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The Best Luxury Eco Staycations to Book Now

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Sumptuous yet sustainable sojourns for the ultimate eco-friendly staycation

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Dreaming of your next getaway (who isn’t?) and intrigued by the UK’s impressive array of eco staycations? Take a trip to one of these notable countryside hotels, from a holiday cottage on the Cornish Coast to a luxury golf and spa hotel in the idyllic Dedham Vale. 

Great British & Irish Hotels 2020/21

The Best Luxury Eco Staycations UK

 

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Glebe House

Glebe House, Devon

Having grown up with his parents running the family home, Glebe House, as a B&B, Hugo Guest is no stranger to hospitality. However, it wasn’t until he experienced agriturismo in Italy that he and his wife Olive were inspired to try it themselves. A few years later, and the couple have transformed the 15-acre property, set in the idyllic rolling hills of east Devon, into a guesthouse with five bedrooms, a smallholding and a restaurant. Local food and a love of the surrounding environment is at the heart of it all, with interiors created by Studio Alexandra, which specialises in sustainably conscious design. The restaurant is helmed by Hugo himself, who retrained as a chef and has worked at London restaurants such as The Marksman and Sorella. Any ingredients not supplied by the farm – seasonal vegetables and rare breed meat – is sourced from neighbouring farms or foraged from the surrounding landscape.

BOOK IT:

From £129 per night B&B. glebehousedevon.co.uk

Old lands

Old Lands, Monmouthshire

Old Lands’ poetic natural beauty and acres of rambling estate in beautiful Monmouthshire has inspired a long line of ecologists and naturalists (that’s an expert in natural history, not a lover of stripping off on beaches – just to clarify).

Not only has it long strived for self-sufficiency (water has been heated with solar power and a walled garden has supplied fruit and vegetables since the Seventies) but biodiversity is a recent focus, and some meadows on the estate have been newly dedicated to rewilding. And if you’re desperate for a lie in after all the home schooling, then the on-site forest school is perfect to keep little ones muddy and entertained with lessons on woodlands and nature. The on-site honesty shop, which supplies local eggs, Old Lands honey and organic vegetables is also a must-visit.

BOOK IT:

From £270 for a two-night weekend in Wood Barn and £460 for a week in low season. old-lands.co.uk

Wilderness Reserve

Wilderness Reserve, Suffolk

Simplicity, old-world wellness and a nostalgia for pastoral England lie at the heart of Wilderness Reserve, a 5,000-acre estate in Suffolk. The project began nearly 20 years ago, spearheaded by landscape architect Kim Wilkie. And although it was more of a landscaping than a rewilding venture, the restoration has worked wonders for attracting new or returning wildlife to the area. There are now over 130 different bird species in residence, plus over 200 types of plants. Guests can choose between a number of different accommodation options, from cosy cottages to the recently launched Chapel Barn, complete with 17 double bedrooms, a gym, pool, hot tub and sauna. Yet despite these modern luxuries, everything at Wilderness Reserve exists to work in harmony with its stunning natural surroundings. So far one million trees have been planted there, a number which continues to grow.

BOOK IT:

1-night mid-week stay from £535. wildernessreserve.com

Whatley Manor Hotel and Spa

Whatley Manor Hotel & Spa, Malmesbury

Romantic, Honey-stoned Whatley Manor is a classic English beauty. Peek behind its 18th- century walls, however, and you’ll find it has a decidedly modern attitude. The hotel has committed to using only renewable energy and foodies will be seduced by locally and ethically sourced ingredients (some of them from Whatley’s very own beehives and orchard) served in either Grey’s Brasserie or the Dining Room, the latter of which recently scooped one of Michelin’s brand new Green Star awards. All food waste is cleverly converted to methane, which provides ten per cent of the hotel’s energy.

BOOK IT:

From £399 per night B&B. whatleymanor.com

The Zetter Hotel Clerkenwell

The Zetter, London

With contemporary interiors and trendy offbeat accents, The Zetter Hotel in Clerkenwell is the perfect ode to east London’s community of creatives. It also has impressive eco credentials, having been renovated with sustainably sourced and environmentally sensitive building materials. It’s also energy efficient, with heating and cooling provided by an energy loop system and boreholes. Glass and paper is rigorously recycled and there’s an in-house Green Team to uphold eco standards. You can also opt to forgo housekeeping for a free cocktail (thus saving power, water, and harmful cleaning chemicals). We’ll raise a martini to that.

BOOK IT:

From £119 per night B&B. thezetter.com

Treehouse Hotel Marylebone

Treehouse, London

Our favourite ‘green’ aspect of Treehouse in Marylebone has to be the biophilic rooftop bar, with spectacular panoramic views across London – it’s almost impossible to peel yourself away. But its eco commitment doesn’t stop at the Instagrammable aesthetics. As the younger, fun-loving sibling of sustainably focussed American company 1 Hotels, Treehouse has carried many of the brand’s eco principles across the pond, from conscious construction using recycled materials, to staff training in waste management and reducing single- use plastic. Seasonal British produce inspires menus at 15th floor Casa Madera restaurant and The Nest rooftop bar.

BOOK IT:

From £299 per night, room only. treehousehotels.com

Newhall Mains Scotland

Newhall Mains, Inverness-shire

Slow living meets sustainable chic at 18th-century Newhall Mains farmhouse, which has been restored from ruins by local craftsmen using traditional stone, lime render, lead and slate. The property comprises five cottages and four double suites, which overlook either lavender courtyards or peacefully grazing sheep. All of them have scrumptious joy-inspiring interiors by Kelling Designs and cosy touches like rugs spun with wool from the estate’s own flock of Jacob sheep. Throw in Tesla charging points, a firepit to congregate around, and food deliveries using local Scottish produce, and you have one of the most luxurious eco-stays around.

BOOK IT:

From £110 per night B&B. newhall-mains.com

The Torridon Hotel

The Torridon, Scotland

Situated in the remote Scottish Highlands is the five-star hotel The Torridon, the perfect setting for a sustainable staycation. With beautiful views overlooking the magnificent sea loch, the resort offers something for everyone. Taste the natural larder of Wester Ross, where head chef Paul Green uses locally sourced fresh produce to create a tantalising menu, or explore the munros that surround the hotel. Thrill-seekers can take part in mountain biking, gorge scrambling and sea kayaking. The hotel’s environmental commitments include sourcing its own water from a borehole on the estate, Tesla chargers and gifting native wildflower seeds to guests.

BOOK IT:

Classic double room from £295 B&B. thetorridon.com

Thyme

Thyme, The Cotswolds

This tranquil hotel, which opened in 2014, is really ‘a village within a village’, with restaurants, bars, a spa, a farm and a cookery school. Indulge in delicious seasonal food, unwind with a treatment at Meadow Spa or take a wander around the gardens and farm with its ecosystem of wildflowers, otters, kingfishers, egrets and water voles. Whether it’s extracting pure spring water via an underground river source, using heat pumps and woodchip boilers, restoring wild spaces and habitats through afforestation and replanting or choosing suppliers with like-minded ethics, Thyme is committed to eco-friendly practices, restoration and preservation.

BOOK IT:

From £245 per night (room only). thyme.co.uk

Saorsa 1875

Saorsa 1875, Scotland

Jack McLaren-Stewart and his mother Sandra opened Saorsa 1875 in Scotland, the UK’s first 100 per cent vegan hotel. Housed in a restored 19th century baronial house, the hotel is an idyllic spot surrounded by two acres of natural woodlands, overlooking the pretty town of Pitlochry and close to Loch Ness. Everything here is entirely free from animal products, from the upcycled furniture to the toiletries to the energy. And of course, the food: guests can expect an array of vegan delights, with an ever-evolving menu of organic, local and foraged produce. Sandra’s interior design training can be seen in the 11 guest bedrooms, which feature statement wallpaper and decadent throws expected in an artsy boutique hotel – the only difference here is the wools, silks and leather have been replaced with linen, cotton, velvet and manmade fibres. If that wasn’t enough to entice you, Saorsa 1875 is also dog-friendly, so you can enjoy its charms with your pooch in tow.

BOOK IT:

Red Squirrel Room from £140 per night including breakfast. saorsahotel.com

Coombeshead Farm

Coombeshead Farm, Cornwall

Set across 66 acres of Cornish countryside, Coombeshead is a self-sufficient entity, complete with a beautiful farm, guesthouse and restaurant, headed up by chefs Tom Adams and April Bloomfield. There’s also a wine cellar featuring vintages from Tom’s brother’s micro-vineyard in the South of France, a beehive and a bakery run by Ben Glazer. Food is served in the Feasting Barn, which offers an ever-changing, family-style menu dependent on what’s ready from the farm, smokehouse and pickling rooms. Nine bedrooms in the Farmhouse and Grain Store are decked out with eclectic furnishings, mostly pre-loved pieces sourced locally or at auction.

BOOK IT:

Rooms from £195 B&B. coombesheadfarm.co.uk

The Fish

The Fish, Cotswolds

Located on the 400-acre Farncombe Estate near Broadway, The Fish is part boutique hotel, part adventure hideout. When it comes to eco-friendly travel, The Fish’s green initiatives include a promise of 0% of waste to landfill and all food waste going directly to neighbouring Northwick Park’s anerobic digester. The Fish is powered by completely green energy, they rear their own pork on the estate and the estate plants trees to replace every single tree used through printing through their tree planting programme. This year they are set to open five new Hideaway Huts in their grounds, adding to the collection of 10 Shepherd’s Huts and 3 Treehouses already on the property. These Hideaway Huts will feature double bedrooms, roll top baths, wood burners and a private hot tub.

BOOK IT:

From £285 | thefishhotel.co.uk

The Samling Tents

The Samling, Lake District

You can reconnect with nature in one of the most beautiful parts of the UK at The Samling, where you can sleep under canvas and eat fine, locally sourced and seasonal produce. The hotel is nestled in 65 acres of meadows and ancient woodlands, overlooking Windermere with expansive Lake District views across this World Heritage Site. The Wilderness experience is new to 2021, with the chance to get closer to the wildlife of the area by staying in one of The Samling’s ‘Prospector Tents’ at the top of the hillside, cocooned next to the woodlands. Contemplate your place in the world as you wake to the sound of birdsong and tuck into some sustainable fare (served by your personal butler).

BOOK IT:

3 Day midweek hire £3500.00 for two sleeping Prospector tents and a Restaurant Prospector tent | thesamlinghotel.co.uk

Watergate Bay

Watergate Lodge, Watergate Bay, Cornwall

This Beach Retreats brand-new eco-friendly beach house will be opening for stays from summer 2021, with accommodation for up to 12 guests in five bedrooms. Green credentials include solar panels, air-source heating, and a mechanical ventilation system. Those with an eye for style will appreciate the designer interiors and all guests will fall in love with the large roof terrace boasting views across the valley and featuring a sunken firepit for cosy nights with friends or family. And best of all? It’s just 400 metres from the beach.

BOOK IT:

From £2043 for a 7-night stay | beachretreats.co.uk

Image: Karl Mackie

Stay One Degree Eco Home

Stay One Degree Eco Home, Tiverton, Devon

Surrounded by beautiful Devon countryside, this open plan living eco home is a real one-of-a-king eco stay, sleeping up to 11 guests. With a cosy snug and open fireplace, it’s perfect for a warm reunion with friends once we’re allowed. Eco credentials include the exterior, featuring repurposed wood from the property’s natural surroundings and water coming from the natural springs in the field. The heating comes from geothermal heat exchange systems using pond mats in the pond, and the electricity is from the solar panels behind the house. Sleep soundly in this countryside haven safe in the knowledge that any power you’re using is staying off-grid, just like you.

BOOK IT:

From £700 a night | stayonedegree.com

Daylesford, Cotswolds

Motivated by a desire to feed her children better, in the 1980s Lady Carole Bamford set out to turn her family’s farmland into a sustainable business. Forty years later Daylesford stands as one of the most eco-friendly farms in the UK, with branches of its cafés, restaurants and shops dotted across the country. The Gloucestershire farm offers overnight stays too, with six cosy converted stone cottages available to book alongside Bamford spa and an artisan cookery school. The Trough restaurant has just been awarded a 2021 Michelin Green Star, a new accolade for eateries that take exceptional steps towards sustainable business.

BOOK IT:

Cottages from £325 per night, minimum two-night stay. daylesford.com

Ham Yard Hotel

Ham Yard Hotel, London

Vibrant colour, mismatched patterns, quirky décor – this could only be the work of one designer: Kit Kemp, who owns the Firmdale Hotels group alongside her husband Tim. Ham Yard is an urban village, complete with not only 91 bedrooms but also speciality stores, a rooftop bar, a spa, bowling alley and cinema. And the hotel’s sustainability measures are also worth shouting about. It was awarded BREEAM Excellent rating, a methodology used to assess the environmental performance of buildings, thanks to its use of CHP units and solar panels. It also has its own living green roof, plus a terrace with beehives and a vegetable garden.

BOOK IT:

From £420 per night (room only). firmdalehotels.com

Scarlet-Hotel-Spa-Pool

The Scarlet, Cornwall

The Scarlet has won numerous sustainability awards since opening in 2009. When the hotel was built, existing stone walls on the site were carefully deconstructed to allow over 100 small reptiles to be rehoused. This set the tone for the hotel’s eco-minded future. Its sustainability credits can be seen in details big and small: all electricity comes from renewable sources and guests are encouraged to take home the locally handmade organic soap. Nose-to-tail dining ensures very little wastage in the restaurant – an idyllic spot overlooking the bay. Even the flip-flops for guests in the spa are made from recycled vehicle tyres.

BOOK IT:

Rooms from £250 per night B&B. scarlethotel.co.uk

Swallowtail Hill, Sussex

Swallowtail Hill, Sussex

If intrigued by agritourism, a stay at Swallowtail Hill can’t go amiss. The 40-acre farm located in the Sussex countryside provides all the necessary components for a unique ‘glamping’ getaway – rustic accommodation, woodfired hot tubs, a charming farm shop, hill top tent and more – but with sustainability firmly rooted at the business’s core. The environment is of vital importance to owners Sarah and Christopher, in which 31 acres of the estate are included within the Higher Level Environmental Stewardship Scheme. From flower meadows to ponds and woodland, the farm is a haven for wildlife, and a joy to explore. Furthermore, Swallowtail states that it is carbon positive. The farm sources renewable energy from supplier Good Energy and its 14-panel solar PV installation (which sends roughly 3,500 KWh to the grid every year). The business has gone to great lengths to ensure sustainability – even eco-friendly composting toilets have been employed.

BOOK IT:

From £230 for a two-night break in the Woodcutter’s Cottage. From £310 for a two-night break in The Roundhouse. swallowtailhill.com

Atlantic Reach

Atlantic View Lodges, Widemouth Bay, Bude

Situated on the Cornish coastline, these three-bedroom luxury eco lodges – featuring spacious, contemporary interiors which incorporate environmental technology into their design – offer magnificent views overlooking Widemouth Bay. With their rustic kebony wood exterior – an innovative sustainable and durable material – and notable grass roofs, the Atlantic View Lodges have been designed with careful consideration of the surrounding environment. All of the holiday cottages are energy efficient, designed with solar thermal panels and eco-friendly air source heat pumps. Meanwhile, the green roof system not only blends aesthetically into the greenery beyond, but provides insulation and aims to minimise any effects on the surrounding natural environment. The ideal seaside escape, these secluded lodges promise peaceful relaxation, with the reposeful coastline just a stone’s throw away. You might also be pleased to know that furry friends are welcome too.

BOOK IT:

£1,150 for a 7-night stay. beachretreats.co.uk

Stoke by Nayland

Stoke by Nayland Hotel, Golf & Spa, Colchester

Situated within the idyllic countryside of the Dedham Vale, Stoke by Nayland Hotel is a luxury retreat with scope for golfing, dining, and relaxing in rural splendour. Besides its desirable location, what sets this inviting, family-owned hotel apart from the rest is its dedication to providing eco-conscious hospitality. The hotel business – together with its sister companies – has invested over £5 million towards the production of renewable energy sources, whilst the owners have also put various systems in place to maintain and preserve the building’s surrounding Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The team has planted over 60,000 trees, composts all grass cuttings, and safeguards the surrounding hedgerow on behalf of any nesting or inhabiting wildlife. Unsurprisingly, the hotel and overarching business has won numerous awards for its sustainability efforts, including a Sustainable Tourism award and Best Green Farming Enterprise. If you’re looking for a luxury hideaway, the hotel also offers a choice of four sumptuous, self-sufficient and solar powered lodges.

BOOK IT:

B&B rate for a Club Double/Twin room is £95 per room based on sole or shared occupancy. stokebynayland.com

Tom’s Eco Lodges

Tom’s Eco Lodges, Isle of Wight

Hop over to the Isle of Wight on a 40-minute ferry with Wightlink and enjoy an island staycation at Tom’s Eco Lodge, with sustainable accommodation options including safari tents, wood cabins, modulogs and eco pods, all nestled in the grounds of Tapnell Farm. New for 2021 are the luxury Geodesic Domes with en-suite facilities in their own Dome Meadow with a BBQ and firepit from which to enjoy sea views and sunset. Two of the Domes have wood burning tubs; we’ll be first in line for one of those. From taking water from the bore hole to supply the farm and accommodation, to producing electricity from solar panels and heating from a biomass boiler, and planting more than 30 acres of new woodland and hedgerows to support local conservation and rewilding, the farm has sustainable practices throughout.

BOOK IT:

tapnellfarm.com

Rose in Vale

Rose in Vale Country House Hotel, St Agnes

Cornwall’s Rose in Vale ticks all the boxes when it comes to a sumptuous country stay. Characterful, historic building? Check (Grade II listed, in fact). Picturesque surroundings? Check. Dog friendly? Check. The family-owned, adults-only country hotel is a hidden gem nestled within the charming village of Mithian, providing guests with a serene place to relax and enjoy the Cornish coast, including vibrant seaside resort Perranporth, located just a short drive away. Make the most of dining at the hotel’s award-winning restaurant, which serves up dishes created with either homegrown or locally sourced ingredients. Delight in a choice of cosy and romantic suites, a solar-heated outdoor pool and hot tub (open throughout the summer) and an array of scenic walking routes encompassing the hotel. Ensuring its services are as eco conscious as possible, the hotel uses environmentally friendly biomass boilers for its hot water and heating, and also supports the work of sustainable local fisherman.

BOOK IT:

Doubles from £154 a night for a Classic Double Room for 2 people, breakfast included. roseinvalehotel.co.uk

The Montagu Arms – Beaulieu, Hampshire

The Montagu Arms, Beaulieu

An inviting ivy-clad country hotel situated within the historic and picturesque village of Beaulieu, The Montagu Arms – part of The Green Tourism Business Scheme, which champions sustainable travel businesses – provides a charming countryside escape at the heart of the New Forest. Indulge in delicious seasonal, coast and country-inspired dishes at the hotel’s award-winning Terrace restaurant, headed up by Michelin-trained chef Matthew Whitfield (a former chef at New York’s three-Michelin-Star Eleven Madison Park), where ingredients are either homegrown or sourced directly from The New Forest and nearby counties. What’s more, the hotel has its very own flock of rescue hens providing fresh eggs, whilst recipes have been tailored to minimise food waste as much as possible. Where (albeit delicious) food isn’t concerned, delight in exploring the spectacular New Forest countryside. The hotel donates £1 from every stay to The New Forest Trust’s ‘Love the Forest’ campaign which raises funds for the forest’s conservation.

BOOK IT:

Doubles from £201 B&B. montaguarmshotel.co.uk

Lanrick treehouses

The Treehouses at Lanrick, Perthshire

Escape to the idyllic woodlands with the Treehouses at Lanrick, newly opened in late October 2020. With five sustainable treehouses located in dense woodland on the banks of the River Teith, guests can say goodbye to Wi-Fi and hello to the beautiful Scottish wilderness. The tranquil retreat, designed by husband and wife team, Simon and Louisa Dickson offers picturesque walks, biking, picnics and fishing. The treehouses themselves are built from timber from the estate to reduce carbon footprint and are powered by air source heat pumps for heating and hot water. The beautiful interiors include handcrafted and upcycled furniture with a tree top terrace, BBQ, gorgeous linens and exterior copper baths. With Doune Castle, Stirling Castle, Blair Drummond Safari Park and Deanston Distillery all within ten miles distance, the Treehouses at Lanrick is the ideal trip away.

BOOK IT:

Rooms available from £200 per night. lanricktreehouses.co.uk

fowey hall hotel

Fowey Hall Hotel, Cornwall

Family-friendly luxury with a sustainable twist. Fowey Hall Hotel is perched high on the hill overlooking the picturesque fishing village of Fowey, with sweeping views over the estuary to Polruan. It’s a beautiful part of the world – and one which the hotel is trying to protect with its sustainability and social responsibility initiatives.

The hotel herb garden supplies the kitchen with fresh ingredients, while local fishermen bring in the catch of the day and seafood, and nearby farms supply meat. The furniture in the hotel’s contemporary bedrooms is made from sustainably managed or British-grown wood, and its Little Shop, curated by former Vogue contributing editor Fiona Golfar, stocks wares by local makers for guests to browse. From 30 May the hotel is partnering with Farms to Feed Us on a bi-weekly Sunday market, which will feature producers and artists who share the hotel’s vision for sustainable and local produce.

BOOK IT:

From £279 per night B&B in high season. foweyhallhotel.co.uk

fritton lake

Fritton Lake, Norfolk

Deep in the heart of a pioneering, 1,000-acre rewilding project is Fritton Lake, a private holiday club that puts nature first. Here, you can stay in a choice of stylish clubrooms or cottages, or even own a woodland or lakeside cabin. And there’s plenty of activities on offer: wild swimming in the lake, trail running, yoga and nature safaris, to name a few. Plus, there’s the invigorating Norfolk coast to explore right on the doorstep.

It’s all part of WildEast, an East Anglian initiative that aims to return 20 per cent of the region’s land to nature. Somerleyton Estate, which Fritton Lake is part of, is undergoing an ambitious rewilding programme, with a switch to regenerative agriculture on the farmland. Guests are encouraged to get involved and learn more about the initiative, with rewilding tours on offer, as well as foraging trips with local experts.

BOOK IT:

Clubhouse rooms from £140 B&B; cottages from £604 for two nights. frittonlake.co.uk

inhabit hotel

Inhabit Hotel, London

A commitment to wellness, sustainability and community makes this stylish new London ‘mindfulness hotel’ stand out from the crowd. It recently achieved Green Key certification, the tourism industry’s leading award for environmental responsibility, and its Scandi-chic rooms feature furnishings and products from ethical names such as Aerende and REN. The hotel also hosts Yeotown, the plant-centric restaurant that offers California-inspired healthy and wholesome food.

Inhabit’s focus on sustainability is just one element of its overarching ethos of wellness and wellbeing, which the hotel encourages through a packed programme of daily yoga and Pilates classes, guided nature walks, mindfulness sessions and morning meditation classes.

BOOK IT:

From £150 per night + VAT. inhabithotels.com

The Pierhouse

The Pierhouse Hotel, Scotland

Perched on the edge of Loch Linnhe on the west coast of Scotland, The Pierhouse Hotel’s loyal guests come back for the food, the views and the nature-first approach. It’s a recent addition to renowned hotelier Gordon Campbell Gray’s Wee Hotel Company, which he started to champion the small, the sustainable and the local in his home country of Scotland.

The hotel, a gold award holder of the Green Tourism scheme, has an ethos of reduse, reuse and recycle, with energy usage minimised, eco-friendly cleaning products used and toiletries sourced from the Highland Soap Company in an effort to cut down on single use plastic. Many of the ingredients in The Pierhouse’s popular seafood restaurant come from within a 50-mile radius of the hotel: oysters, scallops and lobsters from nearby lochs; wild hill venison from West Highland estates and cheeses are Kintyre, Isle of Mull and Ayrshire.

BOOK IT:

From £195 per night B&B in high season. pierhousehotel.co.uk

Chewton Glen

Chewton Glen, Hampshire

Set over 130 acres of woodland, gardens and parkland on the edge of the New Forest and the Solent, it’s no wonder nature is at the heart of Chewton Glen. Leading the way are the hotel’s eco-treehouses, which are built along the tree line, and feature harvested rainwater, air-source heat pumps, solar panels, and low-energy lighting.

Many of the fruit, vegetables, herbs and edible flowers used in the hotel’s restaurant and cookery school are harvested from the hotel’s walled garden and orchard. And round the estate, years of tree planting and creating wildlife habitats have led to a boom in biodiversity; building the local populations of owls and hedgehogs is a current focus. There’s also more than 50 working beehives dotted around the estate, which help pollinate plants and vegetables grown on-site, and keep nature thriving.

BOOK IT:

Treehouse studio suite, £1,350 per night with breakfast hamper. chewtonglen.com

bainland the nook

Bainland Country Park, Lincolnshire

In the heart of leafy Lincolnshire is Bainland Country Park, which is currently undergoing a substantial renovation programme with a strong focus on sustainability. Leading this is a purposeful reforesting, replanting and rewilding project by Chelsea Flower Show gold-medal winning landscape designer Jody Lidgard. The idea is to plant 1500 trees within the park, as well as shrubs, ground covering plants and wildflowers.

Bainland offers a variety of options for all tastes and holidays, from family-friendly glamping to lodges that sleep up to 16 people. While a lot of cabins at Bainland are already clad with reclaimed timber, more environmentally friendly options are being introduced, too, like the new Blue Forest Treehouses that will open this summer. Future plans for the park also include the installation of solar panels, and the building of six more wild swimming lakes.

BOOK IT:

The Nook, from £749 for four nights for four nights, self-catering. bainland.co.uk

heckfield place

Heckfield Place, Hampshire

Nature lies at the beating heart of this gorgeous Georgian hotel in the heart of Hampshire. Years in the conception, weaving the strands of a grand English house, its farm and the local community together to create something different from the norm, it has resulted in an ethos of luxurious sustainability. This radiates everywhere from the plastic-free rooms to the dining (headed up by Skye Gyngell), where the seasonal produce is grown on its own biodynamic and organic farm (with the rest locally sourced); from the biomass energy centre to the LED lighting to the use of their own bore hole. They are also cloning their specimen trees (some over 150 years old) to ensure succession planting of varieties including Giant Redwoods, Douglas Fir and Japanese Cedar. A bold and ambitious project, a delight to discover and a treat to stay at.

BOOK IT:

Doubles from £350 B&B. heckfieldplace.com

cynefin retreats

Cynefin Retreats, Herefordshire

Home to the annual literary festival, in quieter times too Hay on Wye is an absolutely charming market town on the Welsh Borders, stuffed to the brim with book shops, antique shops and great places to eat and drink (check out The Old Electric Shop for arts and curiosities, plus great coffee).

Cynefin, just three miles away, whisks you away from civilisation to a Dark Sky Reserve in the Wye Valley where you can sleep in an eco-pod for two (friendly dogs are welcome), complete with your own fire pit, hot tub and those expansive, star-strewn skies. Outdoor activities abound: there’s everything from hiking (climb the Brecon Beacons’ highest peak Pen y Fan), kayaking on the River Wye, riding and hiking. Bliss.

BOOK IT:

£180 per night. cynefinretreats.com

fforest

Fforest Farm, Wales

From the blankets woven at the mill on the banks of the nearby river Teifi to the vegetables grown onsite and used in all meals, Fforest is 200 acres of outdoor eco heaven. You can even wend your through woods, reed banks and the Teifi estuary all the way into Cardigan on the West Wales coast for a day exploring the beaches.

There’s a broad range of accommodation, from a Georgian farmhouse, sleeping 14, to a ‘dome’, sleeping two, via garden shacs, sleeping six. All come beautifully appointed with everything you need, including an onsite pub – Y Bythwn – in the farm’s oldest building. There’s no need for a spa when a dip in the sea or a bathe in the river is free – but you can warm up afterwards in the cedar barrel sauna. Local staff are full of knowledge and passion, and will help you make the most of your time in this special place.

BOOK IT:

From £199.75 per night. coldatnight.co.uk/fforest-farm

norwegian wood

Norwegian Wood, mid Wales

Get off-grid and back to nature at this adults-only eco retreat deep in the mid Wales countryside. Gaze at starry skies from your king-size bed through the skylight in your glamping dome; keep toasty with a wood-burning stove, read by electricity generated from the on-site wind turbine and, most of all, get your walking boots on. Or even better, take a mountain bike and explore the spectacular Elan Trail that loops past the reservoirs and dramatic dams of the Elan Valley, where the idea for Dambusters raid in 1940 originated (the ‘bouncing bomb’ was first tested here and you can still see the remains of the bombed dam today). Back home, open a beer on the deck and settle in as the bats swoop down in search of insects, or maybe you’ll spot a pair of hare ears in the long grass as the sun starts to set.

BOOK IT:

Three nights from £490 for two. qualityunearthed.co.uk

cedar valley

Cedar Valley, Hampshire

The Meon Valley, in the South Downs, is one of Hampshire’s hidden glories – think quintessential English villages, cosy traditional pubs, chalk streams and lush scenery. Tucked away on the Bereleigh Estate lies a collection of safari-style glamping tents, along with two recently launched log cabins (to join the bigger family cabin, Cowshed) – suitable for two people. Fashioned with sustainability in mind, expect reclaimed timber cladding (locally milled), insulation made with recyclable wool fibre and Tala LED light bulbs. All the better from which to enjoy the stunning views across the valley.

On site, you’ll find a double decker bus repurposed into a café and deli selling delicious local produce, as well as a mobile pizza oven, but mostly you’ll be out revelling in this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, visiting Jane Austen’s house nearby or pootling around the independent shops in Petersfield and Alresford, renowned especially for its lovely interiors stores.

BOOK IT:

Cabins from £150 per night. cedarvalley.co.uk

wildhive

Wildhive, Peak District

Out of pandemics come brands born with purpose. Wildhive is a new boutique hospitality brand, with nature at its core – and bees as its buzz. Its first property opens this summer at Callow Hall, where a collection of accommodation (apart from the 15 gorgeous rooms designed by Isabella Worsley in the main house) – from cabins and pigsties (former residents firmly rehomed) to treehouses and dens – will spring to live on the land, offering friends and families a wild place to stay and frolic. Cook marshmallows on communal firepits, take outdoor baths on the deck of your tucked-away Blue Forest treehouse, feast on the local, seasonal dishes of David Bukowocki (previously at Barnsdale Lodge) in the Garden Room and relax with an organic treatment in the Coach House wellness centre. And take home some honey.

BOOK IT:

Doubles from £179 (room only). wildhive.co.uk

KYMANI

Kymani, various locations

Popping up for the first time this summer is Kymani, which is offering fully catered glamping sites in the grounds of some of the UK’s most stunning stately homes. Choose from locations such as Charlton Park in Wiltshire, Kentwell Hall in Suffolk, The Grange in Hampshire and Godstone Valley in Surrey. Each site will have a maximum of ten bell tents, complete with communal banqueting tables, where breakfast and dinner included, a library, lounge and games area. Food will be locally sourced with the focus on the finest produce available. Gather up your favourite friends and do a takeover of the whole site or book in individually.

BOOK IT:

From £395 per tent for two, including breakfast and dinner. Full site takeover for 20 guests, from £3,950. kymanigetaways.com

The Pig at Combe – Gittisham, Devon exterior

The Pig at Combe, Devon

Anyone who’s been to one of The Pig’s many renowned “restaurant with rooms” will know that this hotel group is serious about serving up locally sourced and sustainable food. The group’s newest member, The PIG-at Combe, is no different, with emphasis placed on the ‘25-mile menu’ concept, where seasonal dishes are entirely dependent on the kitchen gardens and local suppliers. Even botanical cocktails served in the bar have been infused with homegrown herbs lovingly plucked from the estate. The country hotel – which produces approximately 3.4 tons of its own fruit and vegetables every year – is also home to local beehives and works to reduce as much waste as possible, even growing its own mushrooms on used coffee grounds from the hotel restaurant. As for the interiors, a number of antique and upcycled furnishings have been used to create the hotel’s signature sumptuous-cum-rustic aesthetic, where accommodation includes the likes of a cosy thatch cottage nestled within the original walled garden and a resplendent open plan ‘Hayloft’ located in the stable yard.

BOOK IT:

Doubles from £175 (room only). thepighotel.com

Looking for a sustainable staycation abroad to plan for the future? Check out our round up of eco-travel destinations from around the world. 

READ MORE:

3 Biodynamic Farm Stays / 12 Eco-Travel Destinations Getting it Right / A Chef’s Guide To Sustainable Dining