The best places to eat, stay, shop and visit in the South West

Sustainable staycations

Craving a getaway but keen to keep it green? These sustainable South West staycations will have you lounging in eco-friendly luxury
Sustainable staycations - spa at The Newt in Somerset
The Spa at The Newt in Somerset

Craving a getaway but keen to keep it green? Stick with the South West for a sustainable staycation that’ll have you lounging in eco-friendly luxury

The Newt in Somerset

This Grade II-listed Georgian manor near Bruton elevates the country house hotel experience to sustainable new heights. With a vision to build a self-supporting community within its expansive parkland, woods, orchards and abundant gardens, The Newt is a rural estate like no other.

Guests are encouraged to connect with nature by taking part in natural workshops, heading out on bee safaris with the resident beekeeper or sipping estate-pressed cider at the Cyder Bar. Even the spa treatments use natural products from the physic garden.

Nothing goes to waste at this beautiful destination hotel. The homemade sourdough starter is made from leftover product from the cider press, and resident deer are fed with surplus produce from the kitchen.

Insider’s tip: Order fresh and pantry foods produced on the estate, as well as drinks, homewares and gifts, on Mobile Newt – the hotel’s online shop.

Ox Bar, Thyme

Thyme Manor, Gloucestershire

A visit to this ‘village within a village’ is like stepping into a self-contained utopia. Everything you could need can be found within Thyme‘s sprawling manor and farm grounds: restaurant, shop, cookery school, dairy, spa, kitchen gardens – all housed within beautifully restored original buildings.

The team’s love of local heritage, beauty and conservation permeates every element of this beautiful staycation spot. A wood-pellet-fuelled boiler and ground-source heat pump keep the rooms toasty, while daily-changing menus reflect the goods that have been harvested (from the garden), laid (by the hens) or foraged (from the orchards). You won’t find throwaway miniature shampoo bottles and coffee pods in the rooms, either – the ethos is compost, refill or recycle.

Insider’s tip: Luxuriate with a clean conscience – spa products are botanical, not chemical, and packaged in glass.

Sustainable staycations - The Scarlet - man doing yoga
The Scarlet © David Griffen

The Scarlet, Mawgan Porth

Sustainability is a way of life at luxury Cornish eco hotel The Scarlet, and its inherent connection with nature elevates the experience. Views of cliffs, sea and sky are guaranteed whether you’re dipping in the natural reed-filtered outdoor pool, baking in a cedar barrel sauna, or unwinding in a clifftop hot tub (heated via biomass boiler).

The light-filled spa offers scrubs, wraps, muds and steam treatments – the perfect follow-on from your morning yoga sesh.

Insider’s tip: This is a grown-ups-only oasis, but you can bring your pooch along.

Black tortelloni, Whatley Manor

Whatley Manor Hotel & Spa, Wiltshire

Whatley Manor aims to be a beacon of sustainability in the South West, and has been implementing various initiatives since early 2019. The two-Michelin-star restaurant sources 60 per cent of its food from within a 50-mile radius (its beef comes from the farm next door), and 95 per cent of the five-star country house hotel’s kitchen garden produce is organic. The team have also had a borehole and biomass boiler installed to provide a sustainable water supply and eco energy to heat the rooms.

Insider’s tip: Explore the extensive grounds to witness how Whatley is helping local wildlife via bird and bat boxes.

The Bull Inn © Rachel Hoile Photography

The Bull Inn, Totnes

Ethical entrepreneur Geetie Singh-Watson’s fourth certified organic pub (she opened the world’s first in 1998) is rooted in her philosophy of “doing business better”.

So a stay at the eclectic Bull Inn means reassurance that your carbon footprint will be kept to an absolute minimum. Green-minded gastronomy is at the forefront of varied menus showcasing veg-first dishes which are organic (obvs), field-grown-not-flown and supplier-led.

Insider’s tip: Order a New Lion beer on draught to support community-owned Dartington brewery.

Like 5 of the best sustainable staycations? Discover five pubs with rooms for a cosy staycation here.

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