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Pear Lodge Barrow Farm Barns
The Coach House Dumfries and Galloway
Tilia treehouse
Portavadie apartment living room
Unigar Cottages
Darwin Forest Lodges
Treeopia treehouse
Peak District millstone

Eco staycations

in the UK

A staycation reduces your carbon footprint, as you can avoid flying. Choose an eco-friendly self-catering property and enjoy a sustainable stay

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If you're planning a holiday in the UK this year, why not try an eco-friendly option? We've suggested a few of our favourite self-catering cottages, lodges and treehouses in England and Scotland.

Many of these have a range of environmental and sustainable policies and practices in place – including reducing environmental impact, supporting the local economy and promoting green living to guests. Others offer superb access to green spaces, nature and wildlife.

They may also have received a Green Tourism award or Green Key certification.

For more ideas for eco-friendly stays in the UK and Europe, see our Directory.

Darwin Forest Luxury Lodge Holidays, Peak District, Derbyshire

Beautiful eco-friendly lodges, made locally from sustainable timber and dotted amongst woodland and meadow. Darwin Forest has been awarded the David Bellamy Conservation Scheme Gold Standard for 25 consecutive years, with habitat management to boost biodiversity on site.

The lodges are in an excellent location, with woodland walks on the doorstep and many Peak District attractions – such as Chatsworth House – within a few miles. Green Key certified.

Treeopia, near Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire

Viviana, a large eco-friendly treehouse, is a magical place to stay. Located alongside a Medieval fish pool, it has a private outdoor hot tub and fire pit. The luxurious interior features quality, bespoke, handcrafted furniture, a comfortable super-king-sized bedroom and underfloor heating throughout.

Viviana is one of two adults-only treehouses on site, both constructed using reclaimed, recycled and sustainable materials. Guests receive a welcome pack of locally produced food.

Tilia Treehouse, West Lexham, Norfolk

Sleep amongst the trees in Tilia, one of six eco-friendly treehouses at West Lexham. The interior is rustic yet luxurious, with furniture crafted from reclaimed materials, and vintage touches throughout. Sleeps six, in comfortable four-poster beds made from tree branches, and a nest-like mezzanine high up in the rafters. 95 per cent of West Lexham's energy comes from renewable sources, including an on-site biomass boiler.  

West Lexham also offers luxurious bell tents, each sleeping up to four, from April to October. The bell tents have access to the communal campsite facilities, including positively palatial, spotlessly clean bathrooms – with masses of hot water, vintage decoration and underfloor heating. One even has a bath!

Barrow Farm Barns, North Wooton, Somerset

Pear Lodge and Apple Lodge have been built using sustainable materials, with energy-efficient lighting, under-floor heating and good insulation. Inside, they are finished to a superb standard, with two spacious bedrooms and two bathrooms. The grounds are planted up with fruit trees and guests can help themselves to fresh eggs from the chicken coop.

The lodges are ideally located for visiting the Avalon Marshes, a wetland area consisting of a network of nature reserves. Look out for otters and deer, as well as a huge range of birdlife including great crested grebes, kingfishers and herons. The lodges are also within ten minutes of Wells and Glastonbury.

Portavadie, Loch Fyne, Argyll

These luxury apartments and cottages on the beautiful Cowal peninsula in western Scotland are sleek and modern, with superb views. The eco-friendly spa uses renewable energy sources, and policies and practices to reduce the resort's impact on the environment include heating from sustainable biomass and air source heat pumps, green roofs, and use of local food. Portavadie is a Green Tourism Gold Award winner.

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The Coach House, Durhamhill, Dumfries and Galloway

A beautiful converted coach house, with a grass-roofed extension with colourful spring and summer wildflowers. There's a lovely large, open-plan living area, three pretty bedrooms and three bathrooms. A wind turbine produces electricity, and underfloor heating and hot water are provided via an air exchange heating system.

The property is managed with minimal use of chemicals and is particularly suitable for guests who suffer from allergies. With limited light pollution, The Coach House is a good place for enjoying the night sky – and serious stargazers can visit the Dark Sky Park at Galloway Forest Park, 30 minutes away. Guests will also be delighted by the friendly resident llamas.

Unigar Cottages, Mainland, Orkney

These comfortable, luxury cottages are beautifully furnished and decorated to a very high standard. Unigar Cottages are run using eco-friendly practices to minimise environmental impact, and have been awarded a Green Tourism Gold Award. Trees are being planted around the grounds, and wilder areas are being left so that wildlife can thrive – and there are lots of opportunities for wildlife watching, with owls, hares and corncrakes in the area.

The cottages are in a great location for exploring Mainland Orkney, with almost everything that Mainland has to offer within about a 30-minute drive. There's enough to keep you busy on the island for at least a week – highlights include the ancient houses at Skara Brae, the standing stones of Ring of Brodgar, and numerous spectacular beaches.

More ideas: explore eco-friendly hotels in the UK*

Bunloit Farm House Loch Ness

Bunloit Farmhouse, Drumnadrochit

Bunloit Farmhouse sits in a stunning location overlooking Loch Ness. It features a cosy and tasteful interior, with modern kitchen and bathroom, and a cosy living room with lovely views. There are three comfortable bedrooms with excellent quality bedding.

Electricity is powered by wind turbine, and recycling boxes in the kitchen for plastics, glass and cardboard make it easy for guests to minimise their waste. A welcome pack contains local food, including free-range eggs from the farm.

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Green Adventures updated February 2024

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Park Cottage, Baslow, Derbyshire

This charming 17th-century thatched cottage is situated on the Chatsworth Estate. The cottage has been refurbished by the Duchess of Devonshire, with an atmospheric interior of antique furniture, original features and beamed ceilings. This is paired sympathetically with modern comforts including fitted kitchen, luxurious bathroom (complete with complimentary eco-friendly Noble Isle toiletries) and free wifi.

Upstairs, the huge master bedroom features a high, vaulted ceiling, exposed beams, and a spectacular four-poster bed that's been handcrafted out of branches collected from the estate.

Outside is a pretty enclosed garden, full of pollinator-friendly plants – and beyond is the whole Chatsworth Estate explore, with Chatsworth House within easy walking distance. Chatsworth Estate has a Green Tourism Gold Award, and the estate's environmental policies include reducing energy consumption, minimising waste and boosting biodiversity.

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