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'...
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...
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
From £225, based on 2 people staying for three nights
Weekly £375 to £575
Lodge s/b from £ 246, wk from £352 • Pod from £40 pn • Pitch from £10pn
From £40 per night for a couple sharing, up to 30% discount on a two night stay at a weekend
From £105 per night
Weekends from £405, Midweek from £465, Week from £635
One bedroom apt from £65.00 per night, two bedroom apartment from £95.00 per night
From £369 per week
Prices vary throughout the year - please check website. Available for long weekends, midweek breaks & 7 night stays
£0 - £499 short stay, £0 - £699 week
£315 - £835 per week. Short breaks available on request.
£215 - 2 night stay, £505 - 7 stay
From £200 for a three night mid week break to £550 for a full week in high season
One bedroom cottages: short break (3-4nights) £136-£231, 7 nights £195-£330; Two bedroom cottages: short break £154-£343, 7 nights £220-£410
weekly rate £490. For short breaks and weekends please contact us for detailed information
£800 - £1850 for one week. Short breaks available at 70% of weekly rate
Prices from £15 - £139 (Dorm Beds - 6 bed private rooms)
from £105 B&B pn to £170 B&B pn
Weekends from £405, Midweek from £465, Week from £635
Prices from: £19 - £146 (dorm beds - 6 bed room)
From £65.00 - £199 per night One Bedroom Apartment and £85.00 - £299 per Two Bedroom Apartment
Weekends from £405, Midweek from £465, Week from £635
Sleep 4 £460 - £795 a week, Sleep 6 £650 - £1180 a week depending on time of year
From £389 per week
from £80 per night for two, £150 per weekend, £300 per week
One Bedroom Apartments from £60.00. Two Bedroom from £90.00
One bedroom apartment from £65.00 pernight, 2 bedroom apartment from £85.00 per night
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
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).
Higher Westcott Farm
What happens when you take a three-century-old granite Dartmoor longhouse and add a graphic designer (Sam) and former Conran restaurant front-of-house manager (Jo)? Something quite extraordinary: you create a cottage with the charm of the country and the panache of the hippest London interiors. Available to rent as a whole (five bedrooms plus child’s room) or part (three double bedrooms), for a night or a fortnight, this cosy yet chic lair is beautifully remote in the north-east of the national park, yet easily accessible from Exeter and the M5. Rooms exude contemporary luxury, with Egyptian cotton sheets and duck-down duvets, while retaining the original period character of the house, with exposed beams, oak furniture and a huge stone fireplace in the dining room. Food – proudly local, much organic – and wines can be provided. There’s a wonderful walled garden, too. From £700 per night.
Gospenheale Farm has been in the same family since 1925 – guests can join in a free guided tour of the farm and learn about the farm’s history. Enter into a big open plan living area with exposed oak A-frames, a big family kitchen and French doors onto a large garden. Upstairs, bedrooms have Cornish slate floors and big oak beds, and stylish bathrooms. Care and thought have been poured into every aspect of this restoration, and the emphasis is on local, from the local materials used throughout to the artwork by local artists on the walls. Lose yourself in the myriad country lanes, wander the patchwork of fields and hedgerows surrounding the property or curl up in front of the wood-burner. From £450 per week.
Take the 510 bus from Exeter St Davids to Launceston, the village in which the cottage is located. Launceston is also on Route 327 on the National Cycle Network.
The fact that this pretty, thatch-roofed hotel is Danish-owned shines through. Hillside prides itself on its painstakingly crisp service and, with its light, neutral décor, bleached wood garden furniture and individual goose down duvets on double beds, this 12-bedroom bolthole wouldn’t look out of place in an episode of Borgen. The only thing that doesn’t whisper Nordic, in fact, is the food. The hotel’s chef is French and his Gallic-inspired dinners are well worth booking ahead for, though late diners beware; seatings are available between 7pm and 8pm only. Single rooms from £65, doubles from £140, B&B.
Get there by bus: Bus route 3. Nearest stop: Mitchell Avenue.
In the heart of the National Park in the pretty village of Appletreewick, Masons Campsite makes a lovely base. Bring your own tent or caravan but if you’d like something a little more glam opt for an airstream vintage caravan or you could always rent a tent on site instead.
Keepers Cottage Holidays
With roses around the windows, a tea tray with homemade cake, an acre of garden, quiet seating areas and crunchy gravel drives, these two converted outbuildings, one with two bedrooms, one with one, are as welcoming as a beloved granny. There’s a village shop just five minutes’ walk away. You could happily hole up here for a week, reading the papers and enjoying the peace or use it as a base from which to explore Castle Howard, the Howardian Hills and much more. Slingsby is easy to reach by public transport. From £220 per week.
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
Kingswood & Devoran Hotel
Just a stone’s throw from the beach, this 49-room hotel is an old favourite that has had a clean, modern makeover but retains some of its Victorian charm. Rooms are simple but comfortable and, when you’re sitting on your south-facing balcony with the sound of the sea on pebbles, who needs all the frills? This is a good-value, no-nonsense hotel for those who like to be near the beach and the town. From £70 per night.
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.
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.
Moorhouse Guest House
Follow in the footsteps of royals and celebrities (including Bing Crosby!) who have stayed in this gorgeous traditional country lodge in the Nidderdale AONB, on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales, 20 minutes from Harrogate. Built of creamy York stone and surrounded by rolling fields, the house has five double or twin rooms with views of Dallowgill Moor and unspoilt countryside. The award-winning breakfasts offer a huge choice from pancakes to a full English and afternoon tea and dinner are available on request – and there’s a great local pub the Drovers’ Inn, one of the smallest in England, just next door.
Prince Hall Hotel
An 18th-century mansion in the shadow of Laughter Tor, Prince Hall has had a chequered history since the earliest known property was built here in 1443. Today it’s a charming country house hotel, its eight en-suite bedrooms, each with individual style and character (one with four-poster), all named for Dartmoor tors and offering sweeping views over the high moors or the historic courtyard. The award-winning restaurant serves innovative cuisine using the freshest local (some homegrown) ingredients, and spa treatments are available. Wildlife expert Richard Hibbert is on hand to provide guided walks introducing the moor’s birds and animals. Doubles from £120 B&B, shepherd’s hut from £110 (sleeps two; discounts for stays of two nights or more).
Tocketts Mill Country Park & Restaurant
In regal country park settings, enjoy the grand landscapes of North Yorkshire, plus access to one of its finest country restaurants and an historic working water mill, whilst staying in a top of the range holiday home. With every modern comfort and all the finest fittings, these offer a home away from home experience within easy reach of all the North York Moors have to offer: the site itself is set in ancient woodland home to everything from deer to owls and kingfishers. Holidays home from £325 per week
A granite barn converted in simple but elegant style, this charming cottage on the outskirts of Lydford sleeps five in three bedrooms – a double, a twin and a single. With oak beams, stone floors and granite walls, evidence of its heritage is embedded in the fabric of the building, but updated with underfloor heating, sleek bathrooms and mod cons such as dishwasher and flatscreen TV. The wide glass doors of the comfy living room fold back to reveal superb views across to Widgery Cross and Great Links Tor, and with flowerbeds, hedges and wildflower areas managed to encourage insects and birds, there’s plenty to see from your seat. And if you would prefer to spend your time being a little more active, with your behind on a bicycle seat, then follow The Granite Way which passes through rugged Lydford Gorge. That and Lydford Castle are at hand, and the north-western moors beckon for walkers. From £500 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.
There aren’t many places where you can sit on a sunny terrace and watch marsh harriers cavorting in the air and see ospreys fishing, but this well-heeled B&B overlooking Hawes Water on the edge of Gait Barrows NNR is one of them. It’s an ideal base for exploring the area, situated just outside Silverdale, with plentiful walks from your doorstep and Leighton Moss just a stone’s throw away. The breakfast is a real treat (Alastair Sawday said Charlotte’s scrambled eggs were the best he’s ever tasted and it’s hard to disagree). The comfy social areas and traditional decor (packed with mementos from the owner’s travels) make it feel especially homely.
Silverdale Railway Station is less than a mile away, meaning it is only a 15 minute walk from the station to the B&B, or it is possible to take the 51 bus. Regional Route 90 on the National Cycle Network goes through Silverdale.
A beautifully designed boutique but homely B&B. Fully refurbished in March 2014, each of the 7 rooms are styled in white, with dark oak flooring, and feature works of local and international contemporary art.
Converted from disused milking parlours, machine sheds and storage barns between 2006 and 2009, these eight holiday cottages sleep between 2 and 14 and were designed with sustainability in mind. From incorporating original materials (some of which date back to the 16th century) to installing air-source heat pumps, they aim to be as gentle on the environment as they are on visiting guests. Luxury features include flat-screen TVs, free wifi and kitchens with enough appliances to keep visiting gastronauts seriously busy. And, with the two businesses owned by different family members, guests staying here are treated to a Calbourne Classics welcome pack. From £365 per week for the smallest property.
Get there by bus: Bus route 6. Nearest stop: Church Street, Niton.
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.
Gill Head Farm
Come to Gill Head Farm and, on top of plenty of space for tents and caravans, you'll also find B&B accommodation and six timber camping pods. If you stay in the main camping field you'll be rewarded with fantastic views of Blencathra, a stunning ridge that stretches right down the valley to Keswick. It may be wonderfully secluded, but there's also a range of on-site activities, games and bushcraft courses to keep the kids occupied, as well as a log cabin that boasts a TV lounge and barbeque area. The park is also conveniently close to Ullswater, where you can try your hand at hiking, biking and plenty of other fun stuff.
Roundhouse Barn, Cornwall, England
Relax and unwind at this luxury, multi-award winning 5 star B&B on the unspoilt Roseland Peninsula. The converted 17th Century Cornish stone barns are packed with the latest mod cons and are in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. £115 per room per night including breakfast and cream tea on arrival
The closest railway station is Truro, which has regular services from all over the country. From the station, take the 550 bus to St Just In Roseland, opposite Trethem Turn (ask the driver). It is then a 40 minute walk along the B3289 road to find the barn. Alternatively, you could organise a taxi from Truro station via TrainTaxi. Also nearby is Route 3 on the National Cycle Network.
Ashfield Cottages & Caravan Park
Everything about these charming stone cottages says ‘country’, from pine dressers and Rayburn cookers to the subtly floral style and the light flooding in from the lush gardens. Three units offer accommodation for between three and eight people, with well-equipped kitchens and DVD players for damp days and cosy evenings in. Best, though, is what’s on the doorstep: the steam-powered North Yorkshire Moor Railway chuffing from nearby Pickering, diverse cycling trails spidering through Dalby Forest, and the array of walks from the front gate into the southern moors. The nearby caravan site is simple but sunny and peaceful. Cottages sleeping 3-4/7-8 from £300/£560 per week. Caravan site from £10 per night.
Kale Pot Cottage
This renovated 18th century barn sits in 3 acres of land with spectacular moorland views in the heart of the National Park, but within striking distance of York and the coast. The North York Moor’s network of cycle and walking paths can be accessed directly from the front door, and a haven of tranquillity can be found both inside, outside, and around the property – which has been finished with real attention to detail, including local spring water on tap! From £325 per week
The Spa Hotel
Take a relaxing break in the lovely, traditional seaside resort of Saltburn-by-the-Sea and stay in stylish, well-appointed rooms at the Spa Hotel. With a range of different, individually designed rooms and glorious sea views, this family run hotel has recently been refurbished, and prides itself on its helpful nature and great line up of events. The beach is just across the road, and the rest of the Yorkshire coast and adjacent North York Moors are within easy striking distance. From £75 per night B&B based on 2 people sharing
Following a recent extension and refurbishment project, Howe Keld has quickly garnered a reputation for offering modern, award-winning bed and breakfast accommodation only a short hop from Keswick and Lake Derwentwater. The owners have also installed a new gas condenser boiler, dual flush toilets and a range of other green initiatives to improve sustainability and have been awarded a GTBS Gold award for their efforts. Much of the furniture in the bedrooms and suites has been constructed by a local craftsman using local, naturally felled hardwoods. During breakfast the emphasis is very much placed on local produce, with the likes of home baked organic bread and locally sourced meats peppering the menu.
The Nightingale Centre
A venue with a difference! Whether you want to hold a conference or outdoor pursuits weekend for friends, get married or have family reunion, this holiday and conference centre provides a relaxed and informal setting for all types of large get togethers. The 28 bedrooms are simply decorated, and there's a library, children's play area, sports field and table tennis. The owners are passionate about offering home cooked food, with locally-sourced ingredients including produce from their own vegetable patch. It's location on the boundary of the Dark and White Peaks means it’s a great base for walkers to explore the beautiful and varied Peak District landscape, as well as being close to many attractions.
Take the train to Hope railway station. From there, take the 173 bus to Great Hucklow. From there you can walk easily to the Centre.
As romantic boltholes go, Spears Cross takes some beating: a 15th-century cottage in the medieval village of Dunster, nestled below its imperious castle – an arrival on the steam-powered West Somerset Railway is the icing on the cake. This is luxurious history, though: each of the four en-suite rooms (one suite) is furnished with a deluxe king-size bed, flatscreen TV, Bose music system, goose-down duvets and feather pillows, fluffy bathrobes, Penhaligon’s toiletries, wine decanter (full!) and old-world charm to delight the most demanding guest. For true local flavour, try the ‘Dunster Toast’ baked with organic flour from the village’s 17th-century watermill. Guests arriving by public transport enjoy a 10% discount. Doubles from £93 B&B (minimum two-night stay).
The nearest railway station is Bishop's Lydeard. From the station, take the 28 bus to Marsh Street. It is then a short walk along the High Street to Spears Cross. It is worthwhile using public transport to arrive in order to take advantage of the 10% discount. If you wish to cycle, follow the Regional Route 51 on the National Cycle Network, and then follow the local routes to Dunster.
Book one of the seven en-suite guest rooms in this stately Jacobean manor house and you’ll find each one has its own period charm, whether that’s a clawfoot bath or ancient panelling. Communal areas include a woodburner-equipped sitting room and visitors are welcome to try their hand at the grand piano or 18th century pipe organ. Outside there’s a tennis court and fifteen acres of gardens. The latter, which includes a walled kitchen garden, has been recognised as a site of historic importance by English Heritage. Breakfasts include locally made honey and jam and, for evening meals, there’s the local pub, a five-minute stroll away through the grounds. Doubles from £90, B&B.
Get there by bus: Bus route 12. Nearest stop: Crown Inn.
A modern B&B overlooking quaint, cobbled St Ives. Individually decorated bedrooms mix traditional touches with modern flourishes: brass beds, dressing tables, tie-back curtains and flat screen TVs; two have balconies with far-reaching sea views. Breakfast in the sunny dining room is a strictly Cornish affair. The lovely garden encourages wildlife so don’t forget to pack your binoculars – note your sightings in the B&B’s wildlife diary. A restful retreat, great for couples seeking a quiet getaway within striking distance of lively St Ives. From £86 for two.
The closest railway station is St Erth, which has services from London Paddington, although there are limited services here. Therefore, where possible, arrangements can be made to collect guests arriving at St. Ives station. Arrangements can also be made to collect guests from St Ives bus station, which has a National Express stop. Also nearby are Route 3 and the Cornish Way on the National Cycle Network.
Suffolk Yurt Holidays
This idyllic site is tucked away in a quiet corner of the Suffolk countryside, surrounded by wildflower meadows, quiet lanes and historic villages. There are five hand crafted yurts available, each sleeping up to four adults or two adults and two children, on two extra thick, double bed futons. Throw open the doors and you’ll find a warm and inviting interior with rugs, soft throws, cushions and a wood burning stove complete with a complimentary basket of wood on your arrival. Every aspect has been thought through to minimise the environmental aspect of the business, from using 100% renewable electricity and low water use showers, taps and loos to locally sourced firewood and eco friendly cleaning products. There’s also plenty to visit in the local area, from nature reserves and beaches to the shops and markets of Woodbridge and Walberswick.
More holidays in England
£945 pp (based on 2 people sharing)
Adult Prices: £45 - £49, Discount Prices: £42 - £46
£565 pp (based on 2 people sharing)
From £715 (based on two people sharing)
£450 (based on two people sharing)
£395 pp (based on 2 people sharing)
Adult prices: £89 - £99 Discount prices: £83 - £89
£565 pp (based on 2 people sharing)
£455 pp (based on 2 people sharing)
From £245 (tour only)
£20.00 per person per night.
£265 pp (based on 2 people sharing)
£395.00 pp (based on 2 people sharing)
£1295 pp (based on 2 people sharing)
From £365 per person based on two people sharing
£20.00 per person per night.