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
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Featured Holidays in England
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Featured Articles on England
A selection of the best green places to stay in England. Check availability and book the best prices.
Here is the full list of winners of the Enjoy England Awards for Excellence 2010...
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'...
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
Lodge s/b from £ 246, wk from £352 • Pod from £40 pn • Pitch from £10pn
Weekend £275, Midweek £295, Week £525 based on 2 sharing. Extra guests £25 per stay
£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
From £225, based on 2 people staying for three nights
For 4 nights midweek: Orchid cottage from £170 (sleeps 2) Rose/Lavender/ Iris cottage from £225 (sleeps 4), Jasmine/ Emerald/ Poppy from £255 (sleeps 6), Ruby cottage from £285 (sleeps 6), Diamond/ Sapphire from £325 (sleeps 6), Pine Lodge from £375 (sleeps 4)
Weekly £375 to £575
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
£800 - £1850 for one week. Short breaks available at 70% of weekly rate
weekly rate £490. For short breaks and weekends please contact us for detailed information
From £65.00 - £199 per night One Bedroom Apartment and £85.00 - £299 per Two Bedroom Apartment
Sleep 4 £460 - £795 a week, Sleep 6 £650 - £1180 a week depending on time of year
£52 Based on 2 sharing, £34 Single and various packages for family rooms
One bedroom cottages: short break (3-4nights) £136-£231, 7 nights £195-£330; Two bedroom cottages: short break £154-£343, 7 nights £220-£410
From £166 per night midweek (3 night minimum)
Weekends from £405, Midweek from £465, Week from £635
From £369 per week
From £389 per week
Weekends from £405, Midweek from £465, Week from £635
From £200 for a three night mid week break to £550 for a full week in high season
Weekends from £405, Midweek from £465, Week from £635
One Bedroom Apartments from £60.00. Two Bedroom from £90.00
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)
£215 - 2 night stay, £505 - 7 stay
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
Prices from £15 - £139 (Dorm Beds - 6 bed private rooms)
£315 - £835 per week. Short breaks available on request.
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)
Close to the sea, this well-positioned campsite has many attributes, including ease of access by public transport. The Purbeck Breezer bus (no 40) between Swanage and Poole stops at Langton Matravers, with Tom’s Field just to the south. Once installed you can walk out along the Jurassic Coast : Swanage and Studland Bay are close by. Facilities include a shop and a breakfast café, while the village offers two pubs. There’s a dynamic approach to the environment, with summer workshops from butterfly conservation to beekeeping and a policy that ranges from recycling everything possible to limiting the use of artificial light – so take a torch. Backpacker pitch from £5; extra-large family pitch for four £18-20
The nearest railway station is Wareham, which has regular trains to and from London Waterloo and Weymouth. From the station, you can catch the 40 bus and get off at the Langton Matravers stop, which is right next door to the campsite.
If you’re looking for somewhere a little different to host your conference, workshop or family gathering, then Fernhill Farm might be just the place. The cowsheds on this 160-acre working farm in the Mendips have been converted into an alternative, relaxed venue, with accommodation for up to 32 people in the adjacent eco-camping barns (underfloor heating throughout!). Andrew and Jen are committed to developing the farm into a self-sustaining unit, having installed a self-computerised log boiler, water harvesting, and wetland eco-treatment system which purifies all dirty water without the use of chemicals, which in turn has created new habitats for wildlife species. Camping £6 pppn; self-catering £24 pppn; B&B £30 pppn.
The nearest railway station is Nailsea & Backwell. From there, it is best to take a taxi to the farm. A list of local cab firms is available at TrainTaxi. Route 3 on the National Cycle Network also goes right past the farm.
Star Anise Arts Café
A short walk from Stroud’s High Street, this buzzing enterprise exudes creative community spirit, offering excellent all-natural food and a platform for local arts. The menu mainly features vegetarian and vegan dishes, based where possible on seasonal organic ingredients from the area - the likes of squash and ginger soup and asparagus and wild mushroom risotto. Sourdough bread and Danish pastries are made on the premises and are particularly renowned locally. Indeed frequent queues testify to the café’s popularity with Stroud’s residents. Events staged here range from live music and theatre in the evenings to regular Saturday morning storytelling. Open daily except Sundays.
The Barn at Scorriton
Staying in a converted old stone barn in a tiny agricultural hamlet, you couldn’t be more embedded in farm life: wake to the cooing of doves in the cote and the cows trundling up the lane for milking – you’ll taste their bounty in your breakfast coffee, along with homemade bread and and free-range eggs from the hens outside. The Barn is surrounded by mature gardens, a cider orchard and pasture, and the Two Moors Way runs past its door – this is a wonderful stop-off point or base for walkers, and there’s secure cycle storage,too. The two en-suite bedrooms are charmingly rustic, and feature free wi-fi, a fridge and TV in case you fancy a peaceful night in. Single/double occupancy from £45/£65 B&B.
Not far from the atmospheric ruins of Rievaulx and below the dramatic hills and moors of the North York Moors National Park, the lovely little town of Helmsley boasts a fantastic youth hostel for those looking for a budget option from which to explore the many attractions of the area. Clean, comfortable, and not at all Spartan, the hostel is perfectly placed for a leisurely country stroll or a more challenging walk or cycle across the varied Yorkshire terrain. From £18 per person per night in a dormitory, rooms from £27 per night
Exmoor Owl & Hawk Centre
Tucked away down a rural lane near the idyllic National Trust village of Allersford, this characterful place – the main part of West Lynch Farm was built in 1456, and believed to have been the original manor of Bossington – has just two simple guest rooms imbued with the charm and style you’d expect in what’s essentially still a working farmhouse. Fly owls and other birds of prey at the raptor centre, saddle up for a horse ride on the moor, take a stroll to Porlock or along the nearby South West Coast Path, or relax with a cream tea in the bird-bustling gardens. From £70 for two.
In foodie Bonchurch, home to a good pub and the renowned Pond Café, this three-bedroom house is part of a large Victorian mansion overlooking the sea. Only 15 minutes’ walk from Ventnor, romantics will love the approach to it, through a rock tunnel, while style hounds will appreciate the mix of cool contemporary furnishings and period details. Outside there’s a first-floor sun terrace and a private path that winds from the huge shared gardens straight down to the beach. From £750 per week.
If you're looking for a business training and conference centre in wonderful natural surroundings, there's no better option than this traditional stone built farmhouse in Baldersdale. There are ten bedrooms that can comfortably sleep up to 30 people, with resources to cater for up to 60 people during a one-day event. The Baldersdale Valley is a fantastic place for exploring on foot - in fact, the Pennine Way walking trail runs alongside the accommodation, and the team building activities on offer certainly make the most of the stunning surroundings, including gorge walking, climbing, abseiling, raft building, kayaking and horse riding. There's also a cosy lounge with a roaring log fire to relax in afterwards, plus food is locally sourced and home cooked with pride.
Two delightfully converted farm buildings – the Barn, sleeping six, and the Shippen (a stable or cowhouse), with room for four – offer comfortable, characterful accommodation with exposed stone walls and wood beams. The Barn has an upside-down layout, with a spacious open-plan kitchen-living area on the first floor, warmed by a woodburning stove, and three bedrooms below. The smaller Shippen has a gallery sleeping area, well-equipped kitchen-diner and space for twin or bunk beds in the homely sitting room, heated with a sustainable energy log boiler. Old Sowtontown is just outside Peter Tavy, close to the wild, empty expanses of the western moor, wonderful for lonely walking. Shippen (sleeps 4) from £215 per week; Barn (sleeps 6) from £286 per week.
Malkin Tower Farm Holiday Cottages
These two luxury self catering holiday cottages and ‘Piggery’ have been converted from the former Malkin Tower Farm, set in stunning countryside within the Forest of Bowland AONB. Owners Andrew and Rachel Turner have tried to retain as much of its character as possible, preserving the original doorways and windows, along with the original oak beams and window seats. Demdyke Cottage sleeps up to four, and Device Cottage sleeps two plus a cot if required, whilst the one bed ‘Piggery’ is ideal as an extra bedroom for those who want to get away for a few days on their own. The couple’s eco efforts have won them a Gold GTBS Award, and they actively encourage guests to lighten their carbon footprint by recycling and enjoying non-car based activities like walking and cycling during their visit.
Syke Farm Camping Ground
You'll find the picturesque hamlet of Buttermere tucked away just to the south west of Keswick. You shouldn't come to Syke Farm expecting any form of 'glamping' excess - the park offers a wonderfully back to basics approach (the only place you're likely to find food is the farmhouse, which deals out local eggs and milk. As basic as the facilities might be, this is the ideal location in which to appreciate the true beauty of the Lake District, with plenty of space for kids to run and play, and for parents to relax. You can also head into nearby Buttermere for good local food.
Originally built for a Master Mariner in 1836, Camilla House is now a sleek boutique B&B with eight rooms, Mount Bay views, and an ethical, sustainable approach to running the B&B. Rooms are stylish and eclectic – think big prints, bolds colours, leather chairs, spotlighting. Superb ensuite bathrooms are just as luxurious, with fluffy white bathrobes and towels and fabulous showers. The menu (book in for dinner) features all sorts of locally sourced goodies, such as fish from Newlyn (a mile away), Mounts Bay mackerel, and Roskilly ice cream. Simon and Susan are as hands on or off as you want them to be, and have plenty of suggestions of things to do in the area – they will happily pack you a hamper for an evening at the Minack Theatre. From £77 for two.
The closest railway station is Penzance, which has regular trains from London Paddington, Exeter and St Ives. From the station, it is just a ten minute walk to the B&B. Both Route 3 and the Cornish Way on the National Cycle Network go through Penzance.
Millinder House Farm Cottages
With wonderful views across the dale, the three charming old stone cottages at Millinder House offer an authentic Moors experience where you will really feel the power of the landscape. Each cottage is individually designed, and they sleep different numbers of people – two are wheelchair accessible. You can stride out and explore the invigorating moorlands from the front door, or popular destinations such as Whitby, Staithes, Helmsley and Goathland are all just a few minutes away. From £206 per week
With exquisite gardens, sublime views, light-filled rooms where everything’s just-so and sumptuous breakfasts, owners Phillip Gill and Anton van der Horst have won many plaudits for their three-bedroom B&B in Ampleforth, including Yorkshire guesthouse of the year. There are glorious walks in any direction from the 1960s property or just curl up in comfort with a good book from the library and views of the Howardian Hills through large picture windows. A four-course set dinner is reason enough to visit, with an emphasis on local, seasonal produce such as asparagus and duck breasts with braised endives. From £105 per night.
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.
Middle Flass Lodge
Beautifully converted in 1996 by owners Joan and Nigel, this former barn and cow byre is now a hotel and restaurant nestled in the tranquil Ribble Valley. As Nigel is a former Head Chef, you can look forward to an extensive breakfast and full Table d’Hote dinner served in the evening, all made with fresh local produce whenever possible. Surrounded by open countryside and abundant birdlife and wildlife, it’s a great spot for walking, cycling and fishing, or you could just relax and unwind in the residents lounge.
Thornton Lodge Farm
Sue and Bill Raper offer a full-on country sports experience at their modern farmhouse B&B on the edge of the Vale of York between Easingwold and Coxwold. If you have your own horse, he or she will be welcome here and there is a three-mile ‘Chasers course’ through fields nearby. Clay pigeon shooting and fly-fishing are also possibilities with or without tuition. The two bedrooms are on the ground floor of a modern annexe, both wheelchair accessible. Breakfasts are served in a sunny conservatory with views over the rolling countryside. From £75 per night.
A family-run hotel and restaurant close to picturesque Pateley Bridge, the Sportsman’s Arms prides itself on offering a warm welcome, unpretentious service and great food. Chef-owner Ray Carter has created a menu that favours game – much shot within a mile of the restaurant – and daily deliveries from the coast bring fresh fish to the table. Linger in the cosy bar – a favourite with hikers – where a log fire roars in the winter, and local ales and fine wines are on the menu. There are great walks on the doorstep, pretty villages to explore nearby, and the hotel has fishing rights to a stretch of the River Nidd for keen anglers.
The Little Gloster
Take unprepossessing seaside bar and restaurant, give it a Scandinavian-style makeover, convert the spare space into three smart, en-suite bedrooms, throw in an owner-chef as passionate about his Danish heritage as he is about locally sourced ingredients (Bembridge crab and beef from Newbarn Farm among them) and you’ve got a recipe for the perfect foodie seaside break. Double rooms from £90, B&B.
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.
Slap in the centre of the moor, Beechwood is ideally placed for exploring the wild central tors, and boasts wonderful views over Higher White Tor. Built in 1871 and long occupied as two dwellings, this charming B&B retains the feel of a country cottage – woodburners, beams, water from its own well – updated with home comforts to welcome returning walkers and cyclings. The house is set in delightful gardens and several acres of hay meadows ablaze with orchids and other wildflowers in spring and summer. Breakfast is a treat, with homemade honey granola and yoghurt, and evening meals featuring west country specialities are available. Singles/doubles from £42/£68 B&B (discounts for stays of two nights or longer).
Tythebarn House B&B
You get the impression that Diana and Vic of Tythebarn House genuinely live by their motto: come as a guest, leave a friend. With only one B&B apartment (sleeping 2) you’re sure to be well looked after. Vic is brimming with local knowledge and always on hand with a hand drawn map while Diana’s stone-baked breakfast are to die for.
All Diana's ingredients are locally sourced – sausages and black pudding from Stuart Smith butchers and dry cure bacon from Lune Valley Smokehouse - and served alongside freshly-baked bread, homemade granola and proper porridge, dished up in wooden “Goldilocks Bowls.” Diana’s been a keen foodie all her life and has even dabbled in celebrity cheffing - she has cooked for Japanese TV and made it to the finals of the Britain’s Best Dish.
Take the train to Carnforth Railway Station, and then the 555 bus to Holme. A quick walk up North Road will bring you to Tythebarn. Nearby is Route 6 on the National Cycle Network.
Beacon View Barn
Yes, there’s a view of a beacon. And fields. And woodland. And heather-clad hills. In fact, there are jaw-dropping vistas in all directions – but don’t forget to admire the barn itself, a two-century-old, Grade-II-listed sandstone edifice roofed with Westmorland slate and beautifully converted to create an beguiling three-bedroom cottage. Period features – exposed beams and stonework features, roll-top bath, brass-and-iron bedsteads, Belfast sink and wood-burning stove – are complemented by the all-important 21st-century conveniences of WiFi, flatscreen TV and iPod dock. But get outside, do: a selection of walking guides and maps urges you to explore the northern moor. A second barn is undergoing a similar conversion, with the installation of a ground source heat pump. From £650 per week.
Bucklegrove Caravan and Camping Park
Bucklegrove started out life as a tearooms in the 1940s. These days, tables and chairs have made way for beautifully-manicured camping pitches with mature trees and shrubs, but you can still grab drinks and snacks from the family-friendly bar onsite. If you’re idea of camping is a little less orderly, there’s a summer camping meadow – no pitches, no electric hook ups, just turn up and grab a spot – plenty of space and stunning views across the Cheddar valley.
Take the train to Weston-super-Mare Railway Station, and then the 126 bus directly to Bucklegrove Caravan Park. Also nearby are Routes 3 and 26 on the National Cycle Network.
Sleeping up to six, in three bedrooms, the walls and tables of this Victorian seaside villa are draped with such a wide array of collectables – from a group of artfully hung lutes to a flotilla of miniature ships in bottles – that if you took time to admire them all you might never make it out of the door. That would be a shame, though. Three minutes’ walk from the nearest beach, ‘Becky’s House’, as Ramillies is also known, is set in great walking territory. It’s also popular among foodies, with several excellent restaurants within walking distance. From £795 per week.
Get there by bus: Bus route 3. Nearest stop: Ventnor Boots.
Built around the turn of the 20th century in a lavish neo-Elizabethan style, Bovey Castle is one of Dartmoor’s grandest, most luxurious hotels, set amid wonderfully landscaped grounds with croquet lawns, tennis courts and its own 18-hole golf course – it’s big, but it’s boutique. The most simple bedrooms are still stylish and substantial, while larger suites and staterooms boast spectacular moor views and even sun terraces. The Castle Bistro offers informal dining, the Edwardian Grill showcases the best Dartmoor beef with its nose-to-tail menu, and the Oak Bar is the spot to settle into a comfy armchair with a single malt whisky or armagnac; an afternoon or cream tea on the terrace is a summer treat. Fourteen rustic yet chic three-storey self-catering lodges are hidden within the grounds. Singles/doubles from £139/£209; three-bedroom lodges from £425 per night.
Langstone Manor Holiday Park
Nestling in the park’s western fringes between Princetown and Tavistock, Langstone Manor provides the full gamut of self-catering accommodation, from tent and van pitches through wooden glamping pods to fixed holiday homes, an apartment and a pair of cottages. The wonderfully landscaped grounds lie in a sheltered, wooded valley, and the manor itself houses the cost Langstone Bar with woodburning stove and dining room where meals and local real ales are available in peak periods. There’s also a games room with air hockey, table football and a pool table, and a peaceful terrace for a sunset snifter or just to relax at the end of the day. Camping from £14 (‘green tariff’ discount of £4 for campers arriving on foot or by bike), pods from £35, two-bed holiday homes from £215 per week, apartment/cottages from £285/£369 per week.
A wonderful campsite overlooking Fellside cottage in Eskdale. One of the biggest draws of this particular campsite is the pond, which is a fantastic place for children to play while still under the watchful eye of parents. This isn't the only thing kids have to look forward to - there's also an adventure playground that boasts everything from zip wires and climbing frames to tyre-rope swings. The site is also located alongside the route of the Ravenglass and Eskdale steam railway line, which is a great way to get around if you're using public transport!
Penventon Park is a large family-run hotel with friendly staff and a good restaurant. The Georgian mansion, on the edge of Redruth, caters for weddings, corporate events and conferences. Tuck into homemade dishes to the accompaniment of the piano player. There’s a spa, too.
Redruth Railway station is a three minute walk from the hotel. The station has regular services from London Paddington, Penzance, Manchester, Stoke-on-Trent and Glasgow. Redruth also lies on Route 3 and the Cornish Way on the National Cycle Network.
More holidays in England
£450 (based on two people sharing)
£565 pp (based on 2 people sharing)
£395 pp (based on 2 people sharing)
£565 pp (based on 2 people sharing)
Adult Prices: £45 - £49, Discount Prices: £42 - £46
Adult prices: £89 - £99 Discount prices: £83 - £89
£20.00 per person per night.
£1295 pp (based on 2 people sharing)
£455 pp (based on 2 people sharing)
From £245 (tour only)
From £715 (based on two people sharing)
£945 pp (based on 2 people sharing)
£395.00 pp (based on 2 people sharing)
From £509 per person
£265 pp (based on 2 people sharing)
£20.00 per person per night.
From £559 per person