Scotland’s pure magnificence, fascinating historical past and full of life cities make it a preferred journey vacation spot. The draw back? Overtourism at common points of interest is rife, threatening the well-being of each native communities and the surroundings.
The excellent news is it’s attainable to get pleasure from Scotland and nonetheless have a optimistic affect 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.
Learn how to get round Scotland sustainably
Listed here are some prime ideas that will help you be a sustainable traveller in Scotland:
Use public transport
Most of Scotland’s principal points of interest are fairly effectively linked by public transport. The practice line is served by ScotRail which may take you as far north as Thurso, all the best way 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 dwelling to a few of the most lovely rail journeys on this planet. One in all 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 akin 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 common selection.
When you’ve got plans to discover the Scottish isles there’s no have to e book flights. They’re simple and reasonably priced to achieve with the Caledonian MacBrayne ferries.
Discover by bike
Get some train and contemporary air with Scotland’s Nationwide Cycle Community. There are some lovely routes everywhere in the nation.
How about seaside hopping by way of the Outer Hebrides island chain? Or why not cycle from Edinburgh metropolis centre to Shore in Leith?
You’ll be able to, in fact, rent push bikes however should you want a bit extra kick, an electrical bike could make all of the distinction on these hills.
Associated learn: A few of the Greatest UK Cycle Routes
Drive an electrical automobile
Should you want to have your individual automobile or campervan, attempt to rent an electrical or hybrid automobile the place attainable – notably 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 surroundings clear.
Use ChargePlace Scotland to seek out electrical charging factors in your route.
How to decide on eco-friendly lodging in Scotland
Take these steps to seek out sustainable locations to remain in Scotland:
Search for eco credentials
Lodges which can be severe about their environmental affect will spotlight their eco credentials on their web site.
To assist inform your selection, look out for third-party accreditations from Inexperienced Key, EcoLabel, Inexperienced Tourism and Tourism Declares to call a number of.
Search on resort reserving websites
It’s by no means been simpler to seek out sustainable lodges on common reserving platforms akin 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 selection because it gives a variety of lodging sorts that adhere to strict sustainability standards.
Go boutique and family-owned
By no means thoughts the massive chain lodges, among the best methods to benefit from the native tradition and be extra sustainable is to remain in unbiased B&Bs.
The place else are you going to seek out distinctive lodging, get native data, and assist small companies all with a mouthwatering breakfast to match?
Associated learn: A Information to Renting a Vacation Dwelling
Some completely unimaginable lodges, B&Bs and lodges embody:
Sustainable journey in Scotland: Issues to do
From wildlife recognizing to rewilding, listed below are some sustainable actions to do in Scotland:
Go off the overwhelmed monitor
Keep away from crowded hotspots by going off the overwhelmed monitor in your journey to Scotland.
For instance, as a substitute of constructing a beeline for the Isle of Skye, go to a few of the lesser-known islands on the West Coast as a substitute. Skye belongs to the Interior Hebrides group, of which there are 35 inhabited islands!
Glen Coe is one other vacation spot that’s notably inclined 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 a substitute?
Should you do need to swing by Skye and Glen Coe, go to within the shoulder or low season when there are fewer crowds. Usually, October by way of 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 affect 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 would possibly want small group excursions led by native guides that allow you to join with the native tradition and surroundings.
A terrific instance is Intrepid Journey. It has a collection of multi-day itineraries which deal with mountaineering holidays, island-hopping or exploring the perfect of Scotland in simply over every week.
Byway and Intrepid Journey are B Company licensed which implies they meet excessive social and environmental requirements.
Associated learn: Highway Journey By way of the Scottish Highlands
Scotland is famend for its pure magnificence, however honestly, its panorama is closely nature-depleted. The Scottish Highlands alone have been as soon as dwelling to the Caledonian Forest which coated an unlimited space of land. Now simply 1% of it stays.
One of the vital impactful methods to be a sustainable traveller in Scotland is to study Scottish rewilding and conservation.
SCOTLAND: The Huge 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 by way of Glen Feshie, and nature-friendly farms, and hosts discussions on biodiversity and wildlife reintroduction.
These excursions are good for nature lovers and wildlife fanatics who need to get a deeper understanding of Scotland’s pure surroundings.
Do a tree-planting weekend
One other method you possibly can have a optimistic affect on Scotland is to assist restore its depleted forests by planting timber or supporting tree-planting initiatives.
Bushes for Life is on a mission to rewild the Scottish Highlands. You’ll be able to go to quite a few websites the charity works on and benefit from the pure environment.
One other solution to get entangled is to volunteer at Dundreggan Rewilding Centre (opening in 2023), the place you possibly can assist are likely to younger timber within the nursery and be a part of rewilding initiatives. You can even go to the centre and be taught extra about rewilding.
Go mountaineering within the Highlands and Lowlands
Scotland advantages from a ‘proper to roam’ legislation which implies 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 take advantage of this entry than by mountaineering?
There’s no finish to lovely mountaineering trails everywhere in the Scottish countryside. A few of the finest one-day strolling trails in Scotland embody:
- 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 embody:
- West Highland Manner
- Nice Glen Manner
- Borders Abbeys Manner
- The Speyside Manner
- Berwickshire Coastal Path
Be a sustainable hiker in Scotland by guaranteeing that you simply go away no hint. Persist with the trail, take all garbage dwelling with you and go away every little thing 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 drawback, 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 cut back the quantity of congestion on the roads.
Most of the island’s points of interest may 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 a substitute.
Skye EBikes lets you hire e-bikes at an reasonably priced price 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 use all through the Scottish isles somewhat than driving.
You’ll be able to rent e-bikes on the Isle of Mull or carry your individual bike and cycle a few of the epic lengthy and brief routes throughout Orkney, Shetland, Outer Hebrides and extra!
Go wildlife recognizing
One in all 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 varied 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 would possibly even see basking sharks should you’re fortunate!
At all times ensure to maintain a respectful distance from any wildlife you encounter. Don’t attempt to contact, stroke or feed them both.
Assist small and sustainable companies
A simple solution to advocate for sustainable tourism in Scotland is to assist native companies.
Procuring 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 Fortress, owned by Argyll Estates is a Inexperienced Tourism Silver award-winner due to its biomass heating system, biodiverse grounds, waste minimisation and native store.
Should you get pleasure from 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.
Remaining ideas on sustainable journey in Scotland
We hope you discovered the following tips helpful in planning your individual eco escape in Scotland.
Whereas its environmental well being is much from good, it’s nonetheless one of many ‘greenest’ international locations on this planet.
Nice biking and public transport routes provide accessible options to automobiles. Plus there are many eco-friendly actions and locations to remain.
In the end, travelling sustainably in Scotland is about discovering a stability, whether or not that’s mitigating your individual footprint, supporting inexperienced companies or avoiding overtourism hotspots.