As well as the obvious benefits of reducing your carbon footprint and helping out the environment, choosing to stay at an eco friendly B&B also gives you the chance to give something back to the community by eating the local products on offer at mealtimes, taking part in on-site activities like beekeeping and orphaned lamb feeds and not having to worry about how long you have the lights on for, as much of the energy coursing through these buildings comes straight from the sun.
What’s more, the majority are situated right in the heart of the beautiful British countryside, a holiday destination that’s set to be incredibly popular in 2013 and is sure to relieve the stress that can come from city life. So without further ado, take a look at these five eco friendly retreats that are perfect for more than just the hippies among us…
1) Bliss Cottage B&B, Glastonbury
Bliss Cottage is a quaint little bed and breakfast a stone’s throw from the Somerset levels and, for the shopaholics among us, Glastonbury town centre.
It’s a true eco friendly retreat, with energy generated from photovoltaic panels and the heating and hot water taken care of by a wood burning stove. And it doesn’t stop there; all breakfasts are either vegetarian or organic, with all produce sourced locally and eggs laid fresh from the B&Bs own hens.
Travel tip: Stay in the yurt for a different take on a country break. Situated in the B&B’s pretty garden, it comes complete with a wood burner and camp stove. Above photo is from tripadvisor.com.
Stays at Bliss Cottage B&B cost from £30 per night for single occupancy, while stays in the yurt cost from £60 (flat rate) per night.
2) The True Heart, Frampton-on-Severn
Formerly a village pub in the swinging 60’s, The True Heart now functions as a comforting bed and breakfast that utilises at least 75% solar powered hot water. In addition, Veronica – the owner – buys in fairtrade, organic and locally sourced produce and beverages, mineral water that’s been locally bottled in a spring in Devon, ecological cleaning products and even organic bed linen.
It helps to be situated in such a glorious area of Gloucstershire, where walking and cycling opportunities are rife and access to the Forest of Dean, Slimbridge Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust and historic Bath is easy.
Travel tip: Invest in a jar of delicious organic jam that’s been home made in Veronica’s own kitchen.
Stays at The True Heart cost from £40 per night for double occupancy.
3) Woodford Organics Vegetarian B&B, Bude
Situated just a mile from the stunning North Cornwall coast, it’s no surprise that the Woodford Organics Vegetarian B&B embraces the notion of environmentally friendly accommodation wherever possible. As well as providing a carbon-free electrical supply, solar heated water and organic bedding, owners Steve and Clare utilise a rainwater WC and recycle constantly.
Perhaps one of the nicest touches at this B&B is the fact that they produce their own organic fruit and vegetables, organic free-range eggs and even honey, while all other supplies are sourced locally.
Travel tip: Take part in one of the B&B’s courses. From bee-keeping and organic gardening to running, walking and music recording, there’s something for everyone.
Stays at Woodford Organics Vegetarian B&B cost from £40 per person, per night.
4) Ashcroft House B&B, Blagdon
Although formerly known as The Cottage B&B and Glampsite, Ashcroft House B&B is still situated in a lovely Victorian cottage surrounded by stunning views and greenery, and provides the option of a caravan stay.
It’s a true eco friendly retreat, with the establishment’s owners sourcing fruit, vegetables and edible flowers from their own garden, growing hay for their horses and ponies and even making their own compost. What’s more, none of the produce is grown using chemicals or non-organic fertilisers.
Travel tip: Let loose your inner Bear Grylls with on-site wild food forays, camp craft and bush craft sessions.
Stays at the Ashcroft House B&B cost from £65 per night for a double room, while stays in the caravan cost from £25 per person, per night.
5) Brighton House, Brighton
Eco friendly no longer means dank and pokey, as this refurbished regency town house clearly illustrates.
The Brighton House Hotel is located conveniently on the West Pier and goes that extra mile to embrace an environmentally friendly ethos. Owners Christine and Lucho take into account even the smallest detail, utilising energy from renewable sources, buying energy saving bulbs whenever possible, recycling regularly and even upping their insulation during a recent refurbishment. Even the breakfast is almost entirely organic, with exceptions to the rule made known to guests.
Travel tip: Take a relaxing stroll along Brighton Beach before visiting the blossoming Cultural Quarter, home to eclectic shops and exotic eateries.
Stays at the Brighton House Hotel cost from £50 per night for single occupancy.
It’s clear to see that eco friendly B&Bs are about so much more than lentil dinners and “lights out at 8!” They’re now a fantastic place to stay if you want to not just reduce your carbon footprint, but relax in a slow-paced atmosphere that’s kind to both you and the environment, with many owners going that extra mile to pique your enjoyment.
Contributed Post by Michelle Pegg.