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 surroundings.
The excellent news is it’s attainable to get pleasure from Scotland and nonetheless have a constructive 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.
Methods to get round Scotland sustainably
Listed here are some high suggestions that will help you be a sustainable traveller in Scotland:
Use public transport
Most of Scotland’s essential points of interest are fairly effectively linked by public transport. The prepare 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 all places in between.
Prepare journey in Scotland is an actual pleasure to expertise because the nation is residence to a number of the most stunning rail journeys on this planet. One in every 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 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 fashionable selection.
If in case you have plans to discover the Scottish isles there’s no have to guide flights. They’re straightforward 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 stunning routes everywhere in the nation.
How about seashore hopping by the Outer Hebrides island chain? Or why not cycle from Edinburgh metropolis centre to Shore in Leith?
You’ll be able to, after all, rent push bikes however if you happen to want somewhat extra kick, an electrical bike could make all of the distinction on these hills.
Associated learn: Among the Greatest UK Cycle Routes
Drive an electrical car
If you happen to choose to have your personal automobile or campervan, attempt to rent an electrical or hybrid car the place attainable – significantly if you happen to’re doing a highway journey.
They emit fewer greenhouse fuel emissions and air pollution into the environment 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
Resorts which might be critical about their environmental impression 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 seek out sustainable motels on fashionable reserving platforms akin to Reserving.com. Search for the ‘Journey Sustainably’ tag.
Nonetheless, if you happen to’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 motels.
Ecobnb is one other wonderful selection 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 motels, 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 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 motels 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 an alternative of constructing a beeline for the Isle of Skye, go to a number of the lesser-known islands on the West Coast as an alternative. Skye belongs to the Inside 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 site 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 by 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 constructive however nonetheless have flexibility, Byway Journey does bespoke no-fly itineraries.
With Byway, you’ll be able to simply create a personalised self-guided itinerary that takes you thru the Scottish Highlands and islands.
Solo travellers may choose small group excursions led by native guides that make it easier to join with the native tradition and surroundings.
An ideal instance is Intrepid Journey. It has a number of multi-day itineraries which give attention to mountain climbing holidays, island-hopping or exploring the very 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: Highway Journey By means of the Scottish Highlands
Scotland is famend for its pure magnificence, however in truth, its panorama is closely nature-depleted. The Scottish Highlands alone have been as soon as residence to the Caledonian Forest which coated an unlimited 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 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 by Glen Feshie, and nature-friendly farms, and hosts discussions on biodiversity and wildlife reintroduction.
These excursions are excellent for nature lovers and wildlife lovers who need to get a deeper understanding of Scotland’s pure surroundings.
Do a tree-planting weekend
One other method you’ll be able to have a constructive 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’ll be able to go to quite a lot 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’ll be able to assist are inclined to younger bushes within the nursery and be a part of rewilding tasks. You too can 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 technique to take advantage of this entry than by mountain climbing?
There’s no finish to stunning mountain climbing trails everywhere in the Scottish countryside. Among 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 go away no hint. Keep on with the trail, take all garbage residence with you and go away every little thing as you discovered it.
Keep secure on the market too. Pack the suitable gear and control the climate forecast.
Associated learn: The Greatest Sun shades for Climbing & Outside 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 start out with, swap the automobile for a motorbike. 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 method is to cycle it as an alternative.
Skye EBikes permits you to 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 need to use all through the Scottish isles fairly than driving.
You’ll be able to rent e-bikes on the Isle of Mull or deliver your personal bike and cycle a number of the epic lengthy and quick routes throughout Orkney, Shetland, Outer Hebrides and extra!
Go wildlife recognizing
One in every 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 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 if you happen to’re fortunate!
At all times ensure 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 straightforward technique 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.
If you happen to 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.
Closing ideas on sustainable journey in Scotland
We hope you discovered the following tips helpful in planning your personal eco escape in Scotland.
Whereas its environmental well being is much from excellent, it’s nonetheless one of many ‘greenest’ nations on this planet.
Nice biking and public transport routes supply accessible alternate options to automobiles. 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.