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RETREAT YOURSELF; If you want to get away from it all, Scotland is the perfect location. Here are six of the best places on our doorstep to enjoy a relaxing rural break.

Byline: BRIDGET Mc- do you know a destination Bridget should feature? contact her at b.mcgrouther@SUNDAYMAIL. CO.UK FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER @BSMCGROUTHER

All by myself Scotland is one of the least populated destinations in Europe and therefore the perfect place to find secluded spots away from the busy cities. In fact, a recent Scotland Visitor Survey by VisitScotland ( revealed that almost 25 per cent of visitors to our shores simply come to 'get away from it all'. Here are six of the best rural retreats to restore inner calm.

Star struck Due to its remoteness, Galloway Forest Park is the UK's first Dark Sky Park and one of the best places to stargaze in Europe. Dark Sky Rangers will help you to make the most of the sky at night. More than 7000 stars and planets and the bright band of the Milky Way are visible with the naked eye, making each visit a unique experience.

The sound of silence Pretty Kinloch Rannoch is nestled below Schiehallion, at the foot of Loch Rannoch. A great base for exploring Perthshire, the area is fantastic for walking and cycling with munros to climb and even its own Clan Trail. Take a picnic into the hills and listen to the silence, or go fishing on the many lochs and rivers. Remote Rannoch Station lies 18 miles away, on the famous West Highland Line.

Bay watch The pink shores of Sandwood Bay in Kinlochbervie are an unspoilt paradise and renowned as one of the best beaches in the UK. The peaceful bay can only be reached by a four-mile path, but the walk is all part of the pleasure and reason for the beach remaining so idyllic. Flanked by cliffs, the impressive sea stack of Am Buachaille soars to the south.

On location The Lost Valley (Coire Gabhail) of atmospheric Glen Coe is stunning and dramatic. Allegedly once the hiding place of the MacDonalds' rustled cattle, bring your hiking boots for an unforgettable walk through wilderness. The area has recently starred in films such as James Bond's Skyfall and the Harry Potter series.

Deserted islands Made up of more than 100 islands, only 15 of which are inhabited, Shetland is sure to delight those seeking seclusion. The amazing archipelago boasts ancient history with Iron Age brochs and a wealth of wildlife such as otters and puffins. Explore pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, heather-clad moorlands and fascinating rock formations as well as a colourful culture.

The hills are alive Those living in the most populated central belt don't even have to travel far to find peace and quiet. Clackmannanshire may be Scotland's smallest county, but it has lots of space and stunning scenery. Lose yourself in the Ochil Hills where a walk through picturesque Dollar Glen to Castle Campbell makes a relaxing family day out.

Departures Majorca May 25, from Glasgow, 7 nights all inclusive at 3*Sol Cala Antena, PS299pp.

Tenerife May 30, from Glasgow, 7 nights self catering at 3* Oro Blanco, PS205pp.

Costa Blanca July 11, from Glasgow, 10 nights all inclusive at 4* Ar Imperial, fam of 3, PS2145; fam of 4, PS2465. Benidorm Nov 30, from Glasgow, 7 nights half board at 3* Servigroup Pueblo, PS309pp.

n or telephone 01698 425 444. Tenerife June 2, from Glasgow, 4 nights self catering at 4* Hollywood Mirage Club, Los Cristianos, from PS267pp.

Benalmadena June 3, from Glasgow, 7 nights self catering at 3* Vista De Rey, from PS227pp.

Salou June 4, from Glasgow, 7 nights self catering at 3* Mediterranean Suites, from PS207pp.

| or telephone 0141 222 2223.

Last minute choice Fred Olsen Cruises have Summer Sale offers on over 30 itineraries departing from around the UK, along with three exotic Fly-Cruises. For even better value, you can upgrade to all inclusive from only PS15pppn. A 10-night Rivers & Cities of France cruise on Black Watch now costs from PS899pp departing Edinburgh on October 4, 2017. Visit or call 0800 0355 220.


SAIL INTO SUNSET Loch Rannoch is perfect spot to enjoy some me time
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:May 21, 2017
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