Responsible Travel in the UK: 4 Eco-friendly Destinations

By Paulina, of

Every traveler should be conscious of the impact on the environment and follow a few simple steps to be more sustainable when traveling. Responsible tourism in the UK can be super easy in a country with so many green areas. The National Parks cover 37.3% of the island, which makes it one of the best sustainable travel destinations in Europe.

There are plenty of eco-friendly places to stay during your trip to the UK. One of them is The Quiet Site in Lake District with many awards for green tourism. If you are looking for breathtaking scenery and want to make a difference in the environment, follow this guide. I will list what I believe are the most sustainable places to visit in the UK.

Staying close to home and using public transport can reduce carbon footprint. With so many eco-friendly hotels and restaurants, your holiday in the UK can be more travel conscious. Some of the best sustainable travel destinations in this country include Scotland, Wales, the Lake District, and Brighton.

4 Destinations for Responsible Travel in the UK

1. Scotland

Responsible Travel in the UK: riverside walk with moored boats and houses

Hikers will love Scotland because it is the only part of the UK, where you can camp everywhere legally. Camping in the wild can be an unforgettable experience, however, leave no trace wherever you go. The beautiful landscape can be damaged very quickly, so travel responsibly.

Visiting Scotland in autumn or winter is a great way to avoid the crowds and support local businesses during the off-season. Always try to shop locally, especially in Scotland with so many independent stores and markets. 

Instead of planning a popular road trip in Scotland slow down a bit and focus on one area. You can still visit many amazing places if you walk or cycle. A lot of hidden gems are only accessible on foot so why not combine slow traveling with exploring beautiful spots in Scotland.

If you want to stay in eco-friendly accommodation in Scotland, search for green tourism members. You will find there not only holiday parks or guest houses but also restaurants for eco-travelers. Also, tours and experiences can be environmentally friendly with local businesses such as JP Orkney Tours.

2. Wales

man walking through arboretum

Almost a quarter of this country is covered with National Parks, so if you are looking for one of the best eco-friendly destinations in the UK, choose Wales. Majestic mountains and beautiful waterfalls make it not only a low-cost place to explore but it is also great for green travel.

When packing for a trip to Wales bring with you a few eco-friendly travel products such as reusable water bottles or straws. However, some of the walks might take all day, so why not use a solar charger? You can attach it to your backpack and enjoy this fantastic source of energy to charge your electronic devices. 

Wales is famous not only for its beautiful landscape but also incredible castles and other historic buildings. During your visit to one of them, make sure to turn off the flash. The light can do a lot of damage to the paintings, so always respect the sign “no photos allowed”.

With so many outdoor activities in Wales, there will always be someone leaving rubbish behind. If you want to travel eco-friendly try to pick up some litter during your hike, even if it is not yours. Imagine, if everyone would do the same, we could live in a much cleaner world.

3. Lake District, England

loch from the hills above

The Lake District is a perfect destination for green travel in the UK. There are plenty of eco-friendly cottages and ways to explore this part of the country. Whether you are on foot or bike this UNESCO World Heritage Site has so much to offer for its visitors.

You can get to the Lake District by bus or train from Manchester and reduce your carbon footprint by leaving your car at home. To preserve the beauty of the Lake District, sustainable transportation can reduce the impact on the environment significantly.

The Lake District wants to become the first carbon-neutral county in the UK by 2037. Different businesses and charities are helping to achieve this goal. There are a few aspects that the Lake District is focusing on such as low carbon cottages or low carbon meals in restaurants.

The idea of improvement in eco-travel is to also make people more aware of footpaths erosion and introduce more low carbon transportation around the Lake District. I hope that other places in the UK will follow and minimize carbon emissions without affecting tourism. 

4. Brighton, England

sustainable travel destinations in the UK 4

Just 2 hours drive from London, one of the busiest cities in Europe, you will find the most eco-friendly town in the country. Exploring Brighton by bike is very easy with affordable bike hires. There are plenty of amazing routes for cyclists such as Undercliff Walk with beautiful views of the sea and white cliffs.

The best way to get to Brighton from London is by train. Brighton Train Station is less than 30 minutes walk from the beach, which makes it a perfect destination to explore without a car. This seaside town offers plenty of eco-friendly shops and restaurants, one of the first zero-waste places to eat in Brighton was Silo.

When visiting Brighton it might be tempting to collect some shells from the beach. However, this will lead to harming ecosystems. Some of the microorganisms rely on them to survive and are one of the materials that birds use to create their nests. Shells are also great temporary homes for hermit crabs so when visiting any beach please consider the impact of collecting shells.

Each month volunteers in Brighton remove the litter from the coast to make this place more environmentally friendly. During one day they collect up to 70kg of the waste that people leave at the beach. That’s one of the reasons why the subject of sustainable travel is very important around the world.

An Extra Place to Explore When Seeking Responsible Travel in the UK

If you are looking for more eco-friendly destinations in the UK, make sure to visit the Eden Project in Cornwall. The beautiful indoor rainforest will give you a lot of inspiration for green travel. From saving water to recycling, this place can help you understand how to make a difference in the world. 

About the Author

Guest post by Paulina, author of Her blog was shortlisted as one of the Top 70 UK Travel Blogs to follow. She loves exploring hidden places in England, Wales and Scotland.