green holidays made easier
Eco friendly guide to help you choose from campsites and caravanning parks throughout the UK and across Europe. Find somewhere to stay using our camping and caravanning guide and discover how some leading operators are going green. Just click on the links.
CAMPING AND CARAVANNING GUIDE
Eurocamp describes itself as the market-leader in self-catering holidays to Europe, offering the widest choice of camping options in over 180 parcs in 9 countries with facilities for couples and families and activities ranging from canoeing, cycling, horse riding, windsurfing and diving to simply playing in the pools and water features. Its Green Team aims to protect the environment, conserve natural resources and minimise pollution and parent company Holidaybreak has received the prestigious AITO 5-star award for responsible tourism.
Forest Holidays owns and operates 21 caravan and camping sites in stunning locations in England, Scotland and Wales in partnership with The Camping and Caravanning Club, plus 5 cabin sites. The company operates entirely within the estate of the Forestry Commission, a Government Department. Each area has its own selection of Active Adventures, from pony trekking to sailing, plus joining the Rangers on expeditions. The company’s aim is to be as close to 100% environmentally friendly as possible. It has joined the Green Tourism Business Scheme and some of the sites have been presented with David Bellamy Conservation Awards.
Haven Holidays owns and operates 35 award-winning family holiday parks throughout England, Scotland and Wales - close to some of Britain’s most beautiful beaches and brightest resorts. Accommodation ranges from caravans, chalets, apartments, tents and yurts. There are pools, kids clubs, sports facilities, and family entertainment. Environmental concerns are taken seriously and measures include water conservation, recycling and reducing energy consumption. Four Parks have prestigious Green Tourism Business Scheme awards, one with Gold status.
Hoseasons describe itself as the UK's leading self-catering holiday specialist, selling over a million holidays a year on behalf of the owners of a range of family holiday parks, chalets and caravan parks in coastal, city and countryside settings throughout Britain, Ireland and mainland Europe. The company’s environment policy aims for savings of energy and resources, and the reduction of waste and effluent in all its forms. It encourages holiday park owners to gain recognition for their efforts and of the 300+ locations featured about one in eight ) hold David Bellamy awards.
Mobile home and camping holidays on over 100 sites, in 7 European countries. They’re ideal for all age groups from families (with children’s clubs for tots to teenagers) or couples seeking an activity holiday – from scuba diving to sailing, cycling to horse riding, windsurfing to canoeing. The firm’s environmentally friendly practices have been recognized with the Five Star Award for Responsible Tourism by AITO.
Operates 24 Holiday Parks in the UK. Accommodation ranges from caravan holiday homes, lodges, apartments and chalets, available for short breaks and longer holidays throughout the year. Caravan and camping pitches are also available at many locations. 12 holiday parks have been given the David Bellamy Conservation gold award for protecting the environment, 10 have silver awards and 1 bronze.
The world's oldest and largest club for all forms of camping has over 100 top quality camp sites with excellent facilities throughout the UK the majority of which have achieved Gold David Bellamy Conservation Awards. There are a further 1,200 smaller 5 van certificated sites which are exclusive to members, set in some of the most beautiful parts of the country. The club has a 100-year history of respect for the environment and has an active Countryside Care section. Also on offer is Carefree, its specialist service for international travel.
This online guide features members of the British Holiday & Home Parks Association and has more than 2,900 listings for Holiday Parks, caravan, camping, touring, chalets and lodges. These include over 600 of the most environment-friendly parks that have won David Bellamy Conservation Awards. You can search for which parks hold which of the gold, silver or bronze awards.
About green camping and caravanning
Camping holidays have conventionally been considered eco friendly. The sites’ large open areas and relatively few permanent structures readily allow the land to be restored to its original state. There’s a boom in camping holidays since a key selling point is that they are cheaper than many other options. According to recent market research by Mintel, there seems to be a trend to ‘glamping’ – glamorous and lavish camping with frills. Yet some of these extra luxuries could have an environmental cost.
According to the National Caravan Council, a trade body, there are about 500,000 touring caravans in use in the UK making caravanning among the most popular holiday choices. It has set up the Green Caravanning website to help people make more informed choices. It compares various sample holiday journeys in terms of the number of grams of carbon per kilometre per passenger and it features a simple calculator for website users.
Whether using an established camp or caravan site or going independently here are some tips to make your stay greener: don’t drop litter and recycle it; avoid making fires and use a camping gas stove or even solid fuel for cooking – beware of polluting and damaging the ecosystem; no paper plates - use good camping plates, bowls, and cutlery; be sparing of water usage and don’t dispose of dirty water near rivers and streams; and follow the Countryside Code.
About this guide
To decide which eco-friendly camping and caravan site operators to list we rely on our own professional research plus recommendations by other writers.
A number of those included have won environmental awards or belong to specialist responsible travel groups. For instance:
The trade body BH&HPA (The British Holiday & Home Parks Association) represents owners and managers of holiday, residential, tenting and touring parks. It operates the David Bellamy Conservation Awards (named after the well known botanist, broadcaster and environmental campaigner). Gold, Silver and Bronze awards are made each year to parks which can demonstrate active concern for the environment. Assessors, assisted by local nature groups and holidaymakers, examine every aspect of park management - from the protection of plant and animal habitats to the efficient use of energy and recycling.
The trade body AITO (The Association of Independent Tour Operators) lists on its website members saying they practice responsible tourism and a star rating system. It also gives awards.
HOW IT WORKS
There are direct links to each camping and caravanning provider’s own website. Some of these links are to sites with which we are affiliated. If you click through to these sites or make a purchase from them this may result in us receiving a fee or commission. These links are clearly indicated with this symbol: +
There are also links to sites which do not pay us. Any link or other information is only included if we believe it is useful and reliable - not whether we are paid.
To suggest an operator for inclusion please contact us