Study reveals Aberdeen is the best UK city to visit for a digital detox

Dunnottar Castle with blue sky background in Aberdeen, Scotland.

Time to disconnect: Study reveals the best UK destinations for a digital detox  

and Four of the Top Ten cities are in Scotland!

In a world consumed by screens, where notifications and social media infiltrate every aspect of our lives, it’s no surprise that Brits find themselves spending an astonishing one-third of their waking hours fixated on digital devices.

But what about those longing for a break from the never-ending digital cycle?

To inspire a break from your electronic devices, phone and gadget insurance company Protect Your Bubble has conducted a study to reveal the best locations for a digital detox in the UK.

To accomplish this, we standardised the latest available data for each city in categories to do with relaxation, activities, safety, and internet accessibility. The data is standardised using min-max normalisation and values were multiplied by 10 to create a score from 0 to 10.

Interestingly, four of the top ten cities to visit for a digital detox are in Scotland. The best city to visit for a digital detox is the northern Scottish city of Aberdeen. Overall, it has a ranking of 7.16, thanks to its low traffic levels (8.55), quality of spas (9.08) and safety (9.26). For those who want to disconnect from nature, there is an abundance of natural beauty to explore, such as Duthie Gardens, Seaton Park and Johnston Gardens.

In second position is Plymouth, with an overall score of 6.88. It has high scores for its low traffic levels (8.53) and local spa quality (9.21). With its amazing natural beauty, Plymouth is known for its beautiful coastline and maritime attractions like piers and lighthouses.


Belfast is placed third (6.78/10) thanks to its high scores for low population density (8.14) and the quality of local spas (8.13). It is one of the least populated cities in the study, with just under 4,000 residents per km2, making it an ideal destination for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle.


Rounding up the top five are York and Dundee with overall scores of 6.64 and 6.60 respectively. It’s the quality of spas in York (8.25) that contribute to its high score while the low traffic levels (9.62) in Dundee contribute to its ranking.


Also featured in the top ten are three English cities, Liverpool, in seventh position, Swansea in eighth position and Southend-on-Sea in tenth position. They received overall scores of 6.20, 6.17 and 5.87 respectively. Two other Scottish cities are also included in the top ten, Glasgow (6.41) in sixth place and Edinburgh in ninth place (6.03).


While these cities are ideal for those looking for a digital detox, some UK cities that have less favourable scores.


Leeds is the city least suited for travellers looking for a digital detox, with an overall score of just 3.04. It received the lowest scores in the study for its traffic levels (0) and safety (0).

There were 172 crimes reported per 1,000 people in 2022, which makes it the most dangerous major city in West Yorkshire.

Bradford also received a low score of just 3.62. It has poor scores for its safety (1.17) and number of tours (0.30).

The third worst city to visit for a digital detox is Brighton with an overall score of 3,75. It received low scores for its population density (1.92) and WIFI reliance (0.70). In fact, a super-fast fibre internet network was recently launched in the city. While faster internet access is great for those looking to connect to the internet, it’s not ideal for those looking for a digital detox.


Rounding up the bottom five are London and Birmingham, with overall scores of 3.81 and 3.87 respectively.


James Brown, Director at Protect your bubble commented:

 “The more useful our electronics get, the more dependent we are on them in our everyday lives and with 50 percent of UK adults spending a cumulative 11 hours a day in front of screens, taking a break has been proven to improve moods, productivity and mental wellbeing. 

“While location can play a significant role in the effectiveness of a digital detox, helping reduce temptations, allowing you to connect with nature and facilitating self-reflection and mindfulness, it also depends on your personal commitment and mindset.”

View the full study.