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Ready to get away from it all? (Picture: Getty Images)
So the end of lockdown looms and WhatsApp is alive with people planning parties, holidays, festivals and road trips.
Except me. After months of homeschooling, while also working from home, I am actively seeking a remote holiday let, ideally with no internet — and with room only for me.
I am not alone in my desire to be alone.
Francesca Specter’s book Alonement was released last week and is essentially a guide to being alone. For some people this will seem entirely surplus to requirement, while for others it is exactly the life raft they’ve been waiting for.
Either way, Specter’s book is actually a celebration of independence — something I crave.
I completely respect those who have been bored and lonely during the pandemic, and who want to go to sweaty festivals or overfill a Winnebago with half a dozen friends and head to the coast.
However, there are quite a few of us whose deepest desire is time alone with no screens, interruptions or demands. This seems especially prevalent among the women and mothers who have taken on the lion’s share of domestic responsibility since last March.
‘The thought of not having to meet anybody’s needs is something I would relish,’ says Sarah, 36, from York, who has two children and a full-time job. ‘Just silence and space and time — all those things. I would like to read more than half a page of a book without someone yelling “Mum” — that would be good. Even the word “isolation” fills me with excitement.’
Personally, I see silence as the biggest luxury right now. Companies such as Uplugged are all about guests having a digital detox and they offer three days in a rustic cabin and even confiscate your phone.
Bigger franchises are seeing a rise in demand from solo travellers.
Premium all-inclusive brand Club Med — traditionally a family-oriented brand — saw a 167 per cent year-on-year sales increase for solo trips booked for their resorts worldwide for the winter of 2021 and into 2022, with skiing a particularly popular choice.
Meanwhile, my own mother Belinda, who owns a B&B in Wensleydale, has already had plenty of women enquiring about holidays for one when it’s possible.
‘We’ve had more solo travel enquiries from women than ever before,’ she says. ‘Travelling alone, especially to somewhere like the Dales with these vast expanses for walking in, is obviously what a lot of people need — it is the perfect place for peace and quiet, especially for women who have been stressed with home-schooling.’
Personally, I will never take my own space for granted again. And holidaying with only my shadow for company is the perfect way to honour that.
Alonement by Francesca Specter is out now
The best places for solo holidays in the UK
Huts or cabins
Escape tech in an unplugged cabin (Picture: Lee Allison)
Often boasting bucolic views and a sense of cosy retreat, many cabins offer a wi-fi-free option. Unplugged has cabins from £390 for three nights. unplugged.rest
In a Camper Tribe van
Hit the open road
Hit the road to anywhere while playing Queen’s I Want To Break Free and Bruce Springsteen’s Born To Run on repeat. From £105, campertribe.co.uk
A rural five-star spa hotel
Experience luxury in the countryside
Like Lucknam Park in Wiltshire where you can be waited on hand and foot. Prices are dependent on what offers and rooms are available. lucknampark.co.uk
Head to cornwall
Imagine you live alone in a beautiful remote property. Unique Homestays say their Firefly accommodation in Cornwall is their most popular. From £1,050, uniquehomestays.com
Bed and breakfast
A home away from home
Get homely vibes without the relentless chores and bring your pooch too at East View House in West Witton, North Yorkshire. From £75 per night, airbnb.co.uk
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