We all know how important it is to live sustainably, and one way we can reduce our carbon footprint is through sustainable travel. Taking the train is the most environmentally-friendly way to travel long distances, but another way you can incorporate sustainable practices into your travel is by staying in eco-hotels.
Luckily for us, recent years have seen many luxury hotels across the UK switch to eco-friendly practices. We’ve picked out the top sustainable hotels in the UK – they are all extremely mindful of their impact on the environment but don’t sacrifice any luxury or comfort. Discover the best eco hotels in the UK with CrossCountry.
If you're curious as to how CrossCountry prioritises sustainability, you can find out more in our environmental & energy policy.
Hart's Hotel, Nottingham
Artfully bringing together modern sustainability with historic charm is Hart's in Nottingham, a hotel designed with eco-friendly practices at its heart. One of the most innovative solutions is their narrow-plan construction to maximise natural ventilation. Without need for mechanical air conditioning, Hart's is naturally cool in warm weather - it's the place to be during a heatwave!
Hart's has also made clever use of windows - from windowed bathrooms to reduce extraction power and floor-to-ceiling windows in the rooms to harness the power of daylight. The eco-friendly nature of this hotel makes it a unique and refreshing experience.
It is a luxury experience too, thanks to the private garden, restaurant, exercise area, and rooms with all the mod cons! If you're travelling with a pet, Hart's also offers pet-friendly rooms.
Getting there: Hart's is located in the centre of Nottingham, a short walk from Nottingham station.
Scarlet Hotel, Cornwall
Not only is the Scarlet Hotel in Cornwall one of the most romantic hotels in the UK, it’s also one of the most sustainable. With a ’Cherish the World’ ethos, the Scarlet strives to redefine what luxury can be and promises a richness of experience without over-consumption. A decadent adults-only hotel, the Scarlet offers light airy spaces designed to connect guests to the outdoors. From meadow gardens and cliff top hot tubs, to an Ayervedic inspired spa and yoga classes, this eco-friendly hotel is one of a kind.
Situated on the stunningly scenic coast of Cornwall, it's no wonder that Scarlet is in love with the natural world. The hotel makes the most of eco technologies like solar power, low-energy solutions, and locally-sourced toiletries. Their luxury offerings are also tinged with sustainability, like the reclaimed materials used to craft Scarlet's garden fencing.
Getting there: From Newquay station, the Scarlet Hotel is around a 30minute bus journey or 15-minute taxi ride. The hotel offers a green discount to any guests who travel via foot, bike, rail, or coach.
The Green House Hotel, Bournemouth
Serious about luxury and passionate about sustainability, the Green House Hotel in Bournemouth is one of the world’s top eco-hotels. Located in a beautifully restored 32-room, Grade II Victorian villa in the heart of Bournemouth, everything about the hotel is green – from its sustainable furniture and wallpaper to eco paint and vegetable ink.
The Green House Hotel is committed to sourcing locally, minimising waste, and intentional usage. This means that they consider the lifecycle of everything they use, right down to the cooking oil from the kitchen which powers the company car! During your stay, you can make the most of the handmade eco-beds piled high with organic bed linen - you'll never have a better sleep.
The excellent location means you can enjoy Bournemouth's beaches, restaurants, and events venues. Alternatively, get away from the city to enjoy the New Forest. While you're staying in Bournemouth, you can find inspiration for the best things to do in Bournemouth courtesy of CrossCountry.
Getting there: The Green House Hotel is a 15-minute walk from Bournemouth station.
Fox & Hounds Treetops Hotel, Devon
Live out your childhood treehouse fantasy when you spend a sustainable stay at the Treetops Hotel in Devon. Found in a wonderful 250-year-old oak tree in the grounds of the Fox & Hounds Country Hotel in Devon, a stay here is a real return to nature.
Equipped with numerous lavish comforts, including a freestanding copper bathtub and a large terrace overlooking a fishing lake, it’s a stunning location for a relaxing retreat. You can spend the your stay exploring the surrounding forest, horse riding, playing golf, and fishing. When the day is over, retire to your treehouse to cosy up in a king-size bed.
Getting there: From Exeter St David’s station, you can jump on a connecting train to Eggesford train station; a 5-minute walk away from the hotel.
Just a few miles from the Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Old-Lands is founded on a love of nature. Old-Lands is an old family estate that has become a unique eco-stay, with a focus on biodiversity and caring for the natural environment around us.
Old-Lands is home to a handful of self-catering apartments in former farming buildings, like their Wood Barn and Stable Court. Each cottage has its own character, but they are all filled with antique furniture that couldn't be more locally sourced if they tried - much of it comes from the main house at Old-Lands. The luxury, homey feel of their holiday cottages makes this a unique stay.
The truly unique aspect of this eco-hotel is the wildlife work they do onsite. From fallen tree branches becoming home to parkland insects to the reclamation of grassland to enhance nectar sources for pollinators, every little bit of Old-Lands is catered to take care of their native wildlife. Additionally, on the adjacent farmland, they operate a rewilding approach to farming in which they protect their farmed landscape and utilise regenerative land management practices.
Getting there: You can reach Old-Lands from nearby station Newport in around an hour using public transport connections of 30 minutes by taxi.
Written by Seb