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7 eco-friendly and off-grid homes for a sustainable but stylish holiday holiday cottages

Lifestyle

7 eco-friendly and off-grid homes for a sustainable but stylish holiday

Ruth 12 February 2020

First hygge, then lagom and now flysgskam – although this most recent Swedish loan word isn’t quite as cute as the first two. Meaning “flight shame”, it’s the latest cultural trend in the country that environmental activist Greta Thunberg calls home – and it’s spreading to the UK too.

Yes, we’re all trying to be kind to the planet but giving up flying – and those epic holidays abroad – because of planet-choking carbon emissions is a big step to take. But you don’t have to go from an all-inclusive break to Ibiza to camping in a pop-up tent in your parents’ garden. We’ve found some of the UK’s most eco-friendly holiday cottages that are perfect for your next break; not only do you reduce your carbon footprint by holidaying in the UK, but these cottages have some great energy-saving features of their own too.

And as a bonus, they’re all super stylish – perfect for some low-key virtue signalling on the ‘gram. It’s a win-win, really.

Blackthorn Cottage, Brecon Beacons | sleeps 2 + 2 dogs

Blackthorn Cottage

Snuggled in the Brecon Beacons – but still within striking distance of culture hubs Abergavenny and Hay-on-Wye – this super-cute cottage is perfect for a romantic break. For those true hide-and-sleepers, the rustic interior and comfy sofas provide the perfect atmosphere for naps. If you’re feeling a little more intrepid, epic walks await – including through the surrounding private woodland – or you can mountain bike, pony trek or canoe the local landscape. But whatever your holiday style, you’re gonna love the wood-fired sauna!

Why we love it:

😍Cosy wood burner
😍Cute, cottage-style interiors
😍Epic Black Mountains views
😍Bring your four-legged best friend

Why the planet loves it:

🌳Electricity is supplied by a garden wind turbine
🌳Water is supplied by a natural spring
🌳Heating is supplied by a wood burner
🌳Wood-fired sauna

Jimmy’s Barn, Cotswolds | sleeps 4 + 2 dogs

Jimmy's Barn

Eco-friendly doesn’t have to mean wearing scratchy hemp and knitting your own muesli – although if you’re into that, you do you, hun! This stylish barn in the Cotswolds has two king-size beds perfect for lie-ins, plus a quirky interior theme that could have come straight from a magazine. Add to that the incredible countryside views, acres of farmland to explore and a location between Cheltenham, Gloucester and Oxford and you’ve got yourself a pretty perfect eco retreat.

Why we love it:

😍Wander around the acres of farmland
😍Quirky, cosy interiors
😍Super-luxe king-size beds
😍Open-plan layout perfect for lounging

Why the planet loves it:

🌳Energy comes from a generator and wind turbine
🌳There’s a charging point available for electric vehicles

Dolma Cottage, Shropshire | sleeps 6 + 2 dogs

Dolma Cottage

Could this be one of the eco-friendliest holiday homes in the UK? This charming Shropshire cottage’s list of planet-saving credentials would make David Attenborough proud, and if that’s not a reason to stay here then here are a few more: lockable bike storage for exploring the hundreds of miles of trails, a pub close by, and you can bring your two pups too!

Why we love it:

😍Cosy cottage vibes
😍Courtyard perfect for summer BBQs
😍Bring your four-legged best friend
😍Countryside trails to roam

Why the planet loves it:

🌳Pellet-burning stove
🌳Solar panels
🌳Biodigester
🌳Eco-friendly products provided for washing machine, washing up and bathing

Great Escape Glamping, Brecon Beacons | sleeps 6 + 2 dogs

Great Escape Glamping

If your squad are just as keen to protect the planet as you are, this could be the setting for your most unforgettable – and ethical – holiday yet. With three hand-built, luxury, shepherds' huts heated by their own wood burner, nestled in a private countryside location, you can spend your days cooking on a fire pit, heading off on riverside walks or gazing up at the night’s sky. The only big question that remains is: which one of the huts will you shotgun?!

Why we love it:

😍Totally unique group holiday accommodation
😍Firepit and outdoor BBQ for chilled evenings
😍Surrounded by nature in a Dark Sky Reserve – ideal for stargazing
😍Super-cute shepherd hut interiors

Why the planet loves it:

🌳Off-grid, with solar panels and wind turbines providing the energy
🌳Wood-fired heating and cooking
🌳Wood-fired hot tub
🌳Eco-friendly products provided for cleaning and washing up

 

Earth Ship, Perth and Kinross | sleeps 7 + 2 dogs

Earth Ship

For a totally unique eco-retreat, head to Scotland where you'll find this one-of-a-kind home snuggled up in the countryside on a working beef and sheep farm. As well as being pretty striking to look at, it's also one of the most sensitively built eco homes around, combining ancient principles with a modern twist and using mostly reclaimed or recycled materials. For example, the insulation is made from the farm's sheep wool and straw bales, the timber for the window frames comes from a demolished whisky distillery, and the super-cool patterned flooring is actually a gymnasium floor from the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games! 

Why we love it:

😍Cosy wood burner stove fuelled by wood from the farm
😍Bubbling hot tub for evening stargazing with your squad
😍Incredible Scottish countryside and loch views
😍Totally unique design, both inside and out

Why the planet loves it:

🌳The electric and heat sourced from on-farm wind turbines and home-made solar thermal panels
🌳Sewage and grey water treated on-farm within natural bio-treatment botanical wetland to provide a great habitat for wildlife
🌳Built using reclaimed, recycled and low-embodied material 
🌳Uses passive solar energy - warmed by the sun through south-facing glass elevations

The Hot Tub Hideaway, Brecon Beacons | sleeps 2

Hot tub hideaway

Want a holiday that’s totally off-grid? Meet The Hot Tub Hideaway – no electricity, no gas, and not even any Wi-Fi! But what it ditches in terms of mod-cons, it more than makes up for in tranquillity, charm and unforgettable location – plus, there’s a hot tub made out of a digger bucket! If you’re worried about being a bit too off the beaten track, don’t fret: there’s a solar-powered USB charger for your iPhone and Hay-on-Wye is only 6 miles away, for when you’re desperate for a flat white.

Why we love it:

😍Ideal for you and your boo
😍Firepit BBQ for romantic evenings
😍Hand-built accommodation with cute styling
😍Cosy wood burner

Why the planet loves it:

🌳Composting toilet
🌳Solar-powered lights and USB charging points
🌳Up-cycled hot tub – made from a digger bucket!
🌳No electricity or Wi-Fi
🌳Wood-fired hot tub

Pistyll Bach, West Wales | sleeps 8 + 1 dog

Pistyll Bach

Giving us big Gillian Anderson’s house in Sex Education vibes, this private residence has unique features and quirky styling at every turn – including a highly Instagrammable garden room. For a touch of luxury, there’s a heated indoor pool which, combined with the exotic coloured walls, will make you feel like you’re in a Mediterranean villa rather than a West Wales eco-retreat.

Why we love it:

😍Indoor swimming pool
😍Quirky architecture and interior design
😍Chilled-out garden room packed with plants
😍Bring your four-legged best friend

Why the planet loves it:

🌳Powered by hydroelectricity using the nearby river

 

If you’re inspired to switch off your tech and tune into the natural world with an eco-friendly UK holiday, you might like to have a read of our guide to the UK’s ultimate glamping holidays. Or take a look at our complete collection of planet-saving holidays below.

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