This Sunday is Earth Day, and Scotland offers a host of great green getaways.
From planning how to travel, to choosing where to stay, more and more of us are considering our carbon footprint, linking our holiday plans with our desire to save the planet.
Whether it’s renewable energy, composting toilets, tree planting or locally sourced food and drink, going green is becoming increasingly important for environmentally conscious travellers.
Here’s 10 of the best activities and places to stay, recommended by VisitScotland:
The Old Pine Yurt
Ancient Scots pine trees provide a magical backdrop for your stay at The Old Pine Yurt. Located on the secluded foothills of the spectacular Cairngorms Mountains, with just surrounding nature for company, this is a camping experience like no other. The handcrafted yurt is equipped with all the usual home comforts including a cosy double bed, solar lighting, a wood burning stove and a welcoming dram. Nearby you’ll find the ‘Hut’ with kitchen and toilet facilities as well as an eco-shower.
Loch Ossian Youth Hostel
Surrounded by the stunning scenery of Rannoch Moor, Loch Ossian Youth Hostel is the perfect base for hillwalkers, wildlife watchers and dark sky observers. Powered by locally sourced hydro and solar power, the hostel boasts electric panel heating, composting toilets and even bat-friendly paint. For those conscious of their carbon footprint, the site is also only accessible by rail, foot or bike.
Glampotel, Dundas Castle
With solar-power, instant hot water showers, green fuel BBQs and patio heaters, every part of the design and build of this glamping accommodation is eco-friendly. The luxury Canvas Cottages can be found in their own secluded wooded knoll, with peaceful surroundings and breath-taking views of the Castle’s Loch.
Lazy Duck Hostel
Enjoy a dip in the wood-fired hot tub or take bracing outdoor shower at the Lazy Duck Nethy Bridge. This hidden gem in the Cairngorm National Park offers a number of accommodation options including an eco-cabin for two called the Woodman’s Hut. The owners take great care with recycling, composting and on staying you’ll be supplied with lighting and heating methods that help minimise your footprint on the environment.
The Green House
The Green House in Ettrickbridge is an eco-friendly self-catering retreat in the beautiful Scottish Borders. Built with low carbon principles, and designed to be as energy efficient as possible, this eco-friendly home from home is located on a smallholding farm so you can even try the farm’s own honey from the shop.
Boasting jaw-dropping views across the countryside to where the three glens of Craigdarroch, Dalwhat and Castlefairn meet, the green philosophy of Three Glens centres around the ‘Four Rs’ of ‘Reduce, Re-use, Recycle and Recover’ with these values brought to life in everything from the biomass stove and electric vehicle charging, to the oak cladding from wind-felled trees or the wool insulation from sheep on the farm.
Renowned for its commitment to high environmental standards, the Glenuig Inn was the first UK inn to receive a gold Green Tourism award on its first attempt. Set amongst stunning scenery and by the beach on the Sound of Arisaig, the Inn is the perfect place to rest after a day exploring the West of Scotland. Running on 100% renewable energy, offering locally-sourced seasonal menus and using a unique food waste dryer to minimise waste, Glenuig guests can sleep soundly knowing that their stay is having zero impact on the planet.
This award-winning ‘green destination’ can be found amongst the Perthshire Hills. A former farmstead turned luxury hostel, this is the ideal retreat from city life with a range of accommodation options maintained through low-impact initiatives. With a vision to become a model for rural regeneration with a rich natural environment, Comrie Croft encourages its guests to think about their carbon footprint by recycling, using public transport, exploring the area on foot and using locally sourced produce.
Getting out and about
Thanks to the public transport network, cycle paths and walking routes, it is easy to enjoy Scotland’s stunning scenery and rich history while doing your bit to protect the welfare of the planet at the same time. Why not see the sights in the different with a walking tour of Stirling, Dundee, Edinburgh or Glasgow or maybe take a road trip across Scotland in an electric car.
Embark on an eco-friendly adventure
If you want to give something back on your break away why not try a conservation holiday? RSPB Scotland, Trees for Life and the National Trust for Scotland all offer experiences where you can play your part in preserving the country’s natural environment, from tree planting to creating habitat for Scotland’s rare wildlife.
For more eco-escape inspiration or to browse a range of businesses with Green Tourism Awards click HERE.