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15 Green Places to Stay in Britain

Posted by Richard Hammond at 06:25 on Wednesday 01 February 2012

Our pick of the best eco-friendly places to stay in Britain

The Dome House, Lake District (above) 
A contemporary and stylish boutique B&B in the heart of the Lake District, with stunning views of Lake Windermere. Ideally based for walking, climbing and other outdoor activities, and walking distance from local pubs and restaurants.

Its elevated position means it has fantastic views of Lake Windermere; each bedroom has a balcony from where you can enjoy these views. Guest suites are contemporary and open plan, with a mix of twentieth century furniture and modern fittings; each comes with a kitchenette if you want to self-cater. Healthy breakfast hampers are delivered every morning to your room.
Rooms: 3 suites, all with kitchenette.
Price: From £70 per room, per night (breakfast included)
>> See the full listing for The Dome House 

The award-winning Strattons Hotel and Restaurant, Swaffham, Norfolk. Photo Richard HammondThe award-winning Strattons Hotel and Restaurant, Swaffham, Norfolk. Photo Richard Hammond

Strattons Hotel, Norfolk (above)
This family-run country house near the market town of Swaffham in the Brecks sets the standard for eco-friendly boutique hotels. The owners have turned a grade II-listed building into a swirl of colour. Choose between 10 themed rooms, including the 'theatrical red room' with a four-poster bed and fireplace, and the 'boudoir' with wallpaper splashed with renaissance art print. The food in the restaurant is from Norfolk and all the hotel's waste is recycled. You will receive a 10 per cent discount if you arrive by public transport. 

Getting there: Take the train to King's Lynn then hop on the local X-1 bus from Peterborough which stops right outside the door. Rooms cost from £150.
>> See the full listing for Strattons Hotel

Natural Retreats Yorkshire Dales, EnglandNatural Retreats Yorkshire Dales, EnglandNatural Retreats, Yorkshire Dales (above)
The Dales may be the heartland of traditional Yorkshire, but these eight new cottages overlooking Swaledale are a glimpse of how sustainable holidays might look in the future. A mile from the market town of Richmond, the single-storey houses are tucked beneath a wooded hillside. The cottages have sloping roofs planted with grasses and their south-facing floor-to-ceiling double-glazed windows allow light to flood in. All water comes from a natural spring, you are given an organic hamper including wine on arrival and there is a wood burner to cosy up to after your day out.
· A cottage for six costs from £315 for three nights. 
>> See the full listing for Natural Retreats, Yorkshire 

Blue Reef Cottages, Isle of Harris, Hebrides, ScotlandBlue Reef Cottages, Isle of Harris, Hebrides, ScotlandBlue Reef Cottages, Isle of Harris Overlooking a vast sandy beach, these two remote cottages (each sleeping two) are rated five-star by the Scottish Tourist Board. Open the door to find a hamper of local produce (black pudding, jam and shortcake) plus a bottle of champagne on ice. The cottage's turf roofs curve into the landscape and provide added insulation to keep in the heat from the cosy wood-burning stove. Everything is recycled and the owners have planted 3,500 native trees on the croft. It's a 10-minute walk to a great restaurant and there are boat trips outo the islands around Harris.

Getting there: Take the train to Mallaig (08457 55 00 33; www.firstscotrail.com), catch the ferry to Skye, bus to Uig, then ferry to Harris (www.calmac.co.uk). 
Price: Blue Reef costs from £780 a week for two. Costs from £780 a week for two.
>> See the full listing for Blue Reef Cottages

Langdon Beck, North Pennines In the heart of Teesdale, Langdon Beck is the YHA's greenest hostel. A wind turbine and photo-voltaic panels generate more than 60 per cent of the 31-bed hostel's power, while solar panels heat the water. Sheep's wool and recycled newspapers provide the insulation and rainwater is harvested from the roof. From the dining room/lounge there are superb views over the moors and you are close to the 70ft 'High Force' - England's highest waterfall. Evening meals are served in the hostel, which also has a range of local real ales and organic wines. 
· A bed costs from £12. 01629 592708; www.yha.org.uk. Take the train to Darlington, Arriva 75/76 bus to Middleton-in Teesdale then Upper Teesdale bus link 73 (www.traveline.org.uk). 

Toddler-friendly Higher Lank is a 500-year old farm near Bodmin, Cornwall.Toddler-friendly Higher Lank is a 500-year old farm near Bodmin, Cornwall.Higher Lank Farm, Cornwall This one is for kids. In fact, you can go there only if you have children under five. It is a 500-year-old working farm near Bodmin Parkway train station offering B&B in the farmhouse or self-catering in a barn. Everything is provided - books, games and jigsaw puzzles, hundreds of videos, cots, baby carriers and spare buggies and babysitters in the evening; even reusable nappies are lent free of charge and cleaned. A tractor trip takes the kids to the Camel river to look for eels and baby salmon.
· A double room with two cots (or single beds) costs from pounds 291 per family for four nights. Dinner £16 per person, nursery tea £4.50 per child. The two self-catering barns (the largest sleeping up to four adults and five children) cost from £495 a week.
>> See the full listing for Higher Lank Farm

Southwaite Green, Cumbria Four new converted farm cottages have opened at the western edge of the Lake District. The rooms have been laid with slate and oak floors and an innovative underfloor heating system uses heat from the ground. The sheets and towels are made from organic cotton and local Cumbrian craftsmen have supplied some of the furnishings - made from sustainable timber. Loweswater and Crummock lakes are within a 20-minute walk. · A cottage costs from £590 for seven nights and a three-night break, out of season, costs from £320. 01228 599960; www.cumbrian-cottages.co.uk. Ten per cent of profits go to supporting sustainable development projects in poor countries.

Deepdale Farm, Norfolk A 1,300-acre working farm with an 80-pitch campsite, a basic backpackers hostel for up to 50 and a converted granary for groups of up to 18. The hostel and toilet blocks have solar-powered underfloor heating. The farm is close to beaches and saltmarshes of the north Norfolk coast, including Blakeney Point for bird-watching and the chance to see common and grey seals.
· Camping costs from £4.50 per person; a room in the hostel costs from pounds 10.50 a night. 01485 210256; www.deepdalefarm.co.uk. Take the train to King's Lynn then taken the Coasthopper bus (www.norfolkgreen.co.uk), which drops you off at the farm. 

Trelowarren is tucked away in woodland on the Lizard Peninsular, CornwallTrelowarren is tucked away in woodland on the Lizard Peninsular, CornwallTrelowarren, Cornwall (above)
Deep in woodland, a mile from any road on the south coast's Lizard peninsula, Trelowarren sits in one of Europe's top five botanical sites. Two 16th-century thatched cottages, an 18th-century house and a barn have been restored, while eight new cottages have been built, mainly using locally sourced or recycled materials. All the new properties and an outdoor pebble-lined pool are heated by a vast woodchip boiler fuelled by coppicing from the estate; most of the fish, game and herbs used in Trelowarren's restaurant come from with 10 miles of the estate. 
· A self-catering cottage for four at Trelowarren costs from £425 a week.
>> See the full listing for Trelowarren

Bloomfield House, Bath A grade II-listed Georgian building billed as Bath's first eco-hotel. According to the owner, the building's protected status means it has not been possible to install wind turbines and solar panels, so it is down to the little things to make a difference. The rooms have hand-woven silk curtains, four-poster beds and antique furniture and the hotel has a strict recycling policy. You can expect the full English breakfast to be made fair-trade and organic produce from local suppliers, including sausages from Bath's farmers' market and honey from a local beekeeper. The owner runs his 4x4 on filtered vegetable oil and offers 10 per cent discount if you arrive by public transport or in a car that drinks the same kind of oily nectar. 
· Rooms from £70 B&B. 01225 420105; www.ecobloomfield.com. 

Bryn Elltyd Guest House, North Wales At this lakeside B&B at the foot of the Moelwyn mountain range in the heart of the Snowdonia National Park, solar collectors heat the water and the wood burner is fuelled by wood from the grounds. The food is all local - organic lamb and beef from Ty Isaf Ffestiniog and pork from Llanfrothen. The owner is a qualified mountain guide and runs guided walks and 'scrambling' in the national park. It's just a mile to the train station at Blaenau Ffestiniog and 100 yards to Tanygrisiau train station, from where you can catch the Ffestiniog narrow gauge railway through the mountains to the harbour at Porthmadog. 
· A night at Bryn Elltyd costs from £24 per person B&B. Dinner costs £14. 01766 831356; www.accommodation-snowdonia.com

Mesmear, Cornwall The stone-and-slate facade of this stylish 18th-century mill conversion near Polzeath on the north Cornish coast is typical of the region's farm buildings, yet the interior is another world. The rooms have been designed to create a sense of 'loft-style living' while the decor is eclectic eco-chic: rattan chairs, bean bags and wooden tables. Underfloor heating is provided by geothermal energy, which saves the property 12 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions a year, and a wood-burning stove will top up the heat. An underground spring provides drinking water and fills the solar-heated outdoor swimming pool. 
· The Mill (sleeps 10) costs from £3,200 a week full board, including housekeeper/cook; the barn (sleeps four) costs from £1,005 self-catering. 01208 869731; www.mesmear.co.uk

Loch Ossian Hostel, Scottish Highlands Those in London can catch the sleeper train from Euston just after 9pm and wake up the next morning in the heart of the Scottish Highlands. After breakfast at Corrour station it's just a mile to the spectacular Loch Ossian - just enough of a walk to wipe away the sleep from the journey and pinch yourself. The hostel is on Rannoch Moor in a clump of birch and rowan trees overlooking the loch. There are two dorms and a fully equipped kitchen that's powered by a combination of wind turbine and solar panels. Climb up the 3,100ft Munro (Carn Dearg) and you are likely to see deer, red squirrels and pine martens.
· A bed costs £13.50 per person or you can rent the entire hostel for up to 20 people from £225 a night. 0870 1 553255; www.syha.org.uk. Sleeper train from Euston to Corrour costs from £112 return (08457 55 00 33; www.firstscotrail.com)

The Eco Lodge, Lincolnshire A small, innovative B&B in eight acres of woodland in Old Leake, Lincolnshire. The lodge was built using local wood and is powered by a large wind generator. Cook on a wood-burning range in the kitchen or outside on the BBQ - fuelled by the owner's homemade charcoal. The lodge, which looks out over a pop lar-lined meadow, is close to Route 1 of the National Cycle Network.
· A week at the lodge costs £340 plus a one-off £5 supplement per person. Friday to Monday costs £170 plus a £5 supplement per person. 01205 871396; http://www.ecolodge.me.uk. Travel by train to Boston from where you can arrange to be picked up by the owner. 

Available to stay in: Griff Rhys Jones's old cottage on the Strumble Head peninsula in PembrokeshireAvailable to stay in: Griff Rhys Jones's old cottage on the Strumble Head peninsula in Pembrokeshire

Trehilyn Isaf, Pembrokeshire  is the greenest of a growing number of properties let by Welsh social enterprise company 'Under the Thatch'. The firm aims to restore derelict buildings as year-round holiday lets. Trehilyn Isaf has carbon-neutral central heating and sheep's wool insulation, but as the owner, Greg Stevenson, says, there is 'not a hippy sniff about it'. There are all mod cons and the living room has a TV, DVD player and a wood-burner is fuelled by sustainably managed forests. There are two bedrooms and two bathrooms. Trehilyn Uchaf, next door can also be rented if you have a larger group.
Trehilyn Isaf costs from £209 for a weekend. 
>> See the full listing for Trehiln Isaf 

>> For other great green places to stay in Britain, see:

Green Accommodation in England | Green Accommodation in Scotland | Green Accommodation in Wales

By Richard Hammond.


Eco Lake District

Anybody taking a holiday in the UK could consider themselves as taking an eco friendly holiday when comparing to that of going abroad, air miles and increased pollution. However if cheap flights abroad didn't exist and you were comparing an eco holiday in the Lake District to that of a non eco Lake District holiday then what should you look out for? There are many different levels from camping, lodges built from sustainable material, to <a href="http://www.lakedistrict-stay.co.uk/search/all-regions/all-towns/Holiday-Cottages/all-villages/all-specialities/">lake district holiday cottages</a> with discounts for leaving your car at home and taking the bus or the train... It basically comes down to the individual on how much they are prepared to sacrifice or how much satisfaction they get from knowing they are being environmentally friendly and unfortunately in the current economic climate, i am afraid the cost is once again increasingly become more important than carbon footprints.

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Food Miles

Where did your food come from?
A question that is becoming increasingly important to a large number of people.
Thanks to the prominence of celebrity chefs on TV these days, many people are becoming more aware of what they are eating and more importantly, where it has come from.

Meat eaters are now conscious of how the animal was reared, the conditions it was kept in and how it was slaughtered. Not to mention the 'green' issue of food-miles - how far it has travelled to be on their plate.

It's good news then that hotel owners in the Lake District are so keen to serve up local produce. They are, of course, spoilt for choice as the Lakeland landscape has a high number of quality farms producing some of the best animals and meat in the whole of the UK. One hotel owner is even going to the extent of rearing his own herd of pure-bred Wagyu cattle to provide luxury steaks for visitors to his <a href="http://www.bestlakesbreaks.co.uk">Lake District hotels.</a>

Wagyu or Kobe-style beef is famed for being the "Caviar of the meat world" and the cattle are the most pampered in the world being fed on the national drink Sake to ensure they produce a tender, succulent meat which can also help those on low cholesterol diets.

Commendable that a hotelier, whose farm already produces a range of rare breed and free range pedigree livestock to supply his hotel kitchens including off-spring from Beatrix Potter's original Herdwick Sheep, as well Saddleback Pigs and French Maran hens, should go to such lengths to ensure the highest quality of produce whilst remaining as environmentally friendly as possible.


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Peak District Green Tourism

The Derbyshire and Peak District region has many places and experiences to discover. The Peak District National Park encompasses areas of Staffordshire to the south, Derbyshire, reaching into Yorkshire at its northern boundary and with slices of Cheshire to the west. Being centrally located in the middle of England it is the perfect region for Peak District Cottages, short breaks as well as longer holidays.

Since its inception in 1997 the Green Tourism Business Scheme has been championing sustainable tourism in the UK and Derbyshire, and has become the largest and most successful scheme of its type in the world. Its aim is to ensure that the UK remains at the forefront of sustainable tourism.

For pretty towns and interesting shopping you shouldn’t miss Buxton , Ashbourne, Leek and Bakewell (for its puddings!). And don’t forget that ‘The Potteries’ are just south of the Peak District, where you can find bargains in the factory shops and also take behind the scenes factory tours at some of the great names such as Wedgwood and Spode.


Green Tourism in the Lake District

Green tourism is becoming a focus for many people who want to a more environmentally conscious holiday. Taking your holiday in the UK is the first step. A carbon emissions produced when not flying to a destination is very low and even lower should a form of public transport be taken. The facts are quite astonishing. For example travelling by train from London to Windermere will restrict your CO2 emissions to just 0.07 tonnes. Compare this with 2 return flights from Manchester to Malaga and your CO2 emissions will increase to 1.12 tonnes.

The Virgin West Coast Mainline is perfect for visiting Windermere. Whilst in Windermere there are endless activities and a huge number of Windermere hotels to stay in. The West Coast Mainline stops at Oxenholme – The Lake District station where a direct connection to Windermere can be found. Many environmentally conscious hotels in Windermere will collect a guest from the station to encourage this greener method of travelling.

The Lake District is seeing an increase in its tourism related businesses taking a more serious look at their energy consumption and resulting carbon footprint. The larger Windermere hotels and leisure complexes obviously have the most to do due to many having heated swimming pools, saunas, and Jacuzzis but the smaller hotels in the Lake District can still do a lot for the environment. There is help in the form of CBEN, the Cumbria Business Environment Network and supporting tourism partnerships. CBEN provide an awards system in grades of bronze, silver and gold. They send out an environmental consultant who assesses what the environmental practices are at present and then they develop an Environment Management System (EMS). This is then adhered to and shows the commitment that business has to the environment. These awards are especially good for tourism related businesses in the Lake District as a high number of visitors to the Lake District want to conserve its beauty and take green tourism seriously.

A national accreditation for business environmental practices is the ISO14001. The ISO14001 proves a company’s environmental credentials which in this day and age enhances the corporate image and actually saves the company or organisation money by reducing energy consumption. This requires far more investigation and costs more to achieve but for the larger Lake District hotels, it is a very worthwhile procedure.

A Lake District Hotel with a Sustainable Future

The Langdale Estate in the Lake District has taken a further step forward in the quest to create a sustainable tourism destination.

A 250Kw biomass fuelled boiler has been installed at The Langdale Estate replacing the four LPG boilers that previously supplied the heating and hot water on site. Reducing LPG dependency not only reduces the carbon footprint of a business but also has the ability to save on the high cost and the volatility of pricing that using LPG entails.

“The decision to use Woodfuel was initially brought about by the cost savings involved and a wish to reduce our reliance on LPG. The type of woodfuel we chose, chip rather than pellets, was motivated by a wish to use a locally sourced product that would reduce our Carbon Footprint further, whilst benefiting not only the local economy but also local woodlands and their biodiversity.” Nick Lancaster, Langdale Estate.

The Langdale Estate provides luxury Lake District hotels, spa, timeshare and self catering holiday accommodation. As a tourism facility situated in the heart of an area of outstanding natural beauty, The Langdale Estate management team is striving to balance the requirements of its visitors with the sensitivities of the local and wider environment. The Biomass boiler project is part of an overall Corporate Social and Environmental Responsibility policy that has been adopted at Langdale with the aim of creating a sustainable tourism destination and as an ethical employer.

The Langdale management team have taken a conscious decision to enable safe access for the purposes of demonstrating the various processes of taking raw timber and converting it into heat for the hotel. There is a safe viewing area in the wood processing/storage areas at Birch Hill Wood. Viewing panels have been fitted in the on-site fuel bunker with safe access to the main boiler for guided visits further enhancing The Langdale Estate as one the most environmentally conscious hotels in the Lake District.

Further information regarding the Biomass project can be found at http://www.langdale.co.uk/environment/index.htm

Green Places to Stay in Ceredigion Wales

Think of a holiday or short break in Wales, and many people straight away consider those destinations that are most well known by name. Pembrokeshire Coast and Gower in the South, Snowdonia in the north, and the Brecon Beacons in the middle. But there is another beautiful, and largely unspoilt region sitting on the west coast of Wales that does not immediately spring to mind for many people wanting to enjoy a truely stunning countryside and coastal break in an area of unspoilt beauty. Ceredigion!! It doesn’t easily roll off the tongue, it rarely springs to mind as an area to search for green tourism.

Probably better known by its previous identity of Cardiganshire, Ceredigion has waited patiently for its time to spring forward as a destination of choice, a truely beautiful gem. With an award winning heritage coastline, dolphin families swimming in Cardigan Bay, isolated coves that provide shelter for seals, this is an area lesser known.

Closer than you think!! Far enough away to be completely immersed in an area steeped in local culture, language, foods and working, open farmland. Many of the holiday cottages are eco-friendly, green destinations because they sit within farms and smallholdings where home-grown foods and fruits are an integral part of our daily life. Our land and the way it is managed is organic and sensitive to the seasons and nature. Because the way in which we live considers nature and natural resources, our holiday cottages are an extension of that philosophy. Green issues and conservation are at the heart of this relatively unknown area of Wales.

In many respects, Ceredigion is possibly fortunate that it has been unknown for so long, because we don’t have the mass tourism that would spoil this quiet, natural and beautiful area. What we do have is a green pearl – only to be enjoyed by those who will respect and appreciate the greeness of this area.

Why not give us a try?
Closer than you think!!

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