Coach breaks to nature reserves – holidays at home can help save the planet

MAKING your holiday more environmentally friendly is actually pretty easy. 

Simply by staying in the UK you’ll be helping the planet significantly.

More and more travel companies are doing all the hard work for us, so you won’t need to worry about your carbon footprint when you book one of these eco-trips. From coach breaks to holidays in nature reserves, we pick some of the top sustainable staycations.

TOUR ORKNEY ISLANDS BY CAMPER VAN

SPOOT, the converted Nissan all-electric campervan, sleeps two and is fitted with solar panels to generate renewable energy.

You’ll never run out of juice as there are more than 30 charging points on Orkney and once fully powered, you can travel up to 120 miles.

Head to the small village of Evie at the northern end of the mainland and take in views of the turquoise waters of Eynhallow Sound or wander further south to the RSPB Birsay Moors Reserve, where you’ll spot merlins, hen harriers and red-throated divers.

The campervan costs £600 to hire for five nights. To find out more, see paulcamper.co.uk.

COACH TRIP TO BATH CHRISTMAS MARKET

CARBON-neutral coach company Toureasy offsets 100 per cent of carbon emissions on all holidays booked by planting trees, which essentially means you won’t be leaving a carbon footprint.

There’s something for every age group including theme-park holidays, breaks to the Chelsea Flower Show in London and historical trips to the Christmas markets in Bath, where you can explore artisan stalls in Queen Square and ride a Victorian carousel. All of the trips include accommodation and coach travel from pick-up points across the UK including Bristol, Cheltenham and Stoke-on-Trent. 

For more information see toureasy.co.uk.

BIRD-SPOTTING IN COTSWOLDS

YOU can whisk the whole family off to a Cotswolds eco-home overlooking a private water garden.

It sleeps eight in four bedrooms, which are kept toasty with air-source heat pumps. There’s a log burner too, for chilly evenings.

The property in Somerford Keynes sits in a nature reserve that is home to more than 25 species of water bird and there is a spa at the Lower Mills Estate.

If you are hungry, head to the zero-waste shop at Ballihoo market and stock up on home-made chutneys, berries and vegetables.

A weekend at Water Garden 9 costs £91.90pp for two nights, arriving on November 12. See habitatescapes.com.

LONDON CITY WALKING TOURS

TRAVELLING on foot is certainly the most efficient way to see England’s capital city, and you will also avoid costly taxis and confusing Tube lines.

The London North Eastern Railway’s new Footways Maps highlights the key landmarks. You can get one for free from the information desk at King’s Cross station or download it at footways.london/map.

Stay in The Zetter Hotel in Clerkenwell, which has rooms from £189 per night. It is run on an energy loop system, features recycled materials in its decorations and uses sustainable toiletries and packaging.

See thezetter.com to check for availability.

ECO-CAMPING IN THE LAKES

NESTLED in lush countryside close to Ullswater lake, The Quiet Site is the perfect spot for a peaceful getaway in nature.

Stay in a Hobbit hole (from £85 per night) or one of the new gingerbread houses which sleep up to two adults and four children and cost from £100 per night.

Surrounded by beech hedges, the houses have a basic kitchen and a private bathroom. The best thing though is that they are carbon positive – they produce more energy than they use. Everything else here is sustainable too – water is recycled through reed beds and heated with solar panels and there’s a zero-waste shop on site. See thequietsite.co.uk.

SEE NORTHERN LIGHTS FROM SCOTLAND

YOU don’t have to head to Norway or Iceland for a chance to spot the magical Northern Lights.

Try this Scottish Highlands trip with flight-free and sustainable travel company, Byway.

It will take you by train from Glasgow to the scenic hills of Fort William in the western Scottish Highlands which is on the shores of Loch Linnhe.

Then it is up to the Isle of Skye. You will be staying in a cosy house surrounded by secluded beaches and with some unbeatable views of the night sky, before venturing to the bustling fishing port of Mallaig and back to Glasgow. 

The six-day trip is from £431pp. See byway.travel.

Join The Sun’s Green Team

THE Sun today encourages its army of readers to make at least one lifestyle change to slow the advance of climate change.

Everyone can get involved.

We’ve teamed up with the global campaign Count Us In to calculate how much carbon you will be saving by ditching old habits.

Remember even small changes help.

Find a step that’s right for you and your family. Keep it up for at least two months and see how you do. It might become a habit.

When you’re ready, try another step. All these will add to change. We’ll get there together.

Visit thesun.co.uk/pledge and pledge to one or more lifestyle changes.

It could save you money and all of your actions will go toward a global goal of getting a billion people to make changes.

1.     Eat more plants – Going meat-free for a day brings the same carbon saving as not driving for a month.

2.     Cut food waste – The average UK family throws away £700 of food a year.

3.     Turn down heating – With energy prices rocketing this will save you money.

4.     Insulate your home – Stop heating the sky with heat escaping through your roof.

5.  Repair and re-use – We ditch the equivalent of 250 t-shirts a year.

6.  Walk or cycle one extra journey a day – petrol cars emit twice as much pollution in their first five minutes of use, so even short journeys add to climate change.

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