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Pear Lodge Barrow Farm Barns
The Coach House Dumfries and Galloway
Tilia treehouse
Portavadie apartment living room
Unigar Cottages
Darwin Forest Lodges
Treeopia treehouse
Peak District millstone

Eco staycations

in the UK

A UK staycation will be the holiday choice for many in 2021. Choose an eco-friendly self-catering property and enjoy a sustainable stay

As lockdown begins to ease across the UK, many people are turning their thoughts to when they might be able to take a holiday.

Within England, domestic holidays can restart from 12 April, with people allowed to stay away from home overnight – but only with other members of their household, or bubble, and only in self-contained accommodation, such as a holiday cottage.

In Scotland, many self-catering holiday providers are taking bookings for holidays from 26 April – this is the earliest date that people will be able to take an overnight stay, although the date has not yet been confirmed by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. Again, only guests from the same household, or bubble, will be allowed to holiday together.

It has not yet been confirmed when holiday-makers from England and Wales be allowed to cross over the border to take a break in Scotland.

Due to the ongoing coronavirus situation, events and businesses may not be operating as advertised – and the situation is ever-changing. Please check directly with operators before booking.

Read more about the Covid-19 travel rules.

If you're planning a holiday in the UK this year, why not try an eco-friendly option? We've put together a selection of our favourite self-catering cottages, lodges and treehouses in England and Scotland.

Many of these have a range of environmental and sustainable policies and practices in place – including reducing environmental impact, supporting the local economy and promoting green living to guests. Others offer superb access to green spaces, nature and wildlife.

They may also have received a Green Tourism award or Green Key certification.

Landal Darwin Forest Luxury Lodge Holidays, Peak District, Derbyshire

Beautiful eco-friendly lodges, made locally from sustainable timber and dotted amongst woodland and meadow. Darwin Forest has been awarded the David Bellamy Conservation Scheme Gold Standard for 25 consecutive years, with habitat management to boost biodiversity on site.

The lodges are in an excellent location, with woodland walks on the doorstep and many Peak District attractions – such as Chatsworth House – within a few miles. Green Key certified. Opening from 12 April.

Treeopia, near Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire

Viviana, a large eco-friendly treehouse, is a magical place to stay. Located alongside a Medieval fish pool, it has a private outdoor hot tub and fire pit. The luxurious interior features quality, bespoke, handcrafted furniture, two comfortable bedrooms and underfloor heating throughout.

Viviana is one of two treehouses on site, both constructed using reclaimed, recycled and sustainable materials. Guests receive a welcome pack of locally-produced food.

Treeopia has received We're Good to Go certification, ensuring safer stays for guests through implementation of the Government's COVID-19 guidance.

Dwaradin, Matlock, Derbyshire

This eco-friendly 'tiny house' was inspired by George Clarke's Amazing Spaces – and is just the right size for a couple. Set in the grounds of the owner's home, the property is powered by green energy and features a light and airy open-plan studio room with king-sized bed. There's a compact kitchen with full oven and dishwasher, a dining area, and ensuite shower room. The property is modern, and tastefully decorated in calming, neutral shades inspired by Nordic design. Outside there's a private decked patio with lovely views of nearby Riber Castle, and a two-person hot tub.

Dwaradin is ideally located for a sustainable holiday, with numerous walking routes right from the door. The vibrant town centre of Matlock is also within walking distance. Further afield, explore the Peak District, stock up on locally produced goodies from Chatsworth Farm Shop, or catch the train to nearby Matlock Bath for a wide range of attractions.

Tilia Treehouse, West Lexham, Norfolk

Sleep amongst the trees in Tilia, one of six eco-friendly treehouses at West Lexham. The interior is rustic yet luxurious, with furniture crafted from reclaimed materials, and vintage touches throughout. Sleeps six, in comfortable four-poster beds made from tree branches, and a nest-like mezzanine high up in the rafters. 95 per cent of West Lexham's energy comes from renewable sources, including an on-site biomass boiler.  

West Lexham also offers seven luxurious bell tents, each sleeping up to four, from April to October. The bell tents have access to the communal campsite facilities, including positively palatial, spotlessly clean bathrooms – with masses of hot water, vintage decoration and underfloor heating. One even has a bath! West Lexham will be reopening from 17 May.

Barrow Farm Barns, North Wooton, Somerset

Pear Lodge and Apple Lodge have been built using sustainable materials, with energy-efficient lighting, under-floor heating and good insulation. Inside, they are finished to a superb standard, with two spacious bedrooms and two bathrooms. The grounds are planted up with fruit trees and guests can help themselves to fresh eggs from the chicken coop.

The lodges are ideally located for visiting the Avalon Marshes, a wetland area consisting of a network of nature reserves. Look out for otters and deer, as well as a huge range of birdlife including great crested grebes, kingfishers and herons. The lodges are also within ten minutes of Wells and Glastonbury.

Portavadie, Loch Fyne, Argyll

These luxury apartments and cottages on the beautiful Cowal peninsula in western Scotland are sleek and modern, with superb views. The eco-friendly spa uses renewable energy sources, and policies and practices to reduce the resort's impact on the environment include heating from sustainable biomass and air source heat pumps, green roofs, and use of local food. Portavadie is a Green Tourism Gold Award winner.

Portavadie will be re-opening selected accommodation for guests from Friday 30 April, with pre-booked access for overnight residents to the Leisure Experience Pools. Social distancing measures will be in place, and enhanced cleaning and sanitation procedures have been adopted.

Dwaradin terrace

The Coach House, Durhamhill, Dumfries and Galloway

A beautiful converted coach house, with a grass-roofed extension with colourful spring and summer wildflowers. There's a lovely large, open-plan living area, three pretty bedrooms and three bathrooms. A wind turbine produces electricity, and underfloor heating and hot water are provided via an air exchange heating system.

The property is managed with minimal use of chemicals and is particularly suitable for guests who suffer from allergies. With limited light pollution, The Coach House is a good place for enjoying the night sky – and serious stargazers can visit the Dark Sky Park at Galloway Forest Park, 30 minutes away. Guests will also be delighted by the friendly resident llamas.

Unigar Cottages, Mainland, Orkney

These comfortable, luxury cottages are beautifully furnished and decorated to a very high standard. Unigar Cottages are run using eco-friendly practices to minimise environmental impact, and have been awarded a Green Tourism Gold Award. Trees are being planted around the grounds, and wilder areas are being left so that wildlife can thrive – and there are lots of opportunities for wildlife watching, with owls, hares and corncrakes in the area.

The cottages are in a great location for exploring Mainland Orkney, with almost everything that Mainland has to offer within about a 30-minute drive. There's enough to keep you busy on the island for at least a week – highlights include the ancient houses at Skara Brae, the standing stones of Ring of Brodgar, and numerous spectacular beaches.

Bunloit Farm House Loch Ness

Bunloit Farmhouse, Drumnadrochit

Bunloit Farmhouse sits in a stunning location overlooking Loch Ness. It features a cosy and tasteful interior, with modern kitchen and bathroom, and a cosy living room with lovely views. There are three comfortable bedrooms with excellent quality bedding.

Electricity is powered by wind turbine, and recycling boxes in the kitchen for plastics, glass and cardboard make it easy for guests to minimise their waste. A welcome pack contains local food, including locally produced free-range eggs.

Green Adventures April 2021