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Go Green on England’s Coast

Take an eco-friendly break at the coast, travelling by train or bus, staying in sustainable hotels, exploring on foot or by bike, and feasting on fresh, local food

Being a green traveller is good for you and the planet

A selection of best eco breaks along England’s Coast, from swimming in a hotel’s natural swimming pool and discovering the underwater world to walking and cycling along spectacular heritage routes 

Take a dip in a natural swimming pool 

It’s the setting of this natural pool (with a wood-fired hot tub) that sets it apart – on the clifftops overlooking the golden sands of Mawgan Porth on the north Cornish coast. After a rejuvenating swim, be pampered in the Ayurvedic spa and feast on delicious fresh shellfish and sea herbs with a glass of Camel Valley Cornwall fizz at this stylish, trend-setting, small luxury hotel.

Learn about conserving the underwater world 

Mulberry Divers, based in Selsey, West Sussex, runs a series of marine ecology courses to help you better understand and protect the marine environment. Courses include coral and fish identification, manta and ray ecology, and sea turtle ecology. 

Walk a section of England’s Coast Path 

One of the most fascinating stretches is the 11-mile (17.7km) walk along the Durham Heritage Coast from Seaham railway station to Crimdon (you can get the train back at Hartlepool railway station), where you travel through the region’s industrial heritage, passing wonderful wildflower meadows and via some beautiful beaches. Keep an eye out at sea for basking sharks, they’re frequently sighted off the Durham Heritage Coast during the summer. 

Cycle Scarborough to Whitby, Yorkshire  

A 21-mile (34-km) cycle along the North Yorkshire coast between the two mainline railway stations at Scarborough and Whitby. Pass by Scarborough Castle, Robin Hood’s Bay, Ravenscar, and Whitby 

Abbey, and en route, stop off at quiet bays such as Crook Ness, Cloughton Wyke or Stoupe Beck Sands. The final leg passes over the spectacular Larpool Viaduct before you continue into Whitby. The trail is part of the Moor to Sea Cycle Route from the heart of the North York Moors to the coast. 

Go Green on England’s Coast Go Green on England’s Coast
Go Green on England’s Coast

Feast on fresh, local, seasonal food

Eating regional food and enjoying the local tipple conveys a sense of place better than any travel brochure. It’s also one of the best ways to reduce your carbon emissions. 

Whether it’s freshly baked bread for breakfast, salad from the kitchen garden for lunch, or the catch of the day for dinner – choosing local isn’t just good for the planet, it’s also enjoyable and a great way to put money into the local community. 

Go Green on England’s Coast
Go Green on England’s Coast Go Green on England’s Coast

It’s all too easy to forget about buying ahead of a self-catering break until the last moment, at which point you make an emergency dash to the nearest supermarket, buy everything in bulk, and then end up throwing the surplus food and packaging in the bin. 

Far better to plan ahead and buy fresh, seasonal food, or order it from a local supplier who can deliver it to your accommodation, such as, which delivers across Somerset,, which delivers throughout Shropshire, and, a family-run service specifically for self-catering guests in Cornwall and West Devon. Increasingly farm shops are providing local delivery services – there’s a handy guide to farm shops across the country at  

Be aware what the term ‘local’ means - it’s best if the description of food includes the name and location of the local business. For instance, Prawn on the Lawn, a sustainable seafood restaurant in Padstow, Cornwall, names the people behind its products, it says: ‘Ross supplies us with veg, salad and herbs that he grows on his family’s farm less than a mile from Padstow’. 

By Richard Hammond 

The Green Traveller is published by Pavilion (£18.99)