A report highlighting ten key outcomes to ensure a sustainable future for the rural economy in Scotland has been presented to the Scottish Government following one of the biggest consultations in recent years.

The consultation, which was coordinated by the National Council of Rural Advisers (NCRA), an independent body providing advice and recommendations on rural policy to the Scottish Government, took place earlier this year.

Rural Economy Secretary, Fergus Ewing, with NCRA co-chairs Alison Milne and Lorne Crerar

In addition to feedback from a series of workshops and events across the country, 130 responses and comments were received in response to an initial NCRA discussion document. The NCRA’s remit was to provide advice and recommendations on future rural policy, and support for communities and enterprise, which would help create a sustainable and productive rural economy.

The recommendations made in the report, which is described as a blueprint for Scotland’s rural economy, include recognition of the strategic importance of the rural economy and ensuring that it is included within all policy and decision-making processes.

The report also recommends developing an interim rural economic framework to provide a structure for the development and implementation of a new approach to rural policy, development support and investment.

The creation of a rural economy action group to ensure that the recommendations of the report are set in place and that those involved are held to account is also called for in the report.

Other outcomes include investment plans encouraging sectoral diversity to recognise the opportunities for growth in non-traditional rural areas, providing female-focused enterprise programmes and support for women returning to work, and creating rural skills work experience opportunities. A Rural Challenge Fund in place of LEADER is also called for.

Improved access to rural housing and other services such as public transport and wider transport links, child care, and broadband and digital connectivity, were also highlighted in the report.


Alison Milne, co-chair of the NCRA, said: “Scotland’s rural economy is bursting with talent and potential.


“With an abundance of natural capital, world-renowned heritage and vibrant, diverse communities, our rural economy is not just crucial to Scotland’s national brand, it is crucial to our national prosperity.


“However, national policy making processes do not always effectively represent rural interests and have not delivered the best economic outcomes for Scotland.”


She added: “It is only by addressing the complex structural issues that prevent change can we realise the vast opportunity that rural Scotland presents.


“The Scottish Government has embraced our call for a rural economic strategy putting the rural economy at the heart of the national economic plan, and we now need to build on that momentum with radical changes to redefine the contribution the rural economy makes to Scotland and ensure recognition and support of its significance.


“Rural economic policy must be mainstreamed within the national economic agenda within the next two years.


“This report is the first step towards ensuring Scotland is recognised as a world-leader in rural economic development and inclusive growth.”

Welcoming the publication of the report, the Rural Economy Secretary, Fergus Ewing, said:

“As I challenged them to do so, it questions the status quo and is full of fresh ideas that can help us continue to develop rural Scotland further. 

“I believe rural Scotland is well placed to deliver even more economic, social and environmental impacts that benefit the whole of Scotland. Without a cohesive vision and strategic support that recognises and grows the rural economy’s substantial contribution, these opportunities will be missed.

“We need decisions and structures that support rural businesses and communities, while recognising the value and importance of the rural economy. That is why the Council’s call for the rural economy to be mainstreamed within all policy and decision-making processes is compelling.”

Links to the report and the consultation responses can be viewed online at www.ncra.scot

Follow the NCRA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by searching for @NCRAScotland


Our towns and city centres have many things in common: not least, the closure of retail outlets and the hollowing out of our high streets.  We know that new solutions are required but where do we find the inspiration, and how do we know if our ideas are on the right lines?

A new initiative designed to link creative high Street initiatives in Scottish towns is being developed, initially between Dumfries with the Stove Network (https://thestove.org) and Paisley.


In Dumfries, artists are “reclaiming” the High Street: bringing culture, footfall and people back into the town. There are several initiatives in Paisley’s High Street that share similar aspirations: the Incube hub giving Business support for makers, the Made in Paisley studio space opened recently by Caroline Gormley and Fablevision Studios’ new base in The Paisley Centre. Renfrewshire Leisure has plans for the refurbished museum and ideas for example, to develop shared artists work and gallery space.

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One project of particular interest is the private/voluntary/public sector collaboration that has delivered on the rejuvenation of number 30 High Street.

Like all our precious High Street buildings, the four storey property which is number 30 was in an appalling condition. Following decades of neglect by absentee landlords, dry rot, wet rot, asbestos, a leaking roof and flooded basement, were just some of the problems facing new owners and developers, Calside Contracts.  

A local business, Calside Contracts principals are committed to contributing to the regeneration of the town. They had estimated it would take a year to complete the works but, because they have been determined not to cut corners or compromise on quality, it has taken more than double that time. Almost everything that is not the actual stonework has been replaced, from basement to brand new roof.  Even the stonework has been sensitively cleaned using chemical free techniques and nothing but gentle coaxing with fresh clean water. The result is a stunning exemplar of what our high street could be again. The butterfly has emerged from the Chrysalis and we now have a benchmark to which we all must aspire as we regenerate the whole of our High Street. No compromises.  We deserve the best. And we have a tangible example of the best now at number 30.  


Marta Zurakowska, conservation scientist says:

Paisley has outstanding sandstone buildings and High Street built heritage is part of the finest architecture in the town. Unfortunately, lack of maintenance is the main cause of the stone deterioration in Paisley buildings. It has been a great surprise to see the recently renovated 30 High Street building. Not only is the frontage repaired and restored, but also the stone has been cleaned to the highest standard (according to relevant stone conservation standards) and this looks like the best example of stone cleaning and repair of sandstone building in the whole of Paisley. Yes, in last year we have seen nice restorations of the Firestation building and Russell Institute, but the first one, although looking great, still has some plants not removed from the top of the building and Russell Institute stone was not cleaned! Number 30 High Street is a great example of how to clean and preserve a building. Comparing to next door sandstone facades (e.g. the Liberal Club), number 30 will not only will remain clean and pleasant for decades to come, but all deterioration will be slowed down – preventing further stone decay. The building has set the bar: it is the example to aspire to for future restoration projects.” 


The investment for this massive undertaking has come from Calside Contracts themselves with a small contribution from Renfrewshire Council who have funded the restoration of the ground floor shop frontage to reflect original heritage designs. 


The final pieces in this four-way collaboration have been with private business, White Cart Company Limited and third sector voluntary charity, Renfrewshire Witch Hunt 1697 who are moving into the shop units: White Cart Company will be in number 30 with bespoke cards and gifts and RWH1697 in number 30A, with their creative, costume and re enactment project, Renfrewshire Witch Hunt Experience.  The Witch Hunt Experience tells the story of Christian Shaw who, in 1697 had seven citizens of Renfrewshire garrotted and burned as “witches”, with their ashes buried under the horseshoe at Maxweltown Cross.  If that horseshoe is ever lifted, so the story goes, Paisley’s fortunes will go down the drain.  In the 1960s, during road works, the horseshoe was lifted.  The mills closed, car factories closed and by 2012, Paisley High Street was a ghost town of empty boarded up shops.  


In 2012, Paisley Development Trust replaced the horseshoe.  Whether anything to do with the “witches curse” or not, from 2012 to the present day, our fortunes have turned around. Culture and stories like this one are the key drivers in that turn around (led of course by our bid for UK city of Culture in 2020). 


Is number 30 High Street a potential exemplar for Paisley as well as other towns throughout Renfrewshire and more widely across Scotland? With three floors of newly refurbished flats above the shops, we will have people and families living in our High Street again. With exciting cultural initiatives on the ground floor we will have tourists and footfall attracted into the town (at the very moment when the Museum will be closed for several years) to learn about the events of 1697 and how Christian Shaw went on to found the thread industry on which Paisley’s wealth was built.  There will be the opportunity to “experience” the story: in multi media inside the venue and in walking tours around the sites associated with the witch hunt story, including of course, the abbey and mill buildings. 


Renfrewshire Witch Hunt and the White Cart Company Limited are two of a multitude of creative, cultural and heritage projects that are helping to reclaim our streets and regenerate our Renfrewshire towns.  Paisley is looking forward to building collaborations and learning opportunities with the Stove in Dumfries and other Scottish towns.


Just don’t let anyone lift that horseshoe again!!

Young people in Renfrewshire have come up with a list of ten recommendations to improve youth mental health services.

More training on youth mental health in schools and young people being given the tools to help peers who may experience issues, are among ten proposals put forward by Renfrewshire’s Youth Commission.

The recommendations came after a survey of young people aged 11 – 22 across Renfrewshire, which revealed that 45 per cent believe there should be quicker access to mental health services.

Other findings revealed that half of young people speak to a parent or carer first if they are experiencing poor mental health and more than half –  57 per cent – believe the best place to get information is online,

Almost half – 49 per cent – of young people believe there should be a drop-in at school for young people experiencing poor mental health.

The proposals, which also included using Apps to bring resources into the 21st Century, were put to the Youth Generations Assembly in Paisley Town Hall. Pupils from every secondary school in Renfrewshire were asked for their feedback.

The final recommendations will be presented to professionals working locally with young people experiencing poor mental health. They will be asked to adopt these within their organisational practice.

Jade Lochhead, 23, from the Youth Commission on Mental Health, said: “Most of the members of the Youth Commission are still in school, so the recommendations very much reflect their experiences.

“Mental health a big issue for young people and it’s amazing that we get to have our say. I think the more young people who are consulted, the better. We will be the next generation to take things forward and opportunities like today mean we have a real voice.”

Education and Children’s Services Convener, Councillor Jim Paterson said: “Young people have shown they are able to make decisions on issues which matter to them and want to play a key part in designing effective strategies to tackle these.

“We are committed to giving young people a voice and to understand what they need to be supported. The Youth Generations Assembly is a great forum for them to tell us what they have found out about mental health in Renfrewshire and what can be done to ensure all young people have positive mental health.”

A visit to Paisley’s Observatory gave theatre director Clare McGarry the inspiration for a new children’s show that will be touring locally next month.

Clare is the Artist in Residence at Paisley Arts Centre and had the beginnings of an idea to create a show for children that was set inside a teapot.

Then she was given a tour of the Observatory and saw a photograph of a group of the brightest stars in the Sagittarius constellation called The Teapot and that was a light bulb moment for Clare.

She explains: “I’d been toying with the idea of making a show set inside a teapot when, as part of my residency at Paisley Arts Centre I was given a tour of the Observatory.

“On the way up the stairs the tour guide paused to point out a photo of he Teapot constellation of Sagittarius. It felt like one of those magical moments when it was just meant to be and I love the idea there will be a link to one of the iconic buildings in the town.”

The show for five to eight year olds is called Cosmopot and tells the story of a young boy called Chip, who lives with his mum and has an impressive of space. One day Chip clumsily knocks over his mum’s precious teapot and it smashes to pieces.

That night Chip sees The Teapot constellation through his telescope and decides to build a rocket and travel into space and find a replacement teapot for his mum.

Clare reveals the names of two of the main characters in the show – Chip and Mrs Silver – came from children from Gallowhill Primary School.

Clare, who is also the lead artist in the Cosmopot continues: “The whole show takes place inside a teapot and encourages the audience to interact at various points of the performance.

“The inside of the teapot dome where the show takes place will be multi-sensory with the set design and visually spectacular lighting effects.

“Cosmopot is a truly magical experience for children as I believe live theatre like this should always be about firing young imaginations.

Cosmopot is presented by Paisley Arts Centre in association with Imaginate as part of Paisley’s The Spree festival and is funded by Creative Scotland

Cosmopot opens at Paisley Arts Centre on Saturday and Sunday October 13 and 14 at 10.30am and 1.30m. The show then goes on to play Foxbar Community Centre on Wednesday, October 17 at 1.30pm; Tweedie Hall, Linwood, on Thursday, October 18 at 1.30pm.

The show also plays Renfrew Town Hall, on Friday, October 19, at 1.30pm and Johnstone Town Hall on Saturday, October 20, at 1.30pm and Sunday, October 21 at 10.30am and 1.30pm. Tickets costing only £4 are available online at www.renfrewshireleisure.com/arts or by calling 0300 300 1210.

We love ModStuff here at Spree HQ, so we’re all kinds of happy to say that it’s coming back again for this year’s festival!

The team at LNP Promotions always bring a cracking line-up with them on Saturday 20 October, and it’s no different this year. They’ve also teamed up with the Paisley Vespa  Club to raise funds for the Renfrewshire Carers Centre with the Scooter Ride-out and Afternoon Show – so you’ll also be helping a very worthy local cause as well as having an absolutely top afternoon in the Spiegeltent…

LNP Promotions organises high profile gigs in Paisley to raise money in support of  many charitable projects (they’ve supported Loud ‘n’ Proud since 2013). Give them a like over on FACEBOOK.

Paisley’s own Gerry McGuire will be DJ for ModStuff, playing the best in Mod, Northern Soul and R&B all day and evening in the Spiegeltent, and this is your line-up of bands…



Lemon Soul rose from the ashes of punk (then 80’s indie) covers band The Lemons. Three new vocalists were recruited: Charlie McFadden, Stephanie Green and Julie Castro Standen (all from Paisley) and a new direction taken. To the surviving rhythm section of John Wilkie, bass and Tom Docherty, drums were added Ally Wilson, guitar, Jim McCann, sax and Grant Urquart, keys. Lemon Soul have been together for over two years building up their set and their gigging profile across the west of Scotland.

Follow them on FACEBOOK.


START! were formed in January 2016, brought together by a love of all things relating to Mod.

They play a fantastic set of tunes from The Small Faces, The Kinks, 60’s soul and tunes from the Mod revival of the late 70s. Start! have been building their reputation with plenty of gigs around Glasgow, Ayrshire and Renfrewshire. Most of the band come from the Paisley area and are delighted to be playing Modstuff in their home town.

Follow them on FACEBOOK.


The world’s only Dexy’s Midnight Runners Tribute band. This is not a couple of guys with midi files, this is a full blown, 8-piece HUGE sound, faithfully re-creating the halcyon days of all incarnations of Kevin Rowlands imagination including a 3 piece horn section, banjo, accordion, organ, piano, guitar, bass, fiddle, and drums. Once seen never forgotten, and a fistful of songs that will take you back to the days when you were Searching For the Young Soul Rebels!!! Now for the caper.

Follow them on FACEBOOK.




The Absolute Jam capture the authentic raw energy and sound of The Jam – from their early punk roots, to topping the charts in the 80’s. The band play a full range of songs from The Jam’s back catalogue – everything from In The City, Going Underground, Town Called Malice, Eton Rifles and The Modern World to album tracks and B sides.

They are guaranteed to please both the avid Jam fan as well as those only familiar with the hits. This is one show you do not want to miss. That’s entertainment!

Follow them on FACEBOOK.

Les BOF!

After years as a musical enemy number one of the town council of Marseilles, Laurent Mombel estimated that his talents were ignored and wrongfully punished. In exile in the United Kingdom, Laurent, put himself about to find the musicians of Garage that were most endowed within their neighbourhoods – unfortunately they all were occupied and thus decided to make do with a few old tearaways met in the wild regions of Scotland – Thus Les BOF! were formed and after that, a series of concerts left them in the not very enviable situation of premier garage rockers of French language in Great Britain.

‘BOF!’ literally translates as ..don’t care!’ or ..not interested!’ but do not see there a group for which one would not have to be interested, but rather a group universally rejected by the established order – a situation, we are sure, you all know too well and with which you can only sympathize. Vive Les BOF!

Follow them on FACEBOOK.

The Signatures

The Signatures Northern Soul Band have established themselves as the UK’s leading live Northern Soul Band. Bringing their own brand of power and energy which has made them one of the best live acts around, The Signatures put their own expression to may classic and rare Northern Soul numbers creating a true balance between authentic but modern in sound. The Signatures can be seen at ModStuff with UK soul artist Stefan Taylor, fronting the band.

The band can be seen at many scooter rallies across the UK, along with hosting Northern Soul nights in collaboration with many Northern Soul/ Motown DJ’s.

The Signatures as a backing band have worked with Orginal Northern Soul Artists such as Dean Parrish, Tommy Hunt, Brenda Holloway, Tobi Legend. 2018 seen the band working further with Dean Parrish & Tommy Hunt as well as working with Chairmen Of The Board, Bobby Brooks Wilson (Jackie Wilsons son) Ruby Andrews, Spyder Turner as well as UK soul vocalists Stefan Taylor & Paul Stuart Davies.


Two local hospices were given a fundraising boost thanks to Renfrewshire Leisure staff and customers.

A total of £10,608 was raised after various sponsored events were held throughout the year at the sports and leisure centres throughout the area.

Now the money is being split between St Vincent’s and ACCORD Hospices.

Charlie McDougall, senior facilities manager at the ON-X, who organised the charity fundraising, said:

“Every year we just seem to raise more and more money for these two worthy causes. The generosity of our staff and customers knows no bounds and I’m really proud we have raised so much money this year.

Children from a Paisley Primary School were stunned when their prayer bear was sent on a trip to the Vatican – and got to meet the Pope.

St Charles’ Primary School gave Mungo the bear to Bishop of Paisley, John Keenan to take on a visit to Rome.

But they couldn’t believe their eyes when the teddy turned up at the Vatican with Pope Francis.

The school’s idea of using prayer bears came from this years ‘The World Meeting of Families’ in Dublin where they heard how a parish in Ardboe, Armagh had introduced prayer bears in local primary schools.

After sharing the idea with their own Parish Priest, Father Jim Duggan and Bishop Keenan, each agreed to take a bear on their travels.

The bears – named Mungo and Maggie, after Scottish saints –  both set off complete with backpacks and their own rosary beads and Mungo acompanied Bishop Keenan to Rome on a visit with the rest of Scotland’s bishops on their five yearly visit.

Bishop Keenan said: “I am delighted to have been able to present Pope Francis with Mungo the prayer bear of St. Charles’ Primary School in Paisley.
“He was very pleased to hear about the good work of our young people in Scotland and I promised that we will continue to keep him in our prayers.”

St Charles’ Head teacher Grace Hannigan said: “The children, staff and parents have all been absolutely thrilled to see the photograph of Mungo with Pope Francis.

“Maggie’s first stop was Rome where she visited churches before heading to the Basilica in Ravenna and then onwards to Venice. Mungo headed straight to the Vatican and we couldn’t believe it when he managed to see and spend time with Pope Francis.

“We thought the bears were a wonderful idea, so simple and yet powerful, showing faith in action in our community.

“We hope when they return to school they will share their adventures with our children and tell them what they have learned about our faith. “

Children will be given the opportunity to take the bears home and each month the furry friends will attend First Friday Mass in St Charles’ Church with children from the school.

The head teacher added: “We already have plans for Maggie to visit Carfin Grotto next month and Mungo is booked to go to Lourdes in summer of 2019.”

Look out for special Christmas Golden Tickets this winter and you could win £500 of Paisley town centre gift vouchers!

Ten lucky shoppers in Paisley this year have already won £250 of town centre gift vouchers each thanks to the Paisley First Golden Ticket Competition.

For Christmas, Paisley First is adding some extra special sparkle and doubling the prize pot to £500 to help make your Christmas dreams come true!

Tickets will be available in most town centre businesses from Monday 1st October.

Customers will be given a Golden Ticket with their receipt in participating outlets; all you have to do is complete the ticket with your contact details and post in one of the Golden mailboxes located within the Paisley Centre and the Piazza Shopping Centre.

One lucky winner will be chosen every week for four weeks, each winning £500 of vouchers to be spent within town centre businesses, just in time for Christmas!

Each winner then gets to choose where in the town centre they wish to spend their vouchers!

The Christmas draw dates are Saturday 24th November, Saturday 1st December, and Saturday 8th December with the final draw on Saturday 15th December.

This follows the success of previous Golden Ticket Competitions at Easter and during the Jurassic Bricks adventure in the summer.

Previous winners were able to spend their vouchers in a wide variety of Paisley businesses including Dooley’s Cycles, Pendulum, Outdoor Summits, Burger & Keg, White Cart Company, The Lane, Marks and Spencer, JD Sports and Genova to name but a few.

Chairman of Paisley First, Graeme McGowan, said: “We are encouraging people to take a fresh look at all Paisley has to offer – when you shop & socialise locally you are contributing to the local community – great independent shops, great places to eat, lots of cultural events plus beautiful, historic buildings.

“This is a great initiative to promote our fantastic businesses within Paisley, and when it comes to festive shopping we have a lot of fantastic independent retailers as well as national chains throughout the town centre.

”Pick up your Golden Ticket this winter for your chance to win!”

For more information on the Paisley First Golden Ticket Competition head to www.paisleyfirst.com

Communities across Renfrewshire are joining forces this weekend (28-30 Sep) to make it a Spotless September in Renfrewshire.

Schools, community groups, businesses and volunteers will be donning their bibs, grabbing their litter pickers and heading out onto the streets of Renfrewshire to make a difference as part of the Spotless September Challenge.

More than 20 litter picks are scheduled to take place across the weekend, with numerous other groups heading out this week to ensure they still do their bit for the Team Up to Clean Up campaign.

The community clean-ups have been arranged by local people and new volunteers are encouraged to join in at any of the events taking place across Renfrewshire.

Every litter pick is supported by Renfrewshire Council’s Community Wardens and StreetScene team to deliver the equipment and remove collected litter after the event.

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “I can’t wait to see the number of inspiring volunteers who will set out across Renfrewshire this weekend to make it a cleaner, brighter place to live and somewhere they take pride in staying.

“Whether it’s five minutes, an hour or a full afternoon, it all makes a difference to the cleanliness of our streets and I’m so proud of the way people have taken this campaign to new heights.

“Thank you to everyone who is taking part, and if you’re not yet planning to then please come along if you can and learn about all the worthwhile work going on in our communities.

“The events are open to all and the volunteers are always delighted to meet another keen face!”

A special, free, thank you event is being hosted on Sunday 30 September, 2:30pm-5.30pm, at Paisley Town Hall to thank everyone that has taken part over the weekend, and the campaign as a whole, since it began almost a year ago.

Anyone who has taken part, however small, is invited along for food, chat and a chance to meet like-minded people as the campaign takes a look back at what has been achieved so far.

For a full list of the clean ups taking place, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/SpotlessSeptember.

paisley from drone

For many years, Scotland has maintained a strong reputation for having some of the best golf courses in Europe, if not the world! You simply have to visit St. Andrews or Turnberry to see how beautiful and challenging these courses can be, located in the exquisite scenery that only Scotland offers.

However, if you are looking to play a few holes somewhere further afield, why not consider one of these top golf courses in Europe? They could very well be the one which takes your golf game from zero to hero!

Golfclub Murhof, Austria

One of the oldest, most-loved golf courses in Austria, the Murhof has boasted some international tournaments over the years. It held the European Team Championship in 2011 and is world renowned for its scenery. There are some awe-inspiring trees and shrubs that line this parkland course and add an extra challenge to your game. It is well-maintained in superb condition, plus with its biodiverse landscape, it has a lot of interesting wildlife as well. The season runs from the end of March to mid-November, and the weather is generally calm whatever time you visit.

Monte Rei Golf and Country Club, Portugal

The stunning course at Monte Rei is one of the most picturesque you will see anywhere in Europe. With spectacular greens and many established trees lining the course, you will feel like you are walking through a natural part of the world. However, there are a whole host of incredible golf courses elsewhere in Portugal including the Algarve and Lisbon. Indeed, many golfers take an exciting golf trip to Portugal especially to play at many of these courses. If you are planning golf holidays in Portugal or anywhere else in Europe, you will need to find out what facilities are there in advance.

Stoke Park, England

If you are new to golf, or you are thinking of surprising someone who likes golf, then you might want to choose somewhere a little closer to home for their first trip. Stoke Park in England has over one hundred years of history behind it and is the perfect place to breathe in the atmosphere of classic golf. People from all over the world come to this course because of its heritage and the fact that it has outstanding scenery. Not only is there a golf academy, but there is also a short game area, putting green and driving range.

Maxx Royal, Turkey

If you are looking for that extra special golfing experience, then the Maxx Royal course in Turkey is certainly for you. Due to its beautiful location, top quality facilities, and accommodation, it is frequently booked up, so you need to be fast to get your plan in place. The golf is only one of the features at this complex, but it is not the second rate by any means. It will be a perfect idea for those with family travelling with them that won’t be playing golf themselves, as there are many other activities.

These are only a few of the wonderful golf courses that are scattered all over Europe. It means you have plenty of excuses to pack a bag and your clubs.

paisley from drone

Those that love nothing more than to be in the great outdoors will always see a holiday as an opportunity to get out in nature. Fortunately, you do not necessarily have to spend a fortune flying halfway around the world for this! There are many places throughout the UK that are perfect for nature lovers. After all, these islands are an incredible area of outstanding natural beauty with rolling hills, thick forests, dramatic coastlines and much more. Holiday’s spent on home turf in the UK gives you the choice of visiting the most beautiful natural areas. Plus, it will also be a great way to explore and recharge your batteries whether you are with that special someone, with your family or even travelling solo.


The Highlands


The Scottish Highlands encompassing northwest Scotland boast truly breathtaking and wild scenery, and it is one of the few places that you can find complete solitude. Getaways here are the ultimate escape, and there will be plenty to keep you entertained, such as trying to catch a glimpse of the mythical Loch Ness Monster, observing dolphins swimming at Chanonry Point or following the trails up Ben Nevis – the UK’s highest peak.




This vast moorland is a terrific example of England’s magnificent countryside with rolling hills, thick forests, huge lakes, wetlands and a craggy landscape. It is a superb place for a holiday as you can spend your time walking and taking in the mesmerising views or relaxing in the quaint and charming villages nearby.


Lake District


The Lake District in North West England is a popular holiday destination, and it is easy to see why with such picture-perfect scenery, impressive lakes, forests and mountains. If you are looking for somewhere special, you could always consider holiday lodges to buy Lake District which will give you somewhere to retreat to whenever you please. These holiday lodges are the perfect base for exploring or simply a lovely spot for taking in the views and breathing in the fresh air.


New Forest


The New Forest in southeast England is a beautiful spot with thick forests, heathland, unenclosed pasture land and charming villages. There are plenty of things to see and do in the New Forest, and it is a popular spot with families thanks to the wide range of adventurous activities with cycling being a particularly popular activity.




Those that love to be by the sea will adore Pembrokeshire in the southwest of Wales thanks to its dramatic coastline and beautiful beaches. It also boasts a national park, an abundance of rare wildlife and friendly towns. There is a peacefulness here which is hard to find anywhere else in the UK, and this makes it an ideal place for a relaxing holiday.


Nature lovers are spoilt for choice when looking at holiday spots in the UK, but the five above are a selection of the best destinations that showcase the great natural beauty found throughout these stunning islands. These holiday destinations are perfect for getting out into nature and they are sure to be both relaxing and rewarding holidays that you will always remember fondly.

paisley from drone

Nowadays, smartphone technologies allow people to have an access to a variety of applications on the tips of their fingers. The usability and usefulness of such have increased immensely in just the last few years. Starting with social media networks then browsing for and purchasing products and finishing with travelling guides and mental health and calmness applications, one can take a great advantage without actually visiting a travelling agency, mall or a therapist. This list compiles the top 10 applications that are most favorable for your contentment and psychological improvement.

First and foremost, it’s interesting to know that annually almost 50 million American citizens declare to have encountered a mild or severe mental issue. Almost 10 million of them believe such an issue to be so complex that it influences their day-to-day life. At the same time, one of the most frequent causes of people’s appeal to psychiatrists at the age of 17-50 is bipolar disorder and emotional instability. This statistics is even more gruesome when it comes to the average age of living since victims of such tough mental disorders are likely to have it fiercely developed by the age of 27 and face fatal consequences approximately at the same age.

There are plenty of ways how to reduce such a condition unless it’s a firm mental state that requires professional help. Such ways include dieting, physical training, finding new hobbies, etc. All of these can help you get rid of that stress, unstable emotions, anger and self-destructive behavior.

Cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT is an approach used by psychologists working with people suffering from such symptoms and is aimed at improving the patient’s mental condition by changing their behavior, daily routine and life goals. This approach is a basis of any mental health application.


Being acknowledged as the most helpful application of the last year, the tool uses thoughtfulness and tranquility exercises, music therapy and Calm-of-mind ways to establish a new way of thinking for people in need.

Breathing and abstracting yourself from the rapid temps of society and getting in touch with the sacramental are aimed at designating a decent self-image and identity.

The application is suitable for both beginners and experienced enjoyers. It can be used at any convenient time since the exercises take no longer than 20 minutes, whereas simple activities require no longer than 4 minutes.


Whereas most of the apps help you improve your mental condition, this one has the goal of increasing productivity and motivation. If you find yourself at a crossroads and unable to make a decision, headspace is supposed to help you acquire happiness by using basic meditation activities.

Also, it offers a set of tools that increase the ability to analyze life and routine in order to find the best solution to a problem. Moreover, breathing and meditating exercises are to create a better relationship with your loved ones and dispose of stress.

Unlike many mental health applications, this one sets a deadline, up to 4 months. By this time you will be able to achieve certain results and improve your behavior.


This application doesn’t offer a set of meditative experiences but rather provides you with a record book where you can write down thoughts, behavior and emotions a on day-to-day basis and, later, analyze them. It’s crucial to know where to look for an issue before actually dealing with it.

If you’re able to trace your bad mood or certain actions and link them to events, people and decisions, you’ll be able to determine the bothering problem and start looking for a solution. Building the comprehension of your own body and mind, and finding their hotspots can enhance your ability to predict your own actions and reactions.

In addition to this, the application has an in-built advisor that can give you tips on how to deal with situations and how to manage your states of mind.


The similarity with the previous app is obvious, however, Moodpath is aimed at providing you with a routine check of your wellbeing. Daily inquiries about your mental condition will enable the app to give you a hand when you’re going through complex life situations.

Every few weeks it creates a digital diagnostics of your psychological state that can be used at a session with a therapist.


When it comes to dealing with instability and sudden mood changes Pacifica is a clever choice. While having a great variety of activities and hinters on how to cope with anxiety and other mental conditions, Pacifica has a full-blown network of people alike who can provide you with a great piece of advice from their own life experience.

There are a compelling number of records and exercises that set you a certain daily bar or a challenge that will definitely come in handy.


While most of the apps have a diagnostic approach to helping with a mental condition, this one performs the function of a game.

It’s proven that people who spend some time using this app enhance their self-diagnostic skills and are more likely to deal with the feelings of sadness and devastation.

7 Cups

Here is another online service that cares for you. It provides a therapeutic service for people you suffer from anxiety, lonesomeness and stress.

Its support line has a team of specialists and professionally trained audiences who are always ready to give you a piece of advice or simply pay attention to you.

Anxiety Relief Hypnosis

This application is another example of a meditation application. It’s proven that people using it for more than 2 weeks feel an improvement in their emotional and mental health.

Providing you with hypnotic techniques and exercises, you are sure to relieve yourself from stress and anger.


Happify is a platform for people who lack self-awareness and suffer from mindlessness in their actions. Its innovative approaches and concentration on positivity can build up mental strength and rebuild outdated habits.

The application measures your results in points and compares them to a chart of standard psychological well-being.  


More than a thousand qualified personnel and reasonability of its price make the application a good investment in your mental health.

If you’ve been dealing with fears, anxiety, a hard relationship of any other issue that bothers you then Talkspace will provide you with assistance in your own private virtual room where you can ask for help from professionals or simply receive a set of tips.

My name is Emma Cooper I am a blogger and work as an editor. I have a Master’s Degree in literature and love both reading and writing about books and literary topics. I also help students with their literary assignments – articles, essays and summmaries of books, my works you can see at https://freebooksummary.com/