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 sights is rife, threatening the well-being of each native communities and the setting.
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 can assist you plan a accountable journey.
The right way to get round Scotland sustainably
Listed here are some high ideas that can assist you be a sustainable traveller in Scotland:
Use public transport
Most of Scotland’s foremost sights are fairly effectively related by public transport. The prepare line is served by ScotRail which might take you as far north as Thurso, all the way in which 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 residence to among the most stunning rail journeys on the planet. One in all 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 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 fashionable alternative.
When you’ve got plans to discover the Scottish isles there’s no must guide flights. They’re simple and inexpensive to succeed in with the Caledonian MacBrayne ferries.
Discover by bike
Get some train and recent air with Scotland’s Nationwide Cycle Community. There are some stunning routes everywhere in the nation.
How about seaside 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 just a little 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 car
In case you choose to have your personal automotive 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 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
Motels which are critical about their environmental affect 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 just a few.
Search on lodge reserving websites
It’s by no means been simpler to seek out sustainable lodges on fashionable 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. Take a look at EcoHotels.com which solely lists licensed inexperienced lodges.
Ecobnb is one other wonderful alternative because it presents a variety of lodging varieties that adhere to strict sustainability standards.
Go boutique and family-owned
By no means thoughts the large 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 information, and help small companies all with a mouthwatering breakfast to match?
Associated learn: A Information to Renting a Vacation Residence
Some completely unbelievable lodges, B&Bs and lodges embody:
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 a substitute of creating 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 Interior Hebrides group, of which there are 35 inhabited islands!
Glen Coe is one other vacation spot that’s significantly vulnerable 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?
In case 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 via to April is way 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’ll be able to simply create a personalised self-guided itinerary that takes you thru the Scottish Highlands and islands.
Solo travellers would possibly choose small group excursions led by native guides that show you how to join with the native tradition and setting.
An important instance is Intrepid Journey. It has a number of multi-day itineraries which concentrate on mountain climbing holidays, island-hopping or exploring the very best 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
Find out about conservation
Scotland is famend for its pure magnificence, however honestly, its panorama is closely nature-depleted. The Scottish Highlands alone had been as soon as residence to the Caledonian Forest which lined an unlimited space of land. Now simply 1% of it stays.
Probably the most 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 training journeys within the Cairngorms Nationwide park.
It presents 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 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 manner you’ll be able to 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 possibly can go to quite a few websites the charity works on and benefit from the pure environment.
One other strategy 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 timber within the nursery and be a part of rewilding initiatives. 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 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 strategy to profit from this entry than by mountain climbing?
There’s no finish to stunning mountain climbing trails everywhere in the Scottish countryside. A few of the greatest one-day strolling trails in Scotland embody:
- Arthur’s Seat, Edinburgh
- Conic Hill, Loch Lomond & the Trossachs
- Rackwick to the Previous 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 making certain that you just depart no hint. Persist with the trail, take all garbage residence with you and depart 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 & 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 automotive 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 sights could be discovered on the Trotternish Loop, a preferred mini-road journey across the Trotternish peninsula. A cleaner and greener manner is to cycle it as a substitute.
Skye EBikes means that you can hire e-bikes at an inexpensive price and observe the well-marked loop to sights such because the Quiraing, Previous Man of Storr, Fairy Glen, Kilt Rock and extra.
Biking is a mode of transport you should utilize all through the Scottish isles reasonably than driving.
You possibly can rent e-bikes on the Isle of Mull or deliver your personal bike and cycle among the epic lengthy and quick 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’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 would possibly even see basking sharks should you’re fortunate!
All the time be sure that 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 strategy 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 folks 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.
In case 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.
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 much from excellent, it’s nonetheless one of many ‘greenest’ nations on the planet.
Nice biking and public transport routes provide 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 stability, whether or not that’s mitigating your personal footprint, supporting inexperienced companies or avoiding overtourism hotspots.