Scotland’s pure magnificence, fascinating historical past and full of life cities make it a preferred journey vacation spot. The draw back? Overtourism at fashionable points of interest is rife, threatening the well-being of each native communities and the setting.
The excellent news is it’s potential to get pleasure from Scotland and nonetheless have a constructive 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 can assist you plan a accountable journey.
Learn how to get round Scotland sustainably
Listed below are some high ideas that can assist you be a sustainable traveller in Scotland:
Use public transport
Most of Scotland’s principal 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 best way right down to the Scottish Borders and in all places in between.
Practice journey in Scotland is an actual pleasure to expertise because the nation is house to among the most stunning 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 right 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 potential to journey round Scotland by bus and coach. Megabus can take you to most main cities and cities. CityLink Scotland is one other fashionable selection.
You probably have plans to discover the Scottish isles there’s no must ebook flights. They’re simple and inexpensive to succeed in with the Caledonian MacBrayne ferries.
Discover by bike
Get some train and contemporary air with Scotland’s Nationwide Cycle Community. There are some stunning routes all around 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 when 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 desire to have your personal automotive or campervan, attempt to rent an electrical or hybrid automobile the place potential – significantly when you’re doing a street journey.
They emit fewer greenhouse gasoline emissions and air pollution into the environment 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
Inns which are critical 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 lodge reserving websites
It’s by no means been simpler to search out sustainable resorts on fashionable reserving platforms akin to Reserving.com. Search for the ‘Journey Sustainably’ tag.
Nonetheless, when you’re not too satisfied, lodging reserving platforms devoted solely to sustainability are right here to assist. Take a look at EcoHotels.com which solely lists licensed inexperienced resorts.
Ecobnb is one other wonderful selection because it provides a spread of lodging sorts that adhere to strict sustainability standards.
Go boutique and family-owned
By no means thoughts the massive chain resorts, probably the greatest 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 help 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 resorts 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 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 among the lesser-known islands on the West Coast as a substitute. Skye belongs to the Internal Hebrides group, of which there are 35 inhabited islands!
Glen Coe is one other vacation spot that’s significantly inclined to crowds. This picturesque glen is a hotspot for site 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. Typically, 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 constructive however nonetheless have flexibility, Byway Journey does bespoke no-fly itineraries.
With Byway, you may simply create a personalised self-guided itinerary that takes you thru the Scottish Highlands and islands.
Solo travellers would possibly desire small group excursions led by native guides that enable you to join with the native tradition and setting.
A terrific instance is Intrepid Journey. It has a number of multi-day itineraries which concentrate on mountaineering holidays, island-hopping or exploring the perfect of Scotland in simply over every week.
Byway and Intrepid Journey are B Company licensed which suggests they meet excessive social and environmental requirements.
Associated learn: Highway Journey By way of 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 coated an enormous space of land. Now simply 1% of it stays.
One of the impactful methods to be a sustainable traveller in Scotland is to find out about Scottish rewilding and conservation.
SCOTLAND: The Large Image is a rewilding charity that runs rewilding schooling journeys within the Cairngorms Nationwide park.
It provides 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 excellent for nature lovers and wildlife fans who need to get a deeper understanding of Scotland’s pure setting.
Do a tree-planting weekend
One other approach you may have a constructive affect on Scotland is to assist restore its depleted forests by planting timber or supporting tree-planting initiatives.
Timber for Life is on a mission to rewild the Scottish Highlands. You’ll be able to go to plenty of websites the charity works on and benefit from the pure environment.
One other technique to get entangled is to volunteer at Dundreggan Rewilding Centre (opening in 2023), the place you may assist are likely to younger timber within the nursery and be part of rewilding initiatives. You may as well go to the centre and study extra about rewilding.
Go mountaineering within the Highlands and Lowlands
Scotland advantages from a ‘proper to roam’ regulation 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 technique to benefit from this entry than by mountaineering?
There’s no finish to stunning mountaineering trails all around the Scottish countryside. A few 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 Means
Nice Glen Means
Borders Abbeys Means
The Speyside Means
Berwickshire Coastal Path
Be a sustainable hiker in Scotland by guaranteeing that you simply depart no hint. Stick with the trail, take all garbage house with you and depart 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 potential to discover the island with a lighter footprint.
To start out with, swap the automotive for a motorcycle. Subsequent, go to on the shoulder or low season to scale 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 approach is to cycle it as a substitute.
Skye EBikes permits you to hire e-bikes at an inexpensive charge and comply with 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 need to use all through the Scottish isles quite than driving.
You’ll be able to rent e-bikes on the Isle of Mull or carry your personal bike and cycle among the epic lengthy and brief 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’ll 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 when 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 straightforward technique to advocate for sustainable tourism in Scotland is to help 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 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.
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 authorized B Company on the Morven peninsula.
Ultimate 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 way from excellent, it’s nonetheless one of many ‘greenest’ international locations on the planet.
Nice biking and public transport routes provide accessible options to vehicles. 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 personal footprint, supporting inexperienced companies or avoiding overtourism hotspots.
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