Scotland’s pure magnificence, fascinating historical past and energetic cities make it a preferred journey vacation spot. The draw back? Overtourism at in style points of interest is rife, threatening the well-being of each native communities and the setting.
The excellent news is it’s attainable to take pleasure in Scotland and nonetheless have a optimistic impression as a customer. The reply is accountable tourism and sustainable journey in Scotland.
So, from actions to lodging, we’ve compiled a fast information to sustainable journey in Scotland that will help you plan a accountable journey.
Easy methods to get round Scotland sustainably
Listed below are some high ideas that will help you be a sustainable traveller in Scotland:
Use public transport
Most of Scotland’s major points of interest are fairly properly linked by public transport. The practice line is served by ScotRail which might take you as far north as Thurso, all the way in which all the way down to the Scottish Borders and in every single place in between.
Practice journey in Scotland is an actual pleasure to expertise because the nation is house to a few of the most lovely rail journeys on the planet. Considered one of which is the West Highland Line which travels from Glasgow to the West Coast both at Mallaig or all the way down to Oban.
You’re handled to epic surroundings in your journey, with highlights similar to Loch Lomond, Rannoch Moor and Glenfinnan Viaduct to look out for.
It’s additionally attainable to journey round Scotland by bus and coach. Megabus can take you to most main cities and cities. CityLink Scotland is one other in style alternative.
When you’ve got plans to discover the Scottish isles there’s no must guide flights. They’re straightforward and inexpensive to achieve with the Caledonian MacBrayne ferries.
Discover by bike
Get some train and recent air with Scotland’s Nationwide Cycle Community. There are some lovely routes everywhere in the nation.
How about seashore hopping via the Outer Hebrides island chain? Or why not cycle from Edinburgh metropolis centre to Shore in Leith?
You possibly can, after all, rent push bikes however should you want slightly extra kick, an electrical bike could make all of the distinction on these hills.
Associated learn: A number of the Greatest UK Cycle Routes
Drive an electrical car
If you happen to favor to have your personal automobile or campervan, attempt to rent an electrical or hybrid car the place attainable – significantly should you’re doing a highway journey.
They emit fewer greenhouse gasoline emissions and air pollution into the ambiance so by going electrical you’re serving to to maintain Scotland’s setting clear.
Use ChargePlace Scotland to search out electrical charging factors in your route.
How to decide on eco-friendly lodging in Scotland
Take these steps to search out sustainable locations to remain in Scotland:
Search for eco credentials
Lodges which might be critical about their environmental impression will spotlight their eco credentials on their web site.
To assist inform your alternative, look out for third-party accreditations from Inexperienced Key, EcoLabel, Inexperienced Tourism and Tourism Declares to call a couple of.
Search on resort reserving websites
It’s by no means been simpler to search out sustainable lodges on in style reserving platforms similar to Reserving.com. Search for the ‘Journey Sustainably’ tag.
Nonetheless, should you’re not too satisfied, lodging reserving platforms devoted solely to sustainability are right here to assist. Try EcoHotels.com which solely lists licensed inexperienced lodges.
Ecobnb is one other wonderful alternative because it gives a spread of lodging sorts that adhere to strict sustainability standards.
Go boutique and family-owned
By no means thoughts the large chain lodges, top-of-the-line methods to benefit from the native tradition and be extra sustainable is to remain in impartial B&Bs.
The place else are you going to search out distinctive lodging, get native information, and assist small companies all with a mouthwatering breakfast to match?
Associated learn: A Information to Renting a Vacation Residence
Some completely unimaginable lodges, B&Bs and lodges embrace:
Sustainable journey in Scotland: Issues to do
From wildlife recognizing to rewilding, listed here are some sustainable actions to do in Scotland:
Go off the crushed monitor
Keep away from crowded hotspots by going off the crushed monitor in your journey to Scotland.
For instance, as an alternative of constructing a beeline for the Isle of Skye, go to a few of the lesser-known islands on the West Coast as an alternative. Skye belongs to the Interior Hebrides group, of which there are 35 inhabited islands!
Glen Coe is one other vacation spot that’s significantly prone to crowds. This picturesque glen is a hotspot for visitors, drones and litter. For cleaner and extra ‘undisturbed’ magnificence, why not head to Glen Affric or Glen Lyon as an alternative?
If you happen to do need to swing by Skye and Glen Coe, go to within the shoulder or low season when there are fewer crowds. Usually, October via to April is far quieter whereas July and August are the busiest months.
Do a small group or self-guided tour
Take the stress out of your itinerary by doing a tour with a accountable operator. If you wish to guarantee your impression is optimistic however nonetheless have flexibility, Byway Journey does bespoke no-fly itineraries.
With Byway, you possibly can simply create a personalised self-guided itinerary that takes you thru the Scottish Highlands and islands.
Solo travellers may favor small group excursions led by native guides that enable you to join with the native tradition and setting.
An awesome instance is Intrepid Journey. It has a choice of multi-day itineraries which give attention to mountain climbing holidays, island-hopping or exploring one of the best of Scotland in simply over per week.
Byway and Intrepid Journey are B Company licensed which suggests they meet excessive social and environmental requirements.
Associated learn: Street Journey By the Scottish Highlands
Find out about conservation
Scotland is famend for its pure magnificence, however honestly, its panorama is closely nature-depleted. The Scottish Highlands alone have been as soon as house to the Caledonian Forest which lined an unlimited space of land. Now simply 1% of it stays.
Some of the impactful methods to be a sustainable traveller in Scotland is to study Scottish rewilding and conservation.
SCOTLAND: The Massive Image is a rewilding charity that runs rewilding schooling journeys within the Cairngorms Nationwide park.
It gives a jam-packed itinerary that includes guided nature walks via Glen Feshie, and nature-friendly farms, and hosts discussions on biodiversity and wildlife reintroduction.
These excursions are good for nature lovers and wildlife lovers who need to get a deeper understanding of Scotland’s pure setting.
Do a tree-planting weekend
One other method you possibly can have a optimistic impression on Scotland is to assist restore its depleted forests by planting bushes or supporting tree-planting initiatives.
Bushes for Life is on a mission to rewild the Scottish Highlands. You possibly can go to a lot of websites the charity works on and benefit from the pure environment.
One other solution to become involved is to volunteer at Dundreggan Rewilding Centre (opening in 2023), the place you possibly can assist are inclined to younger bushes within the nursery and be a part of rewilding tasks. You may as well go to the centre and study extra about rewilding.
Go mountain climbing within the Highlands and Lowlands
Scotland advantages from a ‘proper to roam’ legislation which suggests the general public is allowed to entry most land and inland water for non-motorised leisure makes use of – so long as they’re accountable.
So, what higher solution to benefit from this entry than by mountain climbing?
There’s no finish to lovely mountain climbing trails everywhere in the Scottish countryside. A number of the finest one-day strolling trails in Scotland embrace:
- Arthur’s Seat, Edinburgh
- Conic Hill, Loch Lomond & the Trossachs
- Rackwick to the Outdated Man of Hoy, Orkney
- Ben Nevis, Fort William
Multi-day hikes in Scotland embrace:
- West Highland Approach
- Nice Glen Approach
- Borders Abbeys Approach
- The Speyside Approach
- Berwickshire Coastal Path
Be a sustainable hiker in Scotland by making certain that you simply depart no hint. Keep on with the trail, take all garbage house with you and depart the whole lot as you discovered it.
Keep secure on the market too. Pack the suitable gear and keep watch over the climate forecast.
Associated learn: The Greatest Sun shades for Mountain climbing & Out of doors Actions
Cycle round Skye and different islands
Whereas Skye suffers from an overtourism downside, it’s attainable to discover the island with a lighter footprint.
To begin with, swap the automobile for a motorcycle. Subsequent, go to on the shoulder or low season to scale back the quantity of congestion on the roads.
Lots of the island’s points of interest could be discovered on the Trotternish Loop, a preferred mini-road journey across the Trotternish peninsula. A cleaner and greener method is to cycle it as an alternative.
Skye EBikes means that you can hire e-bikes at an inexpensive fee and observe the well-marked loop to sights such because the Quiraing, Outdated Man of Storr, Fairy Glen, Kilt Rock and extra.
Biking is a mode of transport you should utilize all through the Scottish isles slightly than driving.
You possibly can rent e-bikes on the Isle of Mull or carry your personal bike and cycle a few of the epic lengthy and quick routes throughout Orkney, Shetland, Outer Hebrides and extra!
Go wildlife recognizing
Considered one of our favorite locations to go wildlife recognizing in Scotland is within the Treshnish Isles, an archipelago of small islands and skerries off the coast of Mull.
Birds and marine life are in abundance right here and you may meet them of their pure habitat on an moral boat journey.
Staffa Excursions runs boat excursions departing from Tobermory and Fionnphort on Mull in addition to Oban and Ardnamurchan on the mainland.
Its numerous routes take you to Iona (the birthplace of Celtic Christianity) and Staffa, an island inhabited by puffins from April to August.
Look out for minke whales, dolphins, gray seals, cormorants, gannets, guillemots and extra. You may even see basking sharks should you’re fortunate!
At all times be sure that to maintain a respectful distance from any wildlife you encounter. Don’t attempt to contact, stroke or feed them both.
Help small and sustainable companies
A simple solution to advocate for sustainable tourism in Scotland is to assist native companies.
Purchasing small helps to maintain cash in native communities. You additionally get a deeper understanding of the native individuals and tradition. It’s a win-win!
Take it a step additional by supporting companies that make an effort to be greener too. For instance, Dawyck Botanic Backyard in Peebles is the UK’s first carbon-neutral botanic backyard.
Inverary Fort, owned by Argyll Estates is a Inexperienced Tourism Silver award-winner due to its biomass heating system, biodiverse grounds, waste minimisation and native store.
If you happen to take pleasure in a tipple, Eden Mill Distillery in St Andrew’s is Scotland’s first carbon-neutral distillery. Pop into the store to get a bottle of gin or Scotch whisky.
For excursions and tastings, head to Nc’Nean, an natural distillery and licensed B Company on the Morven peninsula.
Closing ideas on sustainable journey in Scotland
We hope you discovered the following pointers helpful in planning your personal eco escape in Scotland.
Whereas its environmental well being is much from good, it’s nonetheless one of many ‘greenest’ international locations on the planet.
Nice biking and public transport routes supply accessible options to vehicles. Plus there are many eco-friendly actions and locations to remain.
Finally, travelling sustainably in Scotland is about discovering a steadiness, whether or not that’s mitigating your personal footprint, supporting inexperienced companies or avoiding overtourism hotspots.