10 of the UK’s most eco-friendly Airbnbs
With lockdown restrictions easing and summer travel on the horizon, the stakes have never been higher when it comes to choosing where, and even how, to holiday this year. UK staycations have everything you need for an unforgettable adventure, including some incredible, out of this world eco-friendly options.
Sustainable holidays are now a lot easier to manage than you might think. And in the UK, we’ve got fantastic green accommodations out there – from England’s countryside, through Welsh hills, to Scottish mountains and the shores of Northern Ireland. Take a look at our picks for some of the best eco-friendly Airbnbs the UK has to offer, so you can make your holiday more environmentally friendly while still having the time of your life.
1. Hobbit Hideaway, Moray, Scotland
Ever dreamed of a holiday escape to JRR Tolkien's fantasy land, Hobbiton? Look no further than the award-winning Hobbit Hideaway – ‘a wee slice of Scottish paradise’. Tucked away near the Scottish Moray coast, this charming natural home was purpose-built using locally sourced and recycled materials. Decorated with recycled furnishings and running on 100% renewable energy, this unique hideaway can accommodate up to six people and also welcomes pets to tag along. A calming escape, the property also has wild garden areas, a fire pit and a magical fairy glen for enchanting al fresco dining. We think Bilbo Baggins would approve!
2. 1945 Boat Hut, Sutton, England
Are you looking for a unique holiday accommodation that takes eco-consciousness to a new level? If so, welcome to the 1945 Boat Hut! This eco-friendly Sutton Airbnb is a converted 1945 boat, originally sailed out of Penzance in Cornwall, which is enclosed within a private three-acre forest overlooking the fenland countryside. Expect to be shipped away from reality in this rustic property which is completely off grid with renewable energy provided by its solar panel system. Nestled within its own pocket of nature, the listing even includes an outdoor bath for a unique bathing experience on warm summer evenings. All aboard for unforgettable glamping!
3. AirShip 002, Drimnin, Scotland
For those musing about a memorable stay to celebrate lockdown easing or perhaps mark a special occasion, why not try the AirShip 002 for an out of this world experience! Designed by ecological Architect Roderick James, this quirky Airbnb listing is an insulated aluminium pod with dragonfly windows which look over the Sound of Mull. Featuring rave reviews for its sustainable edge, comfort and breath-taking Highland views, the AirShip is suitable for solo travellers or couples with an interest in quirky accommodation. In fact, the only way to make it an even more appealing sustainable summer holiday retreat would be if owner Amanda considered installing some of the best smart home devices for Airbnb hosts. A stone’s throw away from Drimnin nature, guests can camp out on the deck for a spot of stargazing.
4. Wagon In The Woods, Medstead, England
Have you ever wanted to stay in your own bespoke wagon right in the middle of the beautiful English countryside? Well, now's your chance! Wagon In The Woods makes fantasy reality and features everything from incredible vehicles, working campfire including marshmallows and firewood, and even its very own hot tub – accessible via trapdoor – as an indulgent holiday treat. Superhost Ralph actually built the wagon's main beam himself from a tree that came down in a bad storm. It doesn't get much more sustainable than that! An ideal retreat for couples looking to relax and enjoy the splendour of enchanting England, you won’t be disappointed by this charming back-to-nature getaway.
5. Eco-friendly Beach House, Norfolk, England
It doesn’t get more quintessentially British than summer holidays by the sea. And thanks to this beautiful coastal retreat in Norfolk, you can enjoy that wonderful summertime feeling without sacrificing sustainability. This beach house has been recently renovated and offers a safe, cosy haven where you can have plenty of fun in the sun or splash about to your heart’s content. Powered solely by solar and wind energy, going on an eco-friendly summer holiday has never been easier!
6. Yeworthy Eco Treehouse, Eworthy, England
Nestled away in the West Devon village of Germansweek, this 5-star rated Airbnb treasure is the treehouse of dreams. The Yeworthy Eco Treehouse is an off-grid secluded hut situated amongst the treetops, overlooking a stunning lake view. Created with sustainability in mind, fresh drinking water is provided from a bowser, a composting sawdust toilet house is nearby, and cooking can be carried out on a gas camping stove. This listing could be an ideal holiday destination for couples looking to step into the wilderness.
7. The Barn at Sundayshill, Falfied, England
A recent feature in the Guardian Travel section, The Barn at Sundayshill provides a relaxing countryside getaway in the heart of the Severn Vale. Having converted an 18th-century barn to make it large, modern and, most importantly, eco-friendly, owners David and Louise can transport you back to a simpler time here with its open-plan, oak-beamed living area. An ultra-efficient air-source heat pump is on hand in case the weather takes a turn for the worse and will definitely make you rethink your own smart heating system back home. Whether you fancy visiting one of King Henry VIII’s hunting lodges or sampling some delicious local produce, The Barn at Sundayshill has got you covered!
8. Birch Cottage, Ballyroney, Northern Ireland
Located in the heart of the County Down countryside, Birch Cottage is an off the beaten track delight for couples seeking a cosy, eco-conscious space. Green Key rated and holding a Green Tourism Gold, this rural retreat is powered solely by onsite renewable energy. Heating is provided by solar panels and wood is sustainably sourced from the forest on its doorstep to keep the cosy wood burner alight. Surrounded by forest parks and close to the Mourne Mountains, the cottage is excellent for those craving a nature adventure but also offers a tranquil setting for a slow holiday. If waking up to stunning woodland window views in an off the grid cottage is up your ally, consider this 4-star Airbnb for your summer break.
9. Toddalong Roundhouse, Saint Mabyn, England
Want to go on a stunningly sustainable holiday in the South West of England? You need to visit Toddalong Roundhouse! A “Cornish Strawbail Retreat” perfect for close friends, families and couples alike, eco-friendly has never seemed more appealing than with this luxury Airbnb. Picturesque North Cornish beaches and harbours are a stone’s throw away, and the wilds of Bodmin Moor are right on your doorstep. Consisting of a double mezzanine bedroom and a snug space kitted out with kids’ beds, the whole family can enjoy a dream summer holiday while also helping protect our planet!
10. Cornish Eco Home, Liskeard, England
Finally, scoring high on Airbnb for its eco credentials, this sustainable bungalow is a renovated barn located in an old vineyard near the Cornish coast. Surrounded by three acres of sprawling woodland, the Cornish Eco Home welcomes small groups up to 8 for a green getaway with modern interiors, featuring a large solar PV system, heat recovery system and its own water supply. Certainly something to bear in mind when firing up and using your smart lighting, heat and water systems at home! During the Summer months, this eco hidden gem is completely self-sufficient due to its solar panel system. A dreamy escape from the hustle and bustle, the property even has a hot tub for ultimate spa-esque relaxation.
Sustainability starts with small steps and going on an eco-friendly summer holiday is certainly one of them. Want to make your home a greener, more sustainable place to live post-holiday as well? Read up on the smart home improvements you can DIY and how they help maximise energy usage in and around your home. From turning appliances off from anywhere with smart plugs or switching things up with smart heating, explore how Hive’s family of smart home products can help to save energy around your home at Discover Hive.
Disclaimer: The featured properties within this article have been selected based on green credentials featured on each property listed on Airbnb.co.uk