15 Green Places to Stay in Britain
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
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 (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
Eco-Cabin, Shropshire This single-storey wooden lodge in the Shropshire Hills may look like it has been plucked from Scandinavia but it is the vision of the local owner. The cabin is built out of wood, wool, reeds, lime and clay, and most of the furnishings are from a community recycling scheme or have been plucked from a local junk shop. The lodge has solar power and a wood-pellet stove to heat the snug living room. You can also order a delivery of local organic food and hire bikes can be delivered to the cabin by Wheelywonderfulcycling.co.uk.
Getting there: Take the train to Craven Arms (www.nationalrail.co.uk), from where you can arrange to be collected by the owner.
Ecoabin costs from £420 a week or £90 a night (minimum two nights) for four.
>> See the full listing for Ecocabin
Blue 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).
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, 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
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; www.internationalbusinessschool.net/eco-lodge. Travel by train to Boston from where you can arrange to be picked up by the owner.
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:
By Richard Hammond.