10 Ways To Travel Sustainably This Year

These days, travelling sustainably doesn’t just mean cutting down on air miles. To mark World Ocean Day, we’ve rounded up ten of the best ideas – from marine protection schemes to green staycations, new eco-friendly hotels to ‘slow travel’ agents…
By Sherri Andrew /
LUKAS JUHAS/UNSPLASH

THE COASTAL PROJECT:

Great British Beach Clean

Every September, thousands of volunteers sweep beaches across the UK to take part in the Great British Beach Clean, hosted by the Marine Conservation Society. All litter collected is used in a survey to campaign for real change across the UK – previous data has already helped ban plastic bags and microplastics in personal care products, and support tax on single-use plastic items. You can join a clean-up near you or start planning a sweep at your local beach. All the resources you need can be found here.

Visit MCSUK.org

THE ECO STAYCATION:

Coombeshead Farm, Cornwall

Coombeshead is a guesthouse on a working farm in the pretty Cornish village of Launceston. Created by chefs Tom Adams and April Bloomfield (who also own The Spotted Pig in New York), the property is on a 66-acre estate surrounded by meadows, woodland and scenic walking routes. Here, sustainability comes in the form of a zero-waste restaurant where diners are treated to hearty meals made from food grown on the estate and produce from local suppliers. There’s also a café, farm shop and bakery in an old stable block. Guests can stay in one of four double en-suite rooms in the converted Grain Store, or in the main Farmhouse which has a further five rooms. All are modern and fresh with cosy country interiors. There isn’t any wi-fi on site, so expect to go off-grid during your stay.

Rooms from £180 per night.

Visit CoombesheadFarm.co.uk

THE LONDON HOTEL:

Room2, Chiswick

Room2 Chiswick is the world’s first net zero hotel. It uses 89% less energy than typical hotels, offsetting its carbon footprint with a range of sustainable measures, including renewable energy, ultra-low flow pressure showers, efficient lighting and an impressive ‘blue roof’ which converts rainwater into energy. There are 86 individually designed bedrooms, filled with plush furniture and soft furnishings from local artisans. Each room has its own kitchenette – ideal for longer stays – while the ground floor has a gym with Peloton equipment, and a restaurant serving brunch by day and cocktails at night. Chiswick Common is a short walk away, as is Chiswick High Street.

Rooms from £129 per night.

Visit Room2.com 

THE EXPEDITION:

Hebridean Whale & Dolphin Trust, Scotland

Scotland’s seas are under huge pressure, becoming more busy, noisy and polluted every year. As its waters deteriorate, whales and dolphins are the two species most at risk. Marine conservation charity Hebridean Whale & Dolphin Trust works with local communities to tackle the issue through boat surveys, ocean trails, wildlife watching courses and more. The charity runs regular expeditions to gather data from the Hebridean waters and monitor whale, dolphin and porpoise numbers. Expeditions are from seven to 12 days, with each night spent in a different location as you track marine life – no prior experience is needed as you’ll receive full training in species identification and basic boating skills on board.

Expeditions from £860pp.

Visit HWDT.org

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THE GUIDE:

the Green Traveller: Conscious Adventure That Doesn’t Cost The Earth

Travelling sustainably doesn’t have to mean expensive trips to offset your carbon footprint – as proved by this new travel guide by Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond. The Green Traveller features hundreds of ways you can travel more sustainably and give back to local communities, from the best low-carbon transport in the UK to tips on how to be a greener guest. It also includes a mini area guide featuring off-grid places to stay, campsites reachable by public transport, hotels with natural swimming pools, and the best railway station restaurants in Britain.

Visit Waterstones.com

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THE NORDIC ESCAPE:

Up Norway

Norway is one of the most sustainable nations in the world, so a trip to the beautiful Nordic country is a no brainer if you’re after an eco-holiday. Up Norway specialises in bespoke trips around the country, ranging from long weekends in the city to epic month-long journeys through the mountains. On each trip, you’ll discover places off the beaten track and be encouraged to take part in conservation or local community projects. You can choose holidays by season, interests, accommodation and more – we like the sound of the 12-day Nordic tour via the Arctic Circle Express Train.

Trips from £1,134pp.

Visit UpNorway.com

THE TREEHOUSES:

Lanrick, Scotland

The Treehouses at Lanrick borders Trossachs National Park, a beautiful, rural stretch of land in Perthshire. Reachable in under an hour from Edinburgh by car, the park has five eco-friendly treehouses made from timber grown on the property, and features all the luxury extras you’d expect at a top hotel. Each one has self-catering facilities for meals around hand-crafted tables, as well as upcycled furniture, log burning stoves, a treetop terrace (some have BBQs), and outdoor baths for reconnecting with nature. Two of the treehouses are connected by a rope bridge – ideal for larger groups or families – and guests can go on woodland walks to explore the area, go fly fishing in the lake, fire up the BBQ at the River Hut, and take part in other outdoor pursuits at the beautiful Trossachs National Park, just a five-minute drive away.

From £290 per night.

Visit LanrickTreehouses.co.uk

THE TRIP OF A LIFETIME:

Miavana By Time + Tide, Madagascar

Miavana by Time + Tide is an ultra-luxury hotel on the private island of Nosy Ankao, off the north-east coast of Madagascar. Set in an archipelago of five islands, the resort is surrounded by a coral reef for snorkelling and diving, and turtle, whale and dolphin watching. The 2,500-acre island is protected and has an environmental team trained in wildlife monitoring and reforestation who take a hands-on approach to conservation – think turtle watching and strict marine preservation. The resort uses solar power across its 14 ocean-front villas, and you won’t find any single-use plastics on the island. Guests can enjoy candlelit dinners on the beach, featuring an array of sustainably caught seafood and local produce.

Mavros Safaris offers journeys to Madagascar from £8,232pp based on two guests sharing.

Visit Miavana.com & MavrosSafaris.com

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THE SLOW TRAVEL AGENT:

ByWay

ByWay is one of the UK’s leading ‘slow travel’ agents for bespoke travel and accommodation packages across Europe. Travellers ditch flights to travel on trains, bikes, buses and ferries, and stay in sustainable hotels and homestays that give back to the community. Choose from journeys across Spain’s Unesco-listed ancient cities, beach holidays in Croatia, round trips from Madrid to Lisbon, and tours of the beautiful Scilly Isles. All holidays include accommodation with breakfast, pre-booked travel, a personalised trip plan with important info and a WhatsApp group for round-the-clock support while you’re away.

Prices available on request.

Visit ByWay.Travel

THE ZERO-WASTE RESTAURANT:

Poco Tapas Bar, Bristol

Poco Tapas Bar in Bristol is celebrating its ten-year anniversary this month. Headed up by head chef Ian Clark, the zero-waste restaurant has won a string of awards for its sustainability efforts – nearly 100% of its waste is composted and recycled. The team source quality ingredients for freshness, champion Fairtrade produce, and use seafood certified by the Marine Conservation Society. As you’d expect, the menu changes to match the seasons and what’s available at local farms. Current highlights include ewe with charred spring onions, shallot purée and pickled rhubarb; trout with clams, foraged sea greens and a butter sauce; and strawberry parfait with shortbread biscuit and strawberry purée.

Visit PocoTapasBar.com

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