Can sustainable UK breaks for families be luxurious and fun? We think they can. To prove it we’ve found 7 ethical places to stay which don’t ask you to sacrifice design for a clear conscience. One urban eco-legend even produces its own honey from rooftop hives. Take a look.
Treehouse Hotel, London: sustainable UK breaks with incredible views
Rooted in a prime Marylebone location, you’ll find the ultimate den at Treehouse Hotel. Owned by sustainability focused 1 Hotels, a stay here covers both style and substance. The American company has transferred its green ethos to the core of Treehouse and this can be seen in its green design using recyclable products, as well as a sustainability curriculum which trains staff in waste management and single-use plastic reduction.
From atop the leafy, green outpost, the landscape includes London’s icons like The Shard, Regent’s Park and Canary Wharf. All rooms are perched high on the city skyline, which is exciting for kids visiting London for the first time. Food options are impressive too as both Casa Madera and Pizzeria Mozza restaurants focus on premium seasonal produce. And then there’s family-friendly Nest, the hotel’s green, rooftop bar which comes with even more panoramic city views.
Room2 Chiswick: the world’s first net-zero Hometel
Room2, London’s first Hometel in leafy Chiswick, doesn’t disappoint. Its 86 artistically designed rooms offer the ease of a hotel and all the freedom of an apartment stay. And as eating out in London can be pricey with kids, this kind of city space is perfect. However, if the idea of cooking makes you wince, try in-house Boca or take your pick from Chiswick’s excellent local restaurants.
As the world’s first whole life net-zero Hometel, Room2 has reduced and rebalanced carbon emissions to zero. It’s also 89% more energy efficient than an average hotel, however, it doesn’t scrimp on luxury. Plus, green and charming Chiswick is a pleasure after days out in London with kids.
Kidlandlee Cottages: sustainable UK breaks in Northumberland National Park
Kidandlee Cottages in Northumberland National Park are not on the National Grid. Instead each of the seven gorgeous cottages uses wind and solar power. As owners Terri and Matthew say, “Protecting our environment and lowering our carbon footprint, alongside sustaining wildlife habitats and supporting the local community is central to our business ethos”
If you feel like stargazing, the nearby village of Alwinton is a Dark Sky Discovery site. And the luxurious cottages sit atop The Cheviots for dramatic views of the Coquet Valley which change throughout the day. Even the drive up to Kidlandlee lets you gaze over Northumberland National Park.
Once inside the deluxe cottages, no stone has been left unturned. There are spacious and chic lounge areas and luxurious bedrooms, as well as solar energy controls, recycled bedding, high-spec rain showers and refillable green products. Unsurprisingly, Kidlandlee was recently awarded Gold in the Green Tourism Certification Programme and features in The Green Traveller guide.
The Fish Hotel, Cotswolds: just add natural spring water and green energy
The Fish Hotel is named after nearby Fish Hill, where once medieval monks used the cold dark caves to preserve fish. Today, green energy powers the hotel, water comes from natural springs and 0% of its waste is sent to landfills.
The Fish was designed by Hannah Lohan and sits in 400-acre Farncombe Estate on the edge of the Cotswolds close to the village of Moreton-in-Marsh. Families have the choice of farmhouse suites, treehouses or charming hideaway huts. And the relaxed, open-plan hotel also offers a bar, restaurant and games room.
The Scandinavian owners have added cool touches throughout the property, including 360 fir trees in the bar. Hook is the place for breakfast buffets and delicious bistro fare with a focus on fish, of course. And as an added bonus the hotel is pet-friendly, right down to afternoon tea for dogs. Lucky pups!
Wonderfully Wild, Anglesey: green glamping in sight of Snowdonia
Wonderfully Wild is a spectacular glamping site located on Anglesey, just outside the picturesque seaside town of Beaumaris. This beautiful part of Wales has lots to offer families from quiet, golden beaches to Snowdonia National Park. And in fact the site itself nestles among rolling Welsh hills, only 15 minutes from the coast.
Families can choose between six safari glamping lodges here or opt to stay at Plas Cichle guest house which sleeps up to 12. Each six person safari tent comes with cosy bedrooms, including a snuggly twin for the kids, as well as a kitchen, lounge and BBQ area with outdoor seating overlooking Snowdonia. And although the site has no electricity, all power comes from batteries and solar energy.
Fritton Lake, Norfolk: fun weekend breaks in a wildly beautiful setting
Fritton Lake guests have access to an enormous lake for wild swimming, paddle boarding and water skiing. And the surrounding Somerleyton Hall Estate is also part of the pioneering WildEast rewilding project. So families can add safaris and fun foraging tours to these sustainable UK breaks.
Accommodation-wise, you’ve a choice of the 16th-century manor house or woodland and lakeside cabins as well as farm cottages. Cabins are particularly good for families as they include wood-burning stoves and private hot tubs on their outdoor deck. Even eating has a responsible twist here, because Fritton Lake uses only estate-grown or locally sourced ingredients in its menus.
Eden Locke: affordable and sustainable UK breaks in Edinburgh New Town
If you’re heading to Edinburgh with kids, the design-savvy Locke group has now expanded its sustainable aparthotel collection to the city.
Eden Locke is a home away from home on George Street and one-bedroom suites here are ideal for families. Each has a kitchenette, lounge and bathroom, as well as a double and pull-out bed. Prices are very reasonable for the location. And moreover, the aparthotel is a Green Tourism Programme member, so guarantees a sustainable stay right up to honey from its own rooftop hives.