Can green travel still be luxurious?

The past couple of years have seen an enormous growth in green travel and eco-tourism, indeed it is now fairly fashionable to be going green. But can green travel really be luxurious? Absolutely.

Long gone are the days of British green travel involving sitting in a field eating from a can of baked beans. Oh no, with the rise in glamping, straw bale builds, and green farms, eco-accommodation is very much a luxurious option that will leave you with a clear conscience. Here are my pick of the bunch of luxurious and slightly unusual green accommodation options in my home county of Yorkshire.

Dovecote Barns, York

Not too far from the centre of York, these award-winning barns boast countless positive reviews and hold the prestigious title of best self-catering accommodation 2011-2012. On arrival, you’ll be greeted by a friendly welcome, and a basket of local produce. The cottages offer a communal laundry service and produce all their electricity from renewable sources. There’s also recycling and composting facilities available. All very well, but what about the luxury I hear you cry? Well, the three cottages boast granite worktops, 6 en-suite bedrooms, log stoves and under-floor heating. For the warm Summer nights, each barn has its own private garden area with a barbeque for dining outside.

Home Grown Home’s two straw bale cottages near Howden

These two cottages are the UK’s first straw bale built self-catering accommodation. After running a course with Amazon nails, Home Grown Home offer a straw bale cottage and straw bale cabin near the beautiful village of Howden. Energy is provided by a wind turbine and solar panels, there’s free bicycles to use whilst you’re there, organic sheets, and even a wormery! On arrival, the owners offer to collect you from the local train station, and will have a basket of local produce delivered to the cottage if you so wish. The cottage even comes equipped with fishing rods and a picnic rug. The straw bale cabin sleeps up to 3 people, and the straw bale cottage sleeps up to 6.

Glamping with Jollydays, Scrayingham, Yorkshire

Yes, glamorous camping. A gold winner of the green tourism scheme, Jollydays offers a luxury camping experience based in a village farm in Scrayingham, near Stamford Bridge in Yorkshire. 10% of the company’s profits are given to environmental and educational projects, they boast a bio digester and reed beds, and currently a proportion of their electricity is from sustainable sources. Is it luxurious? One recent customer wrote ‘Imagine the Ritz in a tent and you’ve got Jollydays!’ Indeed, this camping experience is far more luxurious than many hotels. The deluxe tents can sleep up to six and offer a four poster bed, stove, and wooden floors. Not a baked bean can in sight.

Charlotte Nicol is a Co-Founder of Most Curious Tours.

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Comments (2)

  1. kim says:

    I can’t believe I have never heard of the term ‘glamping’ before…I had fun googling it and learning something new. Your examples really prove your point that green camping can be MORE than comfortable.

  2. Heidi Ross says:

    ‘Glamping’ is one of the most effective ways to create minimal impact getaways in sensitive areas. In Australia, we are in the process of establishing ‘nightfall wilderness camp’- an intimate eco-sensitive carbon-neutral retreat, with delicious fire-cooked organic food, fine Australian wine and attentive service. nightfall’s bespoke luxury tents are surrounded by world-heritage-protected Lamington National Park, part of Australia’s ‘Green Cauldron’ – “a mysterious melting pot of rich volcanic earth, deep green rainforest, breathtaking scenery, shining blue waters and rare Gondwanan (prehistoric) wildlife” … with careful design, blending ‘green’ with luxe is not hard!

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