Sustainable Journey in Scotland: An Simple Information

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Scotland’s pure magnificence, fascinating historical past and full of life cities make it a preferred journey vacation spot. The draw back? Overtourism at standard points of interest is rife, threatening the well-being of each native communities and the surroundings. 

The excellent news is it’s potential to take pleasure in Scotland and nonetheless have a optimistic influence 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. 

Find out how to get round Scotland sustainably 

Listed below are some prime ideas that can assist you be a sustainable traveller in Scotland: 

Use public transport 

Most of Scotland’s foremost points of interest are fairly nicely related 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 every single place in between.  

Prepare journey in Scotland is an actual pleasure to expertise because the nation is house to a number of the most stunning rail journeys on the planet. One in every 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 potential to journey round Scotland by bus and coach. Megabus can take you to most main cities and cities. CityLink Scotland is one other standard alternative. 

If in case you have plans to discover the Scottish isles there’s no must e-book 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 seashore 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 a little bit extra kick, an electrical bike could make all of the distinction on these hills. 

Associated learn: Among the Finest UK Cycle Routes

Drive an electrical car 

For those who want to have your personal automotive or campervan, attempt to rent an electrical or hybrid car the place potential – notably should 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 surroundings clear. 

Use ChargePlace Scotland to seek 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 seek out sustainable locations to remain in Scotland:  

Search for eco credentials 

Accommodations which can be critical about their environmental influence 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 number of.

Search on resort reserving websites 

It’s by no means been simpler to seek out sustainable motels on standard reserving platforms comparable to 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 which solely lists licensed inexperienced motels. 

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

Go boutique and family-owned 

By no means thoughts the massive chain motels, top-of-the-line 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 assist small companies all with a mouthwatering breakfast to match? 

Associated learn: A Information to Renting a Vacation Dwelling

Some completely unbelievable lodges, B&Bs and motels embrace: 

Sustainable travel in Scotland at Viewfield House
Viewfield Home, Skye

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 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 a number of the lesser-known islands on the West Coast as a substitute. Skye belongs to the Inside Hebrides group, of which there are 35 inhabited islands!

Glen Coe is one other vacation spot that’s notably 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? 

For those who do wish to swing by Skye and Glen Coe, go to within the shoulder or low season when there are fewer crowds. Usually, 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 influence 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 want small group excursions led by native guides that enable you join with the native tradition and surroundings. 

An incredible instance is Intrepid Journey. It has a number of multi-day itineraries which concentrate on climbing 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 means of the Scottish Highlands

Study 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 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 find out about 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 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 wish to get a deeper understanding of Scotland’s pure surroundings. 

Study rewilding with SCOTLAND: The Huge Image

Do a tree-planting weekend 

One other means you’ll be able to have a optimistic influence 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 method to become involved 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 part of rewilding initiatives. You may as well go to the centre and study extra about rewilding. 

Go climbing within the Highlands and Lowlands

Scotland advantages from a ‘proper to roam’ regulation 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 method to benefit from this entry than by climbing? 

There’s no finish to stunning climbing trails all around the Scottish countryside. Among the greatest one-day strolling trails in Scotland embrace: 

  • 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 embrace: 

  • 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. Follow 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 Finest Sun shades for Mountaineering & Outside 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 motorbike. 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 could be discovered on the Trotternish Loop, a preferred mini-road journey across the Trotternish peninsula. A cleaner and greener means is to cycle it as a substitute. 

Skye EBikes lets you hire e-bikes at an inexpensive charge and comply with 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 need to use all through the Scottish isles moderately than driving. 

You possibly can rent e-bikes on the Isle of Mull or carry 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 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!

All the time ensure 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 simple method to advocate for sustainable tourism in Scotland is to assist native companies. 

Buying 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. 

For those who take pleasure in 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 pointers helpful in planning your personal eco escape in Scotland. 

Whereas its environmental well being is much from good, it’s nonetheless one of many ‘greenest’ nations on the planet. 

Nice biking and public transport routes supply accessible options to vehicles. 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. 


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