The top 10 sustainable places to stay in the UK

Forget globe-trotting, staycations are the way forward.

More holidaymakers in the UK are opting out of international holidays and instead are taking breaks closer to home. Sojern Europe, Travel Marketing Experts, General Manager, Matthieu Betton said: “We are already seeing a rising trend of British holidaymakers opting to have a staycation in the UK this summer with a 33% year-over-year increase in searches and bookings for trips within the UK between June and September. Additionally, there is a 13% increase in British holidaymakers booking UK hotels this summer compared to last year.”

Why you may ask? As well as the expense and stress of travelling abroad, holiday makers are increasingly concerned about their contribution to climate change and are considering ways they can holiday more sustainably. You don’t need to search hard these days to uncover the devastation of climate change or landscape destruction.

To address these issues, many locations in the UK have been working hard to become more sustainable as a town or city. In light of this, we have put together our 10 favourite sustainable places to stay in the UK. 


1. Lake District

Maybe one of the most well-known tourist destinations in the UK, the Lake District is perfect for explorers of all ages whether you’re travelling with your nature-loving family or adventurous friends. The lush, raw surroundings are filled with animals and new life. You can visit Beatrix Potter’s home, Hill Top, or if you want something a little more energetic you could take the gang to The Nationals Trust Fell Foot for water activities. Who fancies some canoeing?

The park has created many different programmes and schemes to keep the Lake District eco-friendly. Love Your Lakes is an initiative formed to encourage both tourists and locals as well as businesses to take simple steps to improve water quality and reduce toxic algal blooms. Another scheme, the ‘Go Lakes Travel’ is a £6.9 million initiative funded by the Department of Transport, and being delivered in partnership by Cumbria County Council, the Lake District National Park Authority and Cumbria Tourism. This generated a step-change in how visitors travel to and around the Central and Southern Lake District, enabling them to make greater use of sustainable modes of travel.


Where can I stay?

White Cross Bay is situated between Windermere and Ambleside with an open lakeside frontside. The site is both family and dog-friendly with outdoor facilities catering for both: play areas, games area, marina, woodland walk and a beer garden.


2. North Devon

In between the heights of Exmoor and the sea, North Devon is a green, fresh delight. From mossy wood trails to the rocky shores, North Devon is full of wildlife.

The community in North Devon has built the Biosphere Partnership to interact with the locals to pioneer sustainable forms of living for the future to help protect the beautiful surroundings. This includes projects such as Green Pioneers, Sustainable Energy Action Plan and Walking for Health. If you visit in August/September you will be able to visit their ‘On the Road’ music festival which aims to be eco-friendly using reusable cups, recycling bins and providing water refills.

Where can I stay?

Combe Martin Beach Holiday Park is just a five-minute walk from the beach and village of Combe Martin where you can find plenty of restaurants, shops and cafes. On site there is a club house selling food and drink alongside entertainment. You can also find family-friendly amusements, play areas and swimming pools.


3. Anstruther, Fife

Anstruther is a lovely little fishing village in the East Neuk of Fife. The top attraction you would find there is The World’s first MSC Certified Fish and Chip Shop. Anstruther Fish Bar and Restaurant demands that their famous, award-winning food is always caught responsibly and sourced sustainably. The restaurant uses all local food and ingredients keeping food miles to a minimum - cutting carbon emissions and giving diners the freshest fish.

If you explore just half a mile from Anstruther you will find, a hidden gem, Cellardyke. This small harbour town was designated a Conservation Area in 1977 and includes a preserved, picturesque, old fishing port lined with many charming houses.


Top caravan holiday parks near Anstruther:
Elie Holiday Park
St Andrews Holiday Park


4. Broad Haven and Little Haven

Broad Haven and Little Haven together forms the ‘Havens’ community are seaside resorts located in the south east corner of St Brides Bay in Pembrokeshire. The beaches across the Havens are perfect for lazy days spent building sandcastles, jumping the waves, rock pooling or flying a kite.

In March last year a ‘Havens’ plastic free initiative was launched by a local resident. Now key organisations and businesses in the town have put together a five-point plan on how local villages can reduce their use of single-use plastic. For example, many restaurants and cafes have removed plastic straws, bags cutlery and food containers whilst a local dairy, Mathias Dairy has been delivering milk in glass bottles to the villages, allowing many homes, shops, businesses, Broad Haven School and Broad Haven Playgroup to cut their use of plastic milk bottles.

(Image: Drew Buckley)

Top caravan holiday parks near Broad Haven and Little Haven:
Upper Sandy Wells, Dyfed
Nine Wells Caravan Park


5. Lyme Regis, Dorset

The fossil-strewn coastline of Lyme Regis featured in Jane Austin’s Persuasion and the French Lieutenants Woman. If you fancy yourself a bit of a folk music fan, you can visit their fundraising carnival in the Summer which raises money for many local charities. No matter your age or the time of the year, Lyme Regis has something to delight you. A perfect family resort, the home of palaeontology, a lively harbour, a calendar full of events, and plenty for the active and adventurous.

With the Lyme Regis becoming the first plastic-free town in its county, the community do everything they can to keep the town sustainable and eco-friendly.

Rescued by volunteers, the local old watermill, produces wholemeal flour and hydroelectricity. These grounds also include an onsite café which recycles it’s waste and sends compostable matter to Trill Farm Organics which grows herbs and veg for the cafe.

(Image: Ian Taylor)

Where can I stay?

Freshwater Beach Holiday Park is nearby Weymouth and Lyme Regis which is perfect to visit in the day. The park itself boasts indoor and outdoor swimming pools, 6 lane ten pin bowling, gym, sauna, hot tub and steam room, beauty salon, amusement arcade, pool tables, takeaway, supermarket and fully licensed family entertainment area.


6. Hornsea

Only 15 minutes from Hull, Hornsea sits on the coast offering fresh doughnuts and slot machines on promenades. As well as all the fun seaside attractions, Hornsea boasts Yorkshire’s biggest freshwater lake, Hornsea Mere.

The town has a long running free carnival every July which last year aimed to avoid the use of single use plastic! The seaside resort also has plenty of coffee shops and cafes where you can refuel, for example, Number 10 coffee shop on Market Place. Here, the owners have promoted sustainable ideas for many years now.

(Image: David A Boothby)

Where can I stay?

Skipsea Sands Holiday Park is located in the village of Skipsea and is perfect for everyone. Whether you are up for swimming or playing ten-pin bowling you’ll find it here. There are beautiful beaches nearby with lovely coastal walks to Bridlington and Hornsea nearby.


7. Bridgend

In 2019, Bridgend was recognised as the top sustainable and energy efficient town in Wales. With residents recycling 43% of waste and 38% of households having a smart meter installed, it was named among the leading ‘Areas for a Beautiful Future’ following research by Smart Energy GB.

Near Bridgend you can find the seaside resort Porthcrawl. Here you can find seven beaches, an esplanade, a traditional fairground, a town museum and the Grand Pavilion theatre. If your visiting with your family, there are plenty of activities to do with children such as Wiggley’s Fun Farm and Go Ape Margam. On the other hand, if you’re looking for more of an adult adventure there Is Margam Park Adventure or a walk over Merthyr Mawr Sand Dunes.


Where can I stay?

Trecco Bay is a 6 mile drive from Bridgend and 20 minute walk/7 minute drive to Porthcrawl. Whether you’re feeling sporty or prefer to relax, you’ll find lots to do from adventure golf, archery and badminton to a great selection of bars, restaurants and fast food outlets.


8. Cornwall

With a coastline stretching for over 250 miles Cornwall has many different fantastic beaches and coves, over 150! Whilst Cornwall is famous for its Cornish Heavy Cake, Cornish fairings, Cornish fudge and ice cream, Cornwall is also known for its sustainability.

The Cornwall community takes sustainability rather seriously. With that so, they hold a yearly awards ceremony – The Cornwall Sustainability Awards. The awards ceremony rewards and recognises local businesses, organisations and individuals that are working hard to protect and grow the natural environment in Cornwall.

(Image: Diago Torres)

Top caravan holiday parks in Cornwall:
Newquay Holiday Park
Mother Iveys Bay Holiday Park


9. Penzance

Penzance is one of the popular resorts in the UK. Alongside the popular arty galleries and funky pubs, holidaymakers from all over the UK come to use their most popular attraction, the Jubilee Pool, which is now heated by geothermal heating. This town works together to be eco-friendly with almost 100 local businesses signed up to the plastic-free scheme. They even have a traffic announcement sign that reads “Welcome to Plastic Free PZ. Reduce, Refill. Rethink.”

(Image: )

Where can I stay?

Praa Sands Holiday Park is in a beautiful quiet location in South West Cornwall sandwiched between Penzance and Helston, with a fabulous long sandy beach. Suitable for families, couples, surfers, beach lovers, walkers, golfers, or those just wanting to relax in a peaceful, well-kept caravan park which is open all year. An added benefit for Instagrammers is that the park boasts free WiFi!


10.  Whitstable Kent

Whitstable is known as Kent’s first plastic-free town. When you visit Whitstable the first thing you will notices are indie shops, art galleries and seafood stalls crammed into the small lanes around the beach and harbour. When visiting the harbour, you can buy shellfish from the harbourside market whilst watching the fishing boats unload fresh new fish. The town also hosts an Oyster Festival in July where you can find Morris dancing, fireworks with a varied amount of fresh food stalls.


Where can I stay?

Alberta Holiday Park is a great holiday base to explore the Kent area, located in Seasalter and very close to the beach with Whitstable only a short drive away. There's a heated outdoor pool and children's splash pool to enjoy as well as a family-friendly pub house with regular events and entertainment.


We’d love to hear your favourite places to stay, along with any tips for making your UK staycation sustainable so make sure to tweet us @UKCaravans4Hire!



Published on February 18th, 2020

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