Eco-Friendly Adventures and Sustainable Travel to the UK
Europe

Eco-Friendly Adventures
and Sustainable Travel to the UK

The UK has long been a coveted tourist destination famed for its exciting history, rich culture, and diverse scenery. While travel to the UK remains as popular as ever – it came in at 10th place for highest number of visitors in 2019 – the nature of its tourism is changing. Faced with the worrying impacts of the climate crisis, yet eager to see the world after the restrictions of the pandemic, travellers are looking to explore in a way that protects the environment and its inhabitants. 

There are three fundamental elements to the regulation of sustainable tourism, as propounded by environmental organisations such as the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO). These are: eco-friendly behaviours; conservation of natural and historical landscape; positive socio-economic change amongst local communities. 

For more information about ecotourism, see our article What is the Difference Between Ecotourism, Sustainable Tourism and Nature Tourism.

Click here to book your sustainable hotels in UK. Make sure to tick the box of Travel Sustainable Properties in the filter on the left!

How to stay sustainable in the UK?

If you’re hoping to apply these values to your UK vacation, there are fortunately a myriad of helpful schemes and initiatives that set apart the eco destinations and ensure your trip to the UK fosters only positive environmental change. Look for these accreditations next time you find accommodation or book a day out. 

Green Tourism 

Green Tourism is a UK-based scheme established to advise businesses on ways to become greener, cleaner, and more mindful of their environmental impact. They run an internationally-recognised certification programme to recognise the organisations (hotels, restaurants, tourist attractions) who are implementing eco-friendly practices such as sourcing local food, eliminating unnecessary waste, and conserving resources. 

Michelin Green Star 

Launched in 2020 by the infamous Michelin Group, the Green Star award recognises the restaurants and chefs who are striving to work to the very highest environmental standards. Food is locally sourced in season and produced with ethical growing methods, from farms who might employ regenerative and mindful techniques such as foraging and no-dig methods. Kitchens will have a clear recycling programme, including for food waste. 

Top Michelin Green Star restaurants of 2022:

  • OAK Restaurant (Bath) – contemporary vegan and vegetarian dishes using artisanal, organic ingredients.
  • Terroir Tapas (Bournemouth) – eco restaurant seeking to eliminate use of chemicals, prevent waste, and reduce carbon footprint.  
  • Angela’s (Margate) – bistro serving locally souced and sustainably-fished seafood and vegetarian meals.

UKinbound 

UKinbound is an organisation that exists on a national level to monitor sustainable tourism in the UK and ensure that it can be enjoyed for many years to come. Its activities include the development of eco-friendly tourist experiences, the conservation of natural environments, and the commitment to creating positive socio-economic change amongst communities. On their website you can find news on the UK ecotourism industry, as well as helpful resources for planning your sustainable UK vacation. 

Attractions and Destinations for Sustainability in the UK

The rise of the staycation in the UK has contributed to the growth in popularity of several wonderful locations across the country. In the search for destinations that value environmental conservation, good recycling schemes, and carbon footprint reduction, the UK has much to offer. Here are a few towns, attractions, and activities to discover on your ultimate UK vacation. 

Brighton 

Led by a Green local government, Brighton consistently proves itself to be a paradigm for sustainability. A recent bio-cultural heritage project worked on assessing the current impacts of tourism in the region and how future resources could be used to tackle climate problems and conserve local heritage. 

Brighton also sits in the heart of The Living Coast, a natural landscape of rich vegetation and the UK’s only biosphere reserve – a place where ecological systems are studied for scientific development and biodiversity is championed. 

Click here to book your hotels in Brighton!

Bristol 

Usually found competing for the crown of top vegan food destination, Bristol was the first ever city to be named European Green Capital. It boasts a number of renewable energy sites, working with local communities to eliminate energy poverty, and it’s also a Fairtrade City – meaning it trades with millions of workers across developing countries to ensure sustainable farming and fair wages. 

  • Sustrans

Bristol is also home to Sustrans, a charity working to develop national cycle paths and promote accessibility to this eco-friendly mode of transport. 

Click here to book your hotels in Bristol!

The Eden Project 

Resembling something you might find featured in a sci-fi movie, The Eden Project consists of two vast greenhouses housing two different biomes. Located in Cornwall, this tourist attraction is home to a mass of flora and fauna hailing from either the tropical destinations of South America and Asia, or from the Mediterranean and Western Australia. 

The Eden Project organisation works on sites across the UK to encourage an understanding of the planet’s precious ecosystems and champion eco-friendly behaviour. 

Click here to book your sustainable hotels in UK. Make sure to tick the box of Travel Sustainable Properties in the filter on the left!


Finding positive environmental practices and sustainability in the UK is easier than you think, and you’ll likely struggle to fit it all into one vacation. Wherever you travel to the UK, remember that travelling sustainably now will allow you, and many generations after you, the opportunity to keep exploring.

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