Earth Day: Plan an eco-escape in Scotland
Increasing numbers of people are thinking green when it comes to travel. One way to reduce you carbon footprint is to holiday at home. Take public transport to your destination or, better still, cycle or walk there.
Then you might want to choose an eco-escape. There are plenty of places to stay that tick environmental objectives, such as using renewable energy, composting toilets, tree planting or locally sourced food and drink.
As Earth Day approaches (April 22), why not take a look at some of the options for an eco-friendly stay in Scotland?
Ancient Scots pine trees provide a magical backdrop for your stay at The Old Pine Yurt. Located on the secluded foothills of the Cairngorms Mountains, with just nature for company, this is a camping experience like no other.
The handcrafted yurt is equipped with all the usual home comforts including a 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.
Remotely located on Rannoch Moor, Loch Ossian Youth Hostel is the ideal base for hillwalkers, wildlife watchers and dark sky observers. Powered by locally sourced hydro and solar power, the hostel has 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.
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.
This award-winning “green destination” is situated amid the Perthshire Hills, close to Crieff and Comrie. A former farmstead-turned- luxury hostel, with the addition of katas (yurt) and camping areas, as well as its own mountain biking trails, this is the ideal retreat from city life.
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.
With superb 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: Reduce, Re-use, Recycle and Recover.
You’ll find there is a biomass stove, electric vehicle charging, oak cladding from wind-felled trees and the wool insulation from sheep on the farm.
Enjoy a dip in the wood-fired hot tub or take an outdoor shower at the Lazy Duck at Nethy Bridge. There are 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 guests are supplied with lighting and heating methods that help minimise your footprint on the environment.
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 honey from the shop.
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. Located by a beach on the Sound of Arisaig, the inn runs on 100% renewable energy, offers locally-sourced seasonal menus and uses a unique food waste dryer to minimise waste.
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. E-bikes are another great option and there are plenty of hire places offering e-bikes as an option.
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 visit: www.visitscotland.com/holidays-breaks/eco-green/