"The more eco-tourism and resorts become popular, the more others in the industry strive to improve their reputation for being green."
Simon Peat, CEO of Project Solar UK
Rated on key criteria including renewable energy, waste disposal, eco-friendly construction, recycling efforts, location and luxury factors, the leaderboard revealed Treetops Treehouse, Devon at the number one spot. Close second was Y Goeden Eirin, Dolydd, Gwynedd, with a strong reputation for rainwater recycling and solar powered lodgings and third place was achieved by the beautifully appointed Watergate Lodge, Watergate Bay, Cornwall, with its air-source heating and eco-friendly ventilation system, which opens for the first time in 2021.
The leaderboard was compiled by solar energy provider, Project Solar UK, on experiencing a surge in interest from holiday resorts looking to improve their green credentials by introducing solar panels as an alternative electricity source. The Burton-Upon-Trent based business supplies and installs over a quarter of the country’s solar panels and employs over 120 people.
Commenting on the results of the leaderboard, Simon Peat, CEO of Project Solar UK, said, “The more eco-tourism and resorts become popular, the more others in the industry strive to improve their reputation for being green. Staying somewhere that respects the natural environment surrounding it and where the owners take practical steps to reduce carbon emissions is now high on many holidaymakers’ agendas. We are inundated with enquiries from forward thinking holiday resorts who are looking to fit solar panels as part of their eco credentials and to create long term costs savings.”
Each resort that made it into the top six leaderboard was ranked from 1-5 on each factor (renewable energy, waste disposal, eco-friendly construction, recycling efforts, location and luxury). All data was sourced from their individual websites and sustainability statements with additional third- party data sourced from Booking.com and TripAdvisor.com for public opinion on the luxury factor criteria.
Treetops Treehouse, Devon
Treetops Treehouse Is a cosy two-bedroom treehouse nestled within the branches of a 200-year old oak tree. Expertly kitted out, it ensures the outside is brought in and has been furnished using oak rescued from the tree itself. The nearest train station is in Eggesford, just 250m from the resort, or Barnstaple is a short drive away.
Y Goeden Eirin, Dolydd, Gwynedd
The quaint B&B offers a rustic resting place after a few days of exploring the Welsh countryside. Located in the small hamlet of Dolydd, the lodgings were originally a stone cowshed but were renovated as an eco-friendly home in the early 2000s. The cosy and well-insulated cottage uses solar panels to power the lodgings, with rainwater collected and all waste composted or recycled where possible. For EV users, there’s also an on-site charging point for guests to access. The nearest town is Caernarfon. .
Watergate Lodge, Watergate Bay, Cornwall
The accommodation can house up to 12 guests, is just 400 metres from the beach, and is solar-powered with air-source heating and an eco-friendly ventilation system. The resort is a short drive from Newquay.
Treehouse Hideaway at Chewton Glen - Hampshire
What makes the property unique is that it’s suspended thirty-five above ground level and surrounded by the tranquillity of the New Forest. The treehouses are designed to blend into their environment and run entirely from renewables, with solar panels used as the energy source. The lodge also harvests rainwater to be used throughout the resort. For transport links, Chewton Glen is in easy reach of Christchurch, Bournemouth and Southampton.
Bert’s Box, The Pig at Brockenhurst, Hampshire
If the cute name isn’t enough to tempt you, its green credentials sure will be. Nestled inside the Pig Hotel in the New Forest, Bert’s Box is a cosy cabin. Designed to be as green and sustainable as possible, Bert’s Box comes with a wood-burning stove, a floor of reclaimed timber and aluminium windows and doors. For rail links, the nearest city is Southampton.
Camp Katur Domes, North Yorkshire
Katur is Icelandic for happiness, and the yurts and domes are designed to embrace Nordic living, which means no tech, no wifi, and embracing mother nature. Located in the gateway of the Yorkshire moors, the geodomes are created from recycled materials, with a wood-fired hot tub and outdoor seating. The eco-domes boast their own composting bathroom facilities. Activities that encourage an off-grid lifestyle, such as bushcraft and wild cooking, are available to guests. The nearest large town to Camp Katur is Dishforth.
The solar energy company behind the research also offers advice on eco travelling in the UK:
Choose eco-friendly ways of getting to your destination - consider using electric vehicles or trains. Ensure planes are a last resort.
Avoid plastic - consider using solid bars of deodorant and shampoo rather than decanting into travel size plastic bottles. Try a bamboo toothbrush to add to your bathroom essentials
Wear it well - consider wearing rarely worn clothes rather than buying a whole new holiday wardrobe
Water, water everywhere? Bring a reusable water bottle with you and remember to turn off taps - even if you are relaxing on holiday
Tidy up time - take your litter with you and dispose of it appropriately. Don't leave it behind for someone else to deal with.