10 green weekend boltholes
10 eco-friendly hideaways you can reach without flying...
1. Bryn Elltyd Guesthouse, North Wales
Leave Euston train station just before 4pm and you'll be sitting down to dinner at 8.30pm in the heart of Snowdonia. This cosy solar-powered B&B is at the foot of the Moelwyn mountain range in the centre of the National Park. From £24 per person (01766 831356, Bryn Elltyd). The train from Euston to Blaenau Ffestiniog via Llandudno Junction costs from £31 rtn (trainline.co.uk).
2. Romany caravan, West Wales
A restored Gypsy caravan and cabin tucked away in a riverside meadow inland from Cardigan Bay. From £89 (for two) for two nights (romanycaravan.com).
3. Ecocabin, Shropshire
A single-storey self-catering cabin in the south Shropshire Hills, nine miles from Craven Arms mainline train station. From £420 a week, or from £90 a night (minimum two nights) for four (01547 530183, ecocabin.co.uk).
4. Huntingtower Lodge, Scotland
Overlooks Loch Linnhe, just a few minutes from Fort William and the gateway to Ben Nevis. The lodge is gold-rated in the Green Tourism Business Scheme. From £70 plus £5pp for breakfast (01397 700079, huntingtower.co.uk). Take the sleeper (from £112 return, firstscotrail.com) from Euston to Fort William.
5. La Sablonnerie Hotel, Sark
Large guesthouse on the car-free island. From £30pp B&B (01481 832061, lasablonnerie.com). Take the fast ferry from Weymouth to Guernsey (2 hours, 20 mins) from £83 return (0870 243 5140, condorferries.co.uk), then the 45-min ferry to Sark (01481 724059, sarkshipping.info).
6. L'Hôtel Les Orangeries, France
An environmentally sensitively restored 18th-century farmhouse in the village of Lussac-Les-Chateaux in the west of France. A room costs from €65 or an apartment (for 4-5) costs from €115, including electric bike hire (00 33 5 49 84 07 07, lesorangeries.fr). Eurostar to Paris from £59 rtn (eurostar.co.uk), then a 90-min train ride from Paris Montparnasse to Poitiers from €19 single (sncf.co.uk) then a 30-min local train to Lussac.
7. Mustard Seed, Eco Lodge Ireland
A large kitchen garden supplies all the veg and herbs for the organic restaurant at this large country hotel in south-west Ireland. A room costs €90, dinner €57 (00 353 69 68508, mustardseed.ie). Take the train from Euston to Holyhead and ferry across to Dublin with Sailrail from £50 rtn (08450 755755, sailrail.co.uk), then train to Charleville from where it's a taxi ride to the lodge.
8. Ecolodge, Lincolnshire
A wind-powered B&B in Old Leake, just six miles from the sea marshes where there's bird watching, cycling and walking. Take the train to Boston, where pick up can be arranged. Fri-Mon costs £170 plus £5pp per stay (01205 871396, internationalbusinessschool.net).
9. Strattons, Norfolk
A family run country house near the market town of Swaffham. Restaurant food is organic, and there's a 10% reduction if you arrive by public transport. A room costs from £150 (01760 723845, strattons-hotel.co.uk).
10. Bloomfield House, Bath
Full English breakfasts are organic, fair-traded and provided by local suppliers. Bloomfield is just outside the city centre and is a 25-minute walk to Bath's geothermal heated spa (thermaebathspa.com). From £70 B&B (01225 420105, ecobloomfield.com).
This article, by Richard Hammond, was first published in the Guardian.
For more details of eco accommodation within England, Wales and Scotland, follow the links provided below: