The ten best eco holidays in Wales
IT’S not just our day-to-day lives that can be green. More and more holiday destinations are becoming increasingly aware of the large carbon footprint involved in travelling. ANDREW DAGNELL looks at 10 of Wales’ most eco-friendly holidays...
1. TYF ECO HOTEL, St. Davids, Pembrokeshire
TYF Eco Hotel is the first hotel in Wales that has achieved certification through the Welsh Organic Scheme for sourcing food and drink that is organic and locally produced.
All carbon dioxide emissions produced directly by the hotel are offset through the support of renewable energy projects in other parts of the world. The hotel has an ethical purchasing policy which means everything bought for the hotel has to go through an ethical shopping filter. Which all means that you can stay in the smallest city in the UK with a clear conscience.
2. DYFI GUEST HOUSE, Machynlleth, Powys
THIS family-run guest house is just 300 yards from the nearest train station and a stone’s throw from the eco-friendly town of Machynlleth. Popular among tourists from the UK and abroad, this is an ideal place for couples or groups of adults to enjoy or to spend time exploring the gorgeous Dyfi Valley. The guest house boasts solar panels, timber frame and underfloor heating – and every week there is a farmers’ market in the town where the owner buys produce for the guest house breakfasts.
3. ORGANIG PARC, Llyn Peninsula, Gwynedd
ORGANIG Parc’s holiday cottages sit on Carnguwch Farm, near Pwllheli in north Wales.
Already converted to a Soil Association certified organic holding, it was only natural that when the cottages were restored that they were done in the most eco-friendly way possible. Lime mortar and natural stone were used in the building work and floors of locally-sourced Welsh slate and oak were laid. The water for the cottages is all sourced from the natural spring on the farm, there is an organic trout lake for keen fishers and on arrival all guests are given a welcome pack with organic local produce, and all the cottages have organic bed linen.
4. TROEDRHIWFALLEN, Lampeter, Dyfed
THIS thatched cottage is one of only six remaining in the area and has been restored to its former glory by devoted architectural heritage consultant Greg Stevenson. Local, environmentally-friendly and time-sensitive materials have been used to bring this cottage back to life.
The cottage, pictured above, sleeps up to seven people and is in an excellent spot for walking and cycling with country walks starting at the door. It is approximately a 15 minute drive from the coast and 10 minutes away is the university town of Lampeter.
5. CABAN CARIAD, Cenarth Waterfalls, Ceredigion
KNOWN in English as ‘The Loveshack’, Caban Cariad is a groovy woodland cabin, interior pictured above and exterior below, in the heart of the beautiful West Wales countryside at Cenarth.
Designed in 1973 along Scandinavian lines, it has been recently refurbished to reinstate the ’70s feel. The Loveshack uses energy efficient appliances and energy saving light bulbs and the timber interior helps the cabin retain its heat. It can sleep up to four people and children are allowed. The cabin makes a perfect bolthole for relaxation, lounging about and reading the weekend papers.
6. BRYN-Y-DDAFAD, St Donats, Cowbridge
BRYN-Y-DDAFAD is one of the Vale of Glamorgan’s most eco-friendly holiday locations. The family-run guest house is committed to sustainable living. Owners Glyn and June Jenkins have recently installed a water treatment unit, which purifies all water and waste that the guest house produces to drinking water standard, which is then pumped into three ponds surrounding the property and used to water the large gardens.
They also use produce from local suppliers where possible and know exactly where the pork comes from for the sausages in their renowned traditional Welsh breakfast. For more information visit www.bydd.co.uk
7. DYFFRYN ISAF, Llandissilio, Pembrokeshire
FOR a more intimate family holiday, Dyffryn Isaf is holiday cottage for a family of four. The cottage is situated on a working organic farm, where visitors are encouraged to learn to spin sheep wool as well as discovering more about the way an organic farm is run. Dyffryn Isaf is keen to continue diversifying and is always looking to offer more for customers.
They sell their own locally, organically grown foods and produce organically cured sheepskin rugs and organic wool for spinning. The holiday cottages’ hot water is run through solar panels and they use a green energy supplier. Call 01437 563657.
8. TIPI CAMP, Machynlleth, Powys
WHAT could be more unusual than living in a tipi for a week? With five tipi’s located on an 18-acre site, each has been made on-site with local spruce used for the poles and firewood. There is also cooking equipment and fireplaces, making them suitable for use all year round. The site sources local organic, fair-trade and recycled products whenever possible and there is natural spring water, freshwater showers and compost toilets available. Prices from £280 for two nights, call 01654 761720.
9. ABERPORTH EXPRESS, Aberporth, Ceredigion
PERHAPS one of the most eccentric eco-holidays is this converted Edwardian railway carriage located on the coastal footpath between Aberporth and Tresaith. It was built in 1905 as a sleeper coach that travelled on the Great Western Railway, but now the Aberporth Express has direct access onto the coastal footpath. Sleeping five in two train compartment bedrooms, all rooms are lined in oak and overlook regular opportunities to see dolphins and seals. Price from £139 for a midweek breaks, visit www.underthethatch.co.uk
10. WILLOW COTTAGE, Langstone, Newport
WILLOW cottage is set in half an acre of mature gardens just outside of Newport. The luxury cottage is self contained, with two bedrooms and a fully equipped kitchen and laundry. The family run feel for the cottage is obvious with a welcome hamper of locally-sourced food on arrival and the sight of the owners spending time caring for their gardens.
The cottage is so eco-friendly that they ensure water for the garden comes from water butts and any food or garden waste is composted. The owners are committed to recycling and encourage guests to live in the same way that they do by providing separate bins to make recycling easy. £295 for a week, call 01633 412734.