The Handbook
The Handbook

If you’re looking for a staycation with a conscience, we’ve handpicked our favourite sustainable UK hotels with a dedication to ethical travel. From Britain’s first all-vegan hotel to the clifftop bolthole paving the way, these places have sustainability and style by the bucket load.

Heckfield Place

Heckfield was the hotel on every UK travel enthusiast lips when it opened back in 2018 and it’s continued to be one of the number one spots for a classic English staycation. Beyond its seriously stylish Georgian revamped interiors – this place will leave you wanting to embark on a country pile refurb – Heckfield has sustainability at its core.

There’s an onsite farm that houses saddleback pigs and Guernsey cows, vegetables, flowers, fruit and honey grown in abundance and a thriving market garden that more than justifies its plot to plate ethos. And it’s all harvested through biodynamic farming, the modern agricultural method that’s trying to turn climate change on its head.

This place will leave you wanting to embark on a country pile refurb

The team is also dedicated to more sustainable ways of heating the grand property through a biomass boiler and they have stripped back on wasteful packaging throughout. Add to this truly stunning rooms, great food and their charming Bothy Spa and you’ve got yourself a near perfect hotel less than two hours from London.

Heckfield Place, Heckfield, Hook RG27 0LD

www.heckfieldplace.com

The Scarlet

A pioneer of the sustainable travel scene here in the UK, Cornwall’s The Scarlet were doing their bit way before anyone else.

The luxury but laid back bolthole comes with some of the most stunning views in the South West over the pretty Mawgan Porth beach, best seen from the hotel’s clifftop, responsibly heated hot tubs.

But really their approach to sustainability is 360, thanks to their ‘Cherish the World’ ethos. From a locally sourced menu from producers on their doorsteps to modern ways of heating – the roof is covered in sea thrift plants to keep the heat in and encourage a bounty of wildlife, sustainability is thought of in every execution of the hotel.

It’s also incredibly zen which means no children, no hens dos and no phones in public areas – a real chance to switch off from modern life for a night or two.

The Scarlet Hotel, Tredragon Road, Mawgan Porth, Cornwall, TR8 4DQ

www.scarlethotel.co.uk

The Pig Hotels

Food is at the heart of The Pig’s devotion to sustainability with all of their produce either grown onsite or within a 25-mile radius. Given that the group now has seven hotels from the original New Forest outpost to Devon and Bath, as well as two new openings in the pipeline, they are really working towards a greener way to eat out and holiday in the UK.

Not only do they grow a whopping 17 tonnes of their own rich produce, but they have dramatically reduced travel and packaging in doing so, they compost all garden waste and recycle cooking oil, only use fish approved by the Marine Conservation Society, produce their own honey and champion the English wine industry.

Plus, the fact that all their hotels are revamped old properties dramatically reduces the waste in opening a brand new, purpose built hotel.

Seven UK locations

www.thepighotel.com

While The Newt doesn’t solely sell itself as a sustainable hotel, it is definitely doing its bit in creating Koo’s utopian vision of a sustainable and self-supporting staycation hotspot.

The Newt

Set to be one of the UK’s most luxurious country house hotels, The Newt in Somerset is the six-year, multi-million pound investment of South African billionaire Koos Bekker.

Lavish it may be but it is also seriously down to earth and utterly tasteful, from the roughly £250 a night (not cheap but you could pay much more for far worse) price tag to the tranquil state gardens that all guests get a tour of, the Farrow & Ball hued, wood-panelled bar and breathtakingly tranquil pool areas.

Then there are the rooms that you will not want to leave – grand antique four posters mixed with cool, Tom Dixon-esque gold touches and sumptuous velvet sofas.

While The Newt doesn’t solely sell itself as a sustainable hotel, it is definitely doing its bit in creating Koo’s utopian vision of a sustainable and self-supporting staycation hotspot.

The Newt in Somerset, Bruton, Somerset BA7 7NG

www.thenewtinsomerset.com

Saorsa 1875

The UK’s first vegan-only hotel is not going to be for everyone but if you’re serious about sustainable travel it should make you stop and rethink.

Saorsa 1875 in picturesque Pitlochry, Scotland overlooks two acres of natural woodlands and gardens and was designed with “vegans, vegetarians and the plant-curious” in mind. That means down-free duvets and ethically sourced, refillable toiletries in all rooms and across the hotel and of course, an incredibly, creative menu of vegan food.

In fact, the hotel was named the ‘Best Luxury Hotel’ by PETA – surely the ultimate accolade to selling a responsible vegan lifestyle.

The rooms feel anything but dowdy eco warrior, they are full on glamour even though much of the furniture and décor has been sourced from pre-loved homes, from the statement jungle print wallpapers to the unique accessories and colour palettes of every room.

Saorsa 1875, 2 East Moulin Road, Pitlochry, Perthshire, PH16 5DW

www.saorsahotel.com

The Green House

Self-named the “greenest hotel in the UK,” Bournemouth’s The Green House (aptly named) are proving to put their money where their mouth is with a whole Green Guide that assures it’s fulfilling its ethical promise.

They really have thought of everything from using efficient lighting options to installing free EV charge points in our car park, using the sun to help heat the hotel’s water and filling the 32 rooms with locally-made 100% wool carpets and sumptuously soft bespoke eco beds made by a leading UK luxury bed manufacturer.

Then there’s the tap filling stations throughout the property to minimise wasteful plastic, the oil waste from the kitchen being made into fuel and the coffee bean composting in the community vegetable garden, the locally-brewed beer and spirits in the bar and the locally sourced menu… we could go on.

The Green House, 4 Grove Road, Bournemouth, Dorset BH1 3AX

www.thegreenhousehotel.co.uk

The Grove, Hertfordshire

Having recently been awarded a Green Apple Environment Award for its dedication to sustainability The Grove, which is only 18 miles from the capital, is one of the most eco-friendly, luxury hotels you’ll find not far from London.

They’ve eliminated single use plastics and joined forces with the Clean the World programme, an initiative that supplies clean hotel amenities to less fortunate places around the world.

Food-wise, Executive Chef Stephen Wheeler is passionate about creating mouth-watering menus with the freshest, seasonal ingredients, sourced from carefully selected suppliers. The kitchen uses local companies wherever possible, or better still, fruit and veg grown within the hotel’s walls itself.

And if you’re a guest that’s not keen on sitting still, there are plenty of activities to get stuck into from golf to laser clay, tennis to cycling in the nearby woodlands.

The Grove, Chandler’s Cross, Hertfordshire, WD3 4TG

www.thegrove.co.uk