playgrounds. Keeping these special places enjoyable for all takes work. The Trust looks after 778 miles of coastline. Do you bit and join us for one of our spring beach cleans across Cornwall. Events are taking place from Bude to the Roseland, and some happen every month. Can’t join an organised clean? Why not spend a few minutes collecting some litter next time you’re at the beach.

Have a go at the Trust10 Quad challenge along the South West Coast Path

Start running in the South West

It’s never too late to make a resolution. With so many special routes with beautiful views, the run won’t be the only thing taking your breath away. Whether you’re a seasoned runner or a beginner keen to try something new, try a weekly parkrun. 5km routes are held at Bath Skyline, Killerton, Lanhydrock, Montacute House, Parke, Penrose and Plymbridge. There are also monthly Trust10 trail runs at Saltram and Tyntesfield.

Archaeological Survey on Lundy Island in the Bristol Channel Devon

Go off grid on Lundy Island

If you need a complete change of scenery to encourage time away from the screen, you can make the trip to ‘Puffin Island’ in North Devon. Reopening to day-trippers in April, Lundy is a granite outcrop in the Bristol Channel with just 28 permanent residents. Swap your phone for your binoculars and take the 4-mile nature walk around the island to spot puffins, max shearwaters, seals and even dolphins. Spot something interesting? Note it down in the wildlife logbook in the Marisco Tavern while you enjoy a well-earned lunch.

Walking on the South West Coast Path

Be part of the South West Outdoors Festival 

Fancy a weekend digital detox? There’s plenty to keep you away from your screen at this year’s South West Outdoor Festival, coming up in October. Taking place at East Soar near Salcombe, SWOF is a celebration of outdoor activities, adventures, pursuits and pastimes – plus delicious food, great music and inspirational speakers. There’s no room for your phone while you wild forage, kayak, axe throw and spiral around your yoga mat.

A view of the Jurassic Coast at dawn from Golden Cap

Become a ranger for a week 

How about an extended digital detox? Join a Working Holiday to care for Golden Cap, part of Dorset’s stunning coastline and England's only natural World Heritage Site. Wake up in a beautiful location, spend the days helping out with conservation activities on Jurassic Coast and Iron Age sites and make great new friends. There’s a big variety of ranger tasks, including footpath maintenance, fencing and erosion repairs. The amazing views are your reward.

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