Avoiding flights, ditching the car and staying on top of recycling are all effective ways to help the environment while on holiday. It’s also worth shopping around for accommodation with eco-credentials such as solar energy and hydro-electric power. The following cottages all provide beautiful self-catering accommodation, while doing their bit for the environment.
There is no TV or internet in this cosy countryside cottage, making it the perfect place to get back to basics. Look out for passing wildlife on the veranda, walk in the surrounding woods and fall asleep to the crackle of the wood-burner. The award-winning pub, the Star Inn, and the Michelin-starred Pipe and Glass are both nearby.
You will find this family-friendly holiday cottage in the laid-back village of Mawgan Porth. The beach and its shops, cafes and pubs, are a short stroll away, making it easy to keep driving to a minimum. (You could even abandon your car completely and use the local bus service to explore the coast.) The Yurt is furnished with beautiful Mongolian rugs, in a rustic palate of sand-whites and sea-greens. Many of the site’s facilities are communal for maximum energy-efficiency, including the showers and bathrooms, which are housed in converted shepherds’ huts.
This beautiful Cotswolds holiday cottage is equipped with energy-efficient underfloor heating – although you may find that the wood-burner in the living room provides all the warmth you need. Some of the region’s most idyllic countryside is right on the doorstep, making it easy to enjoy an active break while keeping use of your car to a minimum. The pretty market town of Lechlade-on-Thames is a short stroll away, with a variety of family-run shops, cafes and pubs.
This compact holiday cottage for couples is surrounded by peaceful countryside, near the sleepy creeks and inlets of the Carrick Roads – a huge natural harbour on the River Fal. Jasmine is ideal for getting back to nature, with a wood-burner and a handmade kitchen, equipped with a single hob. Long walks can be enjoyed in the farm’s orchards and surrounding countryside, and a barbecue is available for cooking seafood fresh from the nearest harbour.
Wheatland Farm recently won Gold for Sustainability in the Visit England Tourism Awards, and the lodge is full of upcycled details, such as a coffee table made from a beech tree which came down in a storm. This dog-friendly cottage in North Devon was created using local straw bale insulation – you can even see the fields from the lodge’s wrap-around veranda. Guests often spot barn owls and foxes from the sofa, and there is a pond which you can explore by rowing boat, or even swim in if you’re feeling brave.
The eco-credentials of this cosy countryside cottage are second to none, with heating provided by a biomass boiler, and a wind turbine and solar panels as the main sources of electricity. Guests at Y Bwthyn have access to a hot tub, and can enjoy lovely walks from the doorstep without having to get in the car.