Scotland’s pure magnificence, fascinating historical past and vigorous cities make it a well-liked journey vacation spot. The draw back? Overtourism at well-liked sights is rife, threatening the well-being of each native communities and the atmosphere. 

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. 

Tips on how to get round Scotland sustainably 

Listed here are some top tips 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 practice 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 every single place in between.  

Prepare journey in Scotland is an actual pleasure to expertise because the nation is house to a few of the most lovely rail journeys on this planet. Certainly 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 comparable 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 well-liked alternative. 

If in case you have plans to discover the Scottish isles there’s no have to guide flights. They’re straightforward and inexpensive to succeed in with the Caledonian MacBrayne ferries

Discover by bike 

Get some train and contemporary air with Scotland’s National Cycle Network. There are some lovely 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 may, in fact, rent push bikes however in the event you want slightly extra kick, an electrical bike could make all of the distinction on these hills. 

Associated learn: Some of the Best UK Cycle Routes

Drive an electrical automobile 

If you happen to want to have your individual automotive or campervan, attempt to rent an electrical or hybrid automobile the place attainable – significantly in the event 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 atmosphere clear. 

Use ChargePlace Scotland to search out electrical charging factors in your route. 

The Jacobite steam train going over Glenfinnan Viaduct
The Jacobite steam practice going over Glenfinnan Viaduct

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 can be 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 a couple of.

Search on lodge reserving websites 

It’s by no means been simpler to search out sustainable accommodations on well-liked reserving platforms comparable to Booking.com. Search for the ‘Journey Sustainably’ tag. 

Nonetheless, in the event 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 accommodations. 

Ecobnb is one other wonderful alternative because it affords a variety of lodging varieties that adhere to strict sustainability standards. 

Go boutique and family-owned 

By no means thoughts the large chain accommodations, 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 assist small companies all with a mouthwatering breakfast to match? 

Associated learn: A Guide to Renting a Holiday Home

Some completely unbelievable lodges, B&Bs and accommodations embody: 

Sustainable travel in Scotland at Viewfield House
Viewfield Home, Skye

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 creating 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. 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 Travel 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 want small group excursions led by native guides that aid you join with the native tradition and atmosphere. 

An awesome instance is Intrepid Travel. It has a choice of multi-day itineraries which deal with climbing holidays, island-hopping or exploring the perfect 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: Road Trip Through the Scottish Highlands

Find out about conservation 

Scotland is famend for its pure magnificence, however in truth, its panorama is closely nature-depleted. The Scottish Highlands alone had been as soon as house to the Caledonian Forest which lined 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 study Scottish rewilding and conservation. 

SCOTLAND: The Big Picture is a rewilding charity that runs rewilding schooling journeys within the Cairngorms Nationwide park. 

It affords 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 fanatics who need to get a deeper understanding of Scotland’s pure atmosphere. 

Learn about rewilding with SCOTLAND: The Big Picture
Find out about rewilding with SCOTLAND: The Huge Image

Do a tree-planting weekend 

One other manner you may have a optimistic affect on Scotland is to assist restore its depleted forests by planting timber or supporting tree-planting initiatives. 

Trees for Life is on a mission to rewild the Scottish Highlands. You may go to quite a lot of websites the charity works on and benefit from the pure environment. 

One other strategy to become involved is to volunteer at Dundreggan Rewilding Centre (opening in 2023), the place you may assist are inclined to younger timber within the nursery and be part of rewilding initiatives. You too can go to the centre and be taught extra about rewilding. 

Go 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 strategy to profit from this entry than by climbing? 

There’s no finish to lovely climbing trails everywhere in the Scottish countryside. Among the greatest 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 Approach
  • Nice Glen Approach 
  • Borders Abbeys Approach 
  • The Speyside Approach 
  • Berwickshire Coastal Path

Be a sustainable hiker in Scotland by making certain that you just depart no hint. Keep on with the trail, take all garbage house with you and depart every thing as you discovered it. 

Keep protected on the market too. Pack the suitable gear and keep watch over the climate forecast.

Associated learn: The Best Sunglasses for Hiking & Outdoor Activities

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 start out 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 will be discovered on the Trotternish Loop, a well-liked mini-road journey across the Trotternish peninsula. A cleaner and greener manner is to cycle it as an alternative. 

Skye EBikes permits you to hire e-bikes at an inexpensive charge 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 reasonably than driving. 

You may 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 

Certainly 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 Tours 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 in the event you’re fortunate!

At all times be certain to maintain a respectful distance from any wildlife you encounter. Don’t attempt to contact, stroke or feed them both. 

E-bike around Scotland!
E-bike round Scotland!

Help small and sustainable companies 

A straightforward strategy 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. 

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 supply accessible alternate 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 steadiness, whether or not that’s mitigating your individual footprint, supporting inexperienced companies or avoiding overtourism hotspots. 





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