Green Holidays in England
Perhaps the most environmentally-friendly holiday decision you can make is to go for a staycation and enjoy what's on offer on your doorstep. Weeks of sunshine and soaring temperatures can't be guaranteed, but verdant England has so much to offer...
From roaming the peaks of the North, cycling through the Lake District and the picturesque cotswolds to eco-cabins in Shropshire and homestays in our vibrant and historic cities and sailing breaks along the South West's stunning coast, an eco-friendly break in England is a wonderful opportunity.
To learn more, see our guide on How to tell if a hotel is green
Featured below is our selection of the best 'greenest' places to stay and holidays we have come across throughout England:
Featured places to stay in England
See more places to stay in England
Featured Holidays in England
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Featured Articles on England
Here's a video of a day I spent using our new Green London map to explore the capital, from its organic pubs, shops and markets to 'Boris biking'...
Here is the full list of winners of the Enjoy England Awards for Excellence 2010...
A selection of the best green places to stay in England. Check availability and book the best prices.
How to travel overland from Europe to England
Our detailed rail journey planner shows you how to travel by train from over 40 destinations in Europe to London, detailing where to change platforms/stations, prices, timetables, journey times and how to book tickets. Here are a few examples of itineraries:
Train from Barcelona to London
Train from Berlin to London
Train from Brussels to London
Train from Lille to London
Train from Madrid to London
Train from Marseille to London
Train from Paris to London
Train from Rome to London
Train from Stockholm to London
Train from Vienna to London
Travelling to England by ferry is now so much easier thanks to the recent upgrading of many cross-channel services and as well as from Spain, Ireland and Denmark. Our ferry journey planner provides in-depth information, including intermediate travel, prices, timetables, journey times and how to book tickets for the following ferry crossings:
Ferry from Bilbao to Portsmouth
Ferry from Calais to Dover
Ferry from Caen to Portsmouth
Ferry from Cherbourg to Poole
Ferry from Hook of Holland to Harwich
Ferry from Roscoff to Plymouth
Ferry from Santander to Portsmouth
Ferry from Santander to Plymouth
Ferry from St Malo to Portsmouth
Ferry from Ostend to Ramsgate
More places to stay in England
Weekend £275, Midweek £295, Week £525 based on 2 sharing. Extra guests £25 per stay
From £225, based on 2 people staying for three nights
£66 per night private double with continental breakfast,, £110 per night family type 4 bunk rooms with continental breakfast, £27.50 pppn in shared/ mixed 6 bunk rooms with continental breakfast, , Bunkhouse £23 per bed, £85 per room, Camping Barn £11.50 per person, £85 whole use
From £40 per night for a couple sharing, up to 30% discount on a two night stay at a weekend
Single £65.00, Doubles £90, Deluxe Kings £105, Suite £120
Weekly £375 to £575
Lodge s/b from £ 246, wk from £352 • Pod from £40 pn • Pitch from £10pn
Weekends from £405, Midweek from £465, Week from £635
One Bedroom Apartments from £60.00. Two Bedroom from £90.00
weekly rate £490. For short breaks and weekends please contact us for detailed information
Weekends from £405, Midweek from £465, Week from £635
£52 Based on 2 sharing, £34 Single and various packages for family rooms
From £389 per week
B&B £80 per night £95 for one night at a weekend. Self-catering £250-£350 per week
One bedroom apartment from £65.00 pernight, 2 bedroom apartment from £85.00 per night
From £166 per night midweek (3 night minimum)
Prices from £15 - £139 (Dorm Beds - 6 bed private rooms)
Bed and Breakfast £75 per night. Self-catering (1 or 2 bedroom apartments) £50 to £70 per night, £300 to £450 per week
High season: £55 per night (1-3 persons), plus £55 short break supplement if stay is less than 1 week. Low season £35 per night plus £35 short break supplement
Sleep 4 £460 - £795 a week, Sleep 6 £650 - £1180 a week depending on time of year
From £200 for a three night mid week break to £550 for a full week in high season
£215 - 2 night stay, £505 - 7 stay
£315 - £835 per week. Short breaks available on request.
£800 - £1850 for one week. Short breaks available at 70% of weekly rate
One bedroom apt from £65.00 per night, two bedroom apartment from £95.00 per night
Weekends from £405, Midweek from £465, Week from £635
from £105 B&B pn to £170 B&B pn
3 night minimum stay. From £300 for 3 nights (in accommodation sleeping 2-3 people) up to £600 per week (in accommodation sleeping 2-4 people)
A dynamic Dutch couple run Dutch House, which combines wildlife garden, courtyard café, child-friendly art workshop and shop with a one-bedroom B&B in its own separate traditional farm cottage. The bedroom is spacious and light, with quirky touches such as a branch hung with coat-hangers. The bedroom looks onto the garden, tended by Sjaak Kastelijn, former manager of the Museum Gardens in York who is passionate about ecological gardening. Downstairs you have your own private ‘snug’ with wood-burner, piano and breakfast table. Breakfast is, appropriately, continental rather than full English. From £70 per night.
Recharge your batteries at Beechenhill Farm, an organic dairy farm in the heart of the Peak District. Two comfortable B&B rooms (one double, one family room) are simply decorated with wonderful views over the lovely garden and grazing sheep beyond. Breakfast, of course, is organic - feast on homemade yoghurt, bread and jam. Sue and Terry are devoted to protecting the environment and are proud of their 'eco-ventures' - you can even hold your eco-wedding here. There's a farm trail to explore, Swedish hot tub to soak in and an art studio. Discover the local area on one of their electric bikes. There are cottages to rent if you prefer to self-cater.
Reviewed by Rhiannon Batten:
"As with her paintings, Sue has the B&B business down to a fine art. For a relaxing weekend in a family-run, farmhouse setting, with access to glorious National Park scenery literally on the doorstep, Beechenhill is hard to beat. Not least because the welcome here is so heartfelt."
>> Read Rhiannon's full review of Beechenhill Farm
Join a yoga class, explore the 65 acres of gardens and woodland, hop on the hotel’s own riverboat for a trip down the Helford Passage, take a invigorating dip in the creek…there’s plenty of things to do without the car. This hotel on the tranquil Helford River has 57 classically decorated rooms – lots of dark wood, full length crimson curtains, tartan quilts; the superior rooms have views over the gardens. The restaurant serves up an exciting fishy menu, with dishes such as locally smoked salmon, locally landed sole and River Ex mussels. The four self-catering cottages are perfect for those who prefer more privacy. Impressive green credentials, too. From £86 for two, 1-4 nights. From £74 for two, 5+ nights.
The nearest railway station is Falmouth. From there, arrange a cab via TrainTaxi. Also nearby is the Falmouth cycle network.
Rushbanks Farm Campsite
Just a short distance along the River Stour from the pretty 15th-century village of Nayland is Rushbanks, the only official campsite in Dedham Vale. It’s a peaceful, family-friendly site with simple facilities and is particularly good for boaters and canoeists as it’s situated by an easily navigable stretch of the river, with several landing stages and good access to and from the water. The site is also ideal for walkers as it has a public footpath crossing the site as well as plenty of options for walks in the local area. The Norman church at Wissington is just a short stroll from the campsite, or you could head down to the historic Anchor Inn pub in Nayland for some good pub food and local ales.
Woodland Springs Touring Park
A peaceful site in the northern quarter of the moor, Woodland Springs provides pitches for caravans and tents in a child-free environment. The park has been carefully managed to encourage wildlife; deer, foxes and rabbits make regular appearances, and some 50 bird species have been spotted here. The pine amenities block has won awards for its loos (yes, you read it right!), and the small site shop sells fresh bread and basic supplies. Camping from £17 (tent plus two adults and dogs), touring caravans and motorhome from £20 (unit plus 2 adults and dogs), caravan available for hire from £45 per night ( 2 adults and dogs).
These 4* self-catering cottages sleep 2-8 and are newly converted from traditional Lancashire stone farm buildings and surrounded by 200 acres of beautiful farmland. The cottages sleep from four to eight people, with large open plan kitchen and dining areas, a private patio area and all are centrally heated by an eco-friendly wood pellet boiler. They also have access to a large communal games room with lots of indoor games to keep the kids entertained on a rainy day. The Gardner family who run this farm have won awards for their conservation efforts, and it’s a wonderful area for bird watching and wildlife spotting with its wide open skies and far-reaching views.
Beetham Holiday Homes
This static caravan park (for live-in holiday homes) offers something rather unique. Owner Craig Russell was brought up with a deep appreciation of nature and runs the park with a real commitment to conservation. Half of the land – a mixture of wild flower meadows, wet meadows, coppiced woodland and ancient woodland on the north eastern side of the AONB – is managed with wildlife in mind and over the years it has become rich with orchids, hedgerow birds and rare moths and butterflies. Each holiday home is surrounded by hedges (several kilometres in total), which provide a refuge for birdlife and hedge-loving plants such as lily of the valley, bluebells, primroses and cowslips.
Take the train to Carnforth Railway Station, and from there take the 555 bus to Milnthorpe. Both Routs 6 & 90 on the National Cycle Network pass by Beetham.
Cobblestone Barn is found in the stunning Eden Valley, set between the North Pennines to the east and the Lake District National Park to the west. The barn itself has been recently converted and retains much of its original character and charm, boasting beamed ceilings and stone walls. The barn is also impressively green: all recyclable material recovered during the renovation was kept with the aim of using it elsewhere, there's a new ground source heat pump and the field behind the barn was converted into a market store selling organic material. Nedless to say, the barn is accredited by the GTBS.
Brighton Bike Tours
Brighton Bike Tours run several different escorted bike rides through the Brighton area. From one themed "Rags to Regency", to private group cycles, to a speciality stag or hen do, they offer a great, liberating way to see the city and learn about its history. From the centre where you pick up your bike hire to the outer limits seen at twilight, the pace is leisurely and incorporates many stops along the way (for photo opportunities or exploring) what could be a more fun, or greener way to sight see? Bring your own bike if you prefer (and save yourself some money). You don't need to be fit to take this leisurely pootle, as the distances are not great and the breathers are many. Brilliant for day trippers or anyone who wants t know a little more about the history of this fabulous spot. Open all year around. Prices are from £15 with your own Bike, £19.50 with bike hire and helmet included..
The accommodation is just half the story at this holiday park near Newquay. Perran Sands offers a range of safari yurts, geo domes, yurts and supertents. Walk through the dunes to the beach, join a surfing lesson, or hang out in the beach themes café bar. There are fantastic sports and leisure facilities (archery, pools, kids’ clubs), evening entertainment throughout the summer – and you’ve got the delights of the north Cornwall coast on your doorstep.
The nearest railway station is Newquay, from where you can take the 587 bus directly to the campsite. If you wish to travel by coach to Newquay, you can get a 10% discount on National Express tickets if booked through the campsite. Cyclists can access the area via Route 32 or the Cornish Way on the National Cycle Network.
The White Lion Hotel
Right on the beachfront, The White Lion Hotel not only offers a relaxed setting for anyone wanting to explore the art, culture and festivals of Aldeburgh, but also a beautiful space for weddings, meetings and events. Newly-refurbished in April 2011, the bedrooms are cosy and comfortable whilst the vibrant Bar & Brasserie is the perfect spot for a breakfast of smoked kippers from Pinney’s of Orford or a slap up Sunday lunch of roast Suffolk Pork. Locally there’s plenty on offer, from walking and cycling to horse riding or even llama trekking. Learn how to perfect your tennis swing under the watchful eye of tennis pro Amanda Keen at the Thorpeness Country Club, or take advantage of your guest discount on green fees at the Thorpeness Hotel and Golf Club.
Mazzard Farm Holiday Cottages
Situated just 15 minutes from the Jurassic Coast at Sidmouth, half way up East Hill, are 17 acres of old apple farm, home to 6 gorgeous, contemporary cottages, sleeping between 2 and 10 (24 max.) cottages, gardens, an orchard, private woods, play areas and a large courtyard with picnic tables and BBQ. Weekend / midweek £210 - £525; full week £350 - £1,395 max fee (sleeps 10 in high season) is £2,495
Elmfield Farm Cottages
What a haven. Rent a cottage on this small, charming farm about seven miles from Canterbury and you’ll be among sheep, alpacas, ducks, pigs and hens. Owners Andrew and Harriet Wishart welcome guests with a homemade cake and are more than happy to have children in the properties - kids have their own garden to play in and may help feed the animals. One of the four cottages here has wheelchair access, another two have been made from bales of locally grown straw. Rooms: two cottages sleeping four; two cottages sleeping six Prices: two-bedroom cottages from £183 (to £667 high season) for a short break; three-bedroom cottage from £253 (to £972 high season) for a short break
Harford Bridge Holiday Park
Sited alongside the River Tavy in the far west of Dartmoor, Harford Bridge is a delightfully landscaped site managed to encourage local wildlife – a David Bellamy Conservation Gold Award holder for many years, in 2013 it received a special distinction – with nestboxes, hedges, wildflowers and birdfood provided. Accommodation ranges from tent and van pitches to a cute two-person shepherd’s hut, caravans, holiday lodges and a three-bedroom cottage. Facilities are generous, too, with a hard tennis court, games room featuring table tennis and table football, fine shower and laundry amenities, fly fishing and ample information for walkers and cyclists – the Drake’s Trail cycle route runs alongside the park. Camping from £13.60 (tent or van plus two adults); shepherd’s hut from £48; holiday caravan from £305 per week; holiday lodge from £370 per week; six-bed cottage from £360 per week.
YHA Boggle Hole
Rockpooling heaven! Few seaside spots can be as perfectly sited for an old-fashioned coastal holiday, with the beach just steps away from this 85-bed hostel near Robin Hood’s Bay – roll up your trouser legs and get paddling, sandcastle-building or fossicking for fossils. Aimed squarely at families, with playrooms, games, a woodland story-telling circle and fun, quirky décor (look out for pirates and mermaids!), the location is also ideal for hikers and bikers – the Cleveland Way and National Cycle Route 1 pass by, and the Coast to Coast Path starts on the doorstep – hence the cycle store and drying room. Dorm beds from £14.50, twin rooms £45.
Priory Bay Hotel
For country house glamour, this creeper-clad stalwart near Osborne House is hard to beat. Set on a 70-acre estate, complete with outdoor swimming pool and private beach, the eclectic range of rooms varies from an oak-beamed attic suite to modern seaside-style apartments to an opulent boudoir lined with 14th-century panelling. For the adventurous, there are also three yurts within the hotel’s woodland; each come with en-suite bathrooms, king-sized beds and decked terraces. Yurts from £200, B&B (April to October only), doubles from £160, B&B.
Get there by bus: Bus route 8. Nearest stop: Seaview The Bench.
Boswell Farm Cottages
Seven beautiful stone cottages surround a courtyard, each with their own private enclosed garden. Although the buildings date from the 18th and 19th centuries, today’s visitor will find lots of frills, literally. You can choose between a former dairy, just for two, or a house where cider was pressed, which sleeps up to nine. There’s a tennis court, a babbling brook, a pond full of wildlife and acres of fields. As well as a gold award for its green tourism efforts, the farm welcomes well-behaved dogs. Sidmouth is just a two-mile walk away. From £395 for a two-night break.
Bank House Farm Hostel
This appealing barn conversion, offering 11 dorm beds and three B&B rooms, sits on an organic farm – self-catering is a treat, with beef and lamb from the surrounding fields available, along with rare-breed bacon for sizzling breakfasts. The well-equipped bunkhouse boasts underfloor heating and ample hot water, a comfy lounge and games room, and a wonderful garden with sweeping views – perfect for picnics. Bank House is on the Coast to Coast Path and slap in the middle of the national park, with glorious walking and cycling in all directions – and with a drying room, secure cycle storage and space for small tents, it’s ideal for hikers and bikers alike. Weekend bookings are for groups only, though individuals are welcome during the week. Simple B&B is sometimes available in the attached farmhouse at £25 per person. Dorm beds £20/£10 per adult/under-16 Sun-Thu. £200 for up to 10 people Fri-Sat
Hindon Organic Farm
Tucked away in a secluded valley on the National Trust Holnicote Estate, this 380-hectare stock farm is within touching distance of Minehead, Dunster, Porlock and the coast. The 18th-century farmhouse is furnished with delightful antiques and watercolours by a local artist; each of the three bedrooms (two en-suite doubles and a twin with private bathroom) has its own tree-themed name and individual style – choose ‘Oak’ for a long soak in a fabulous rolltop bath. No prizes for guessing where the breakfast bacon, sausages and eggs come from (just glance outside), while bread comes still warm from the oven. Doubles/twin £80 B&B
A one-bedroom, self-catering apartment in Warton, on the southern edge of the AONB. It's traditional and caters mostly for retired guests who have come to love the area. Outside there’s a pretty courtyard, which is ideal for sunny evenings, and a giant chess board.
The house is set within an organic smallholding with chickens, sheep and an allotment and you can walk straight through the grounds and up on to Warton Crag - or even stretch your legs further by continuing over to Leighton Moss. Walkers welcome and it is dog-friendly.
The closest railway station is Carnforth. From there, it is a 20 minute walk to the cottage. Route 6 on the National Cycle Network also passes close by.
The Granary Barn
Ducks and hens make happy sounds in the garden of the two-bedroom B&B, Granary Barn. “Bring ear plugs if you’re a light sleeper and think it may disturb!” warns owner Louise Higham. When their fresh bright eggs appear on the breakfast table any clucking noise is forgiven. Well-behaved dogs are welcome (£10 per night supplement) at this end-of-the lane quiet location. Your canine friend and you will enjoy the wide choice of walks straight from the front door, into the Howardian Hills or through the Vale of York. From £70 per night.
The Scarlet Hotel, Cornwall, England
A gorgeous hotel built to the highest eco standards, overlooking the sea on the Cornish coast. Be pampered in the luxurious Ayurvedic spa, sample delicious locally sourced food or take some time out to reflect and enjoy the views. Prices from £180 (just right room), £200 (generous room), £255 (unique room), £255 (Spacious) and £310 (indulgent room)
The nearest railway station is Newquay. From there, take the 556 bus to Tredragon Road. Also nearby are Route 32 and the Cornish Way on the National Cycle Network.
Smuggler's Rock Country House
Originally a Victorian inn, today’s visitors roll in drunk on the views – sitting wonderfully lonely on the edge of Ravenscar, the ‘town that never was’, Smuggler’s Rock has the best of the wild coastline and eastern moors on its doorstep. Rooms combine modern style with period touches, feature walls and four-posters, Egyptian cotton and WiFi, and those views towards the coast and Flamborough Head… The green ethos is in the DNA here: solar panels for hot water and power, filtered water from the borehole, free-range eggs from the chickens clucking in the garden, and a small menagerie of Scottish black-faced sheep, Shetland ponies, Highland cattle, geese and ducks roaming the smallholding. There’s also a trio of charming self-catering cottages. Singles/doubles from £41/£68 B&B (based on two-night stay)
Golden Hill Farm
A bucolic idyll, this small, intimate campsite – just five hook-ups and ten tents – has a delightful, carefully modernised pair of bow-top gypsy waggons (one large family van sleeping four, the smaller taking a couple and one child) to round off the effect. Don’t be alarmed by odd noises: the farm is home to miniature ponies, peacocks, chickens and sometimes goats! The farm nestles near the moors’ northern edge, close to the national park visitor centre at Danby, and within touching distance of Whitby. There’s also an attractive cottage sleeping eight. Gypsy vans from £35 per night. Camping £15/£10 with/without electric hook-up. Three-bedroom cottage from £300 per week.
Cleveley Mere Boutique Lodges
These five state-of-the-art retreats are all set on the edge of a vast lake within a glorious 34 acre nature reserve. You could choose to stay in the UK’s first ‘Huf House’ holiday let, as featured on Channel 4’s Grand Designs, which sleeps up to six people and comes with its own private boat. Or perhaps the Lakeside Tree House might tempt you, with its sunset deck, rope bridge and private harbour. Whichever lodge you choose, you’ll be supplied with everything you need to enjoy the great outdoors, like free bikes, binoculars, wellies, and that all important picnic stuffed with delicious local produce.
High Laning Campsite
Within walking distance of the village of Dent, High Laning Campsite is surrounded by gorgeous countryside and is open year-round – whatever the weather! As well as camping and caravanning, with all the modern facilities you’ll need, the owners have a three-bedroomed self-catering bungalow close to the centre of Dent too.
The Angel Inn
The Angel Inn is a lovely, traditional country pub in Stoke by Nayland, in the heart of the Dedham Vale AONB. There are six boutique bedrooms, all with en-suite and beautifully styled to reflect the history of this Grade II listed, 16th-century building. After a good night’s sleep in an extremely comfortable bed, enjoy a newspaper delivered your room and tuck into a delicious breakfast of farmhouse sausages and bacon, free range poached duck egg, fresh fruit and organic, and fair trade tea and coffee. Just a short walk from the inn is the 14th-century St Mary’s Church, famous for its 120ft tower and which appears in several of Constable’s paintings. There are also two 18-hole championship golf courses nearby, and if you feel like heading off on a long walk, the staff will happily provide a packed lunch stuffed full of local delicacies.
The nearest railway station is Colchester. From there, take the 84 bus to Stoke by Nayland. Also nearby are Routes 1 and 13 on the National Cycle Network.
Cromer House Barn
A converted 18th Century character barn in picturesque Weardale. Originally a camping barn, Cromer House has been renovated to offer 3* accommodation for two and comes complete with spacious downstairs kitchen and bedroom, while upstairs, in the former hayloft, you'll find a double bed, living area and wood burner stove. This is a great option for cyclists as the barn has its own secure bicycle store, plus the barn is actually on the North Pennines Wheels to the Wild cycling route. You can also expect top notch green credentials - a combination of wood burning stove and solar panels provide the heating, while harvested rainwater supplies the toilets. The barn itself has been totally revamped using reclaimed slate and wood, the courtyard resurfaced using reclaimed flagstones, cobbles and stone.
The Sandbeck, Whitby, North Yorkshire
Seafront boutique B&B yards from the famous Whale Bones with harbour, beach and coastal views. Organic breakfasts available. Wine, flowers, champagne and chocolates for romantic arrivals! Non seaview £75, Seaview £85, Seaview Classic £95, Seaview Suite £105
Robin Hood Caravan and Camping Park
Ten minutes’ drive from the A64, this site, in the village of Slingsby, near the Howardian Hills, is well-situated for those driving. There are electric hook up points for tourers and even some for tents. Caravans are available for hire. Duvets and pillows are provided but bring your own bed linen and towels. There’s an outdoor children’s play area, walking maps in reception and plenty of footpaths nearby, indeed plenty to do without using the car. Actually, why not leave it at home and arrive by public transport? There are buses from Malton, where there’s a train station. From £18 per night.
More holidays in England
£945 pp (based on 2 people sharing)
£565 pp (based on 2 people sharing)
From £509 per person
£265 pp (based on 2 people sharing)
From £245 (tour only)
Adult prices: £89 - £99 Discount prices: £83 - £89
£455 pp (based on 2 people sharing)
From £715 (based on two people sharing)
£395.00 pp (based on 2 people sharing)
£565 pp (based on 2 people sharing)
£395 pp (based on 2 people sharing)
£1295 pp (based on 2 people sharing)
£20.00 per person per night.
Adult Prices: £45 - £49, Discount Prices: £42 - £46
£450 (based on two people sharing)
£20.00 per person per night.
From £559 per person