8 Of The Best Eco Friendly Holidays

Last month’s long weekend in Devon was dreamy. So much so that I’m still feeling in the holiday mood! To revel in that a little, I’ve spent some time putting together this run down of all the eco-friendly holidays I’ve been on in the past few years. Hopefully this list will inspire you with some sustainable wanderlust!

How To Holiday Sustainably

Travelling sustainably is a hot topic. With global flights emitting 2.1% of all human-induced CO2 emissions, it’s an area that us eco-minded travellers understandably try to avoid. That being said, there is more to holidaying sustainably than simply choosing a more sustainable form of transport. Reducing how far you travel is a great first step – which is why this guide predominantly features holidays around the UK. That being said, there are now trains that can take you direct to Europe – so don’t discount these!

Then, there’s how you interact with the local area. If you’re going away somewhere, I recommend researching independent shops and eateries to try while away. Not only will it make your holiday more memorable, you’ll also enjoy a more authentic experience, and help support the local economy.

And finally, why not try to give back? Instead of fussing over your negative impact while on holiday, why not try to make a positive one? That could be through conservation, charitable donations, or even doing something as simple as a litter pick or beach clean. The British Isles are home to some incredible areas of natural beauty, so finding ways to support it while enjoying it is key.

The Best Eco Friendly Holidays In The UK For 2024

With that in mind… Here’s a list of eco friendly holidays around the UK that I’d highly recommend!

Get Back To Nature In A Shepherd’s Hut In Devon

Cheriton Fitzpaine, Crediton, Devon, England

My first recommendation has to be my most recent holiday away to Devon with Unique Hideaways. Our mini-break was an elevated take on glamping, and while I’m used to roughing it for festivals, this holiday certainly was a lot more luxurious. Forget your sleeping bags – staying in a well-equipped Shepherd’s Hut is the ultimate in low-impact holidays, yet with all the modern conveniences.

My partner and I love Devon and have previously stayed at Devon Dens, in a tiny cabin that’s now been replaced by a larger, much more well equipped upgrade. But there’s something that keeps us coming back to the same spot of South West England – the rolling hills, silent nights, and cream teas are just dreamy.

Stay In An Eco Friendly Aparthotel In London

Great Portland Street, London, England

For all my urbanites, an eco holiday to London is my top recommendation for you. Earlier this year I stayed at Beyond Apartments, the UK’s first eco friendly aparthotel. Let me tell you: this is luxury living done right. The apartments are spacious despite their very central location, and come with all the bells and whistles: refillable beauty products, locally sourced coffee, solar panels on the roof, and even lime washed walls. And having previously lived in London, I also have a whole host of recommendations for when you’re there: head to a healthy hangout, visit one of my favourite date night spots, take a train out to Kew Gardens, or give Borough Market a tour.

Take A Spa Break In Bath

Abbey Churchyard, Bath, England

If you’re looking for both a city break and a countryside getaway for your next holiday, be sure to stay in Bath. I’ve enjoyed visiting Bath both in 2017, and again in 2020, travelling by rail from London into the beautiful cobbled city. In terms of places to stay, the Combe Grove Hotel has to be the most lavish option, with its own private spa and restaurant, but a simple apartment also works well. In the city, make sure to get a tour of the Roman Baths, and pop in to the vintage market too! When booking your trip, be sure to also book a visit to the thermal spa, as tickets go quickly!

Venture Into The Forest At Timber Festival

Feanedock Covert, The National Forest, Leicestershire, England

Like forests? Like the arts? Also like a bit of music? And maybe some good food? Then Timber Festival is for you. This is the National Forest’s annual gathering of “music, forests, arts, and ideas”, co-led by Wild Rumpus, not-for-profit family arts organisation who exist in a space where arts and culture meet the natural environment. We visited in 2018 and had a whale of a time. I’m so pleased to see the festival is back on now!

Test Your Survival Skills In A Yurt In Wales

Lower Glyn Farm, Llanishen, Chepstow, Wales

Finally, if you’re a budding explorer, why not get right back to nature and stay in a yurt? I visited the gorgeous green destination of Hidden Valley Yurts in Wales a few years ago and have to recommend it for its combination of countryside camping and preservation of ancient forests. While I absolutely froze there (chiefly due to my lack of fire building skills) I can imagine it’s a lovely stay during the warmer months!

Looking For Eco Friendly Holidays Further Afield?

If you’re thinking about planning a holiday further afield, might I suggest Paris or Amsterdam? As an ex-Parisian, I’m a little biased towards France’s capital city, but both of these metropolises are now a direct train ride from St Pancras Station in London. And both are absolutely gorgeous, with brilliant restaurants, cultural activities, and green spaces to explore.

Finally, if you’re intent on going even further afield than Europe, check out Lanzarote Retreats, an eco-village complete with self-sufficient solar panels, a mini farm, and close proximity to a UNESCO World Heritage site. I had the most relaxed stay there with my sister a few years ago, and still dream of the nearby beaches from time to time!

Lead image photography by Lauren Shipley.


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