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Where are the best eco-friendly places for a staycation in the UK this summer?

As lockdown measures subside and we take one step closer to normality, many Brits are itching to get out and explore somewhere new in the UK this summer. Searches for “staycations” have skyrocketed this year due to the current climate, with Brits looking to discover the hidden beauty spots of the UK without harming the planet (or their wallet) by heading abroad.

This led energy comparison site SaveOnEnergy to find out which staycation locations are the most eco-friendly, and which are worth booking for a summer getaway. From self-sustainable city hotels to hidden nature spots, we can reveal the best staycations in the UK.

What are the UK's most Instagrammed eco-friendly staycations?

SaveOnEnergy analysed Instagram hashtags for 100 different popular staycation getaways across the UK to see which have garnered the most online attention.

Staycation #1: Soho Farmhouse, Oxfordshire

With A-list guests including Eddie Redmayne, Cara Delevingne and even Harry and Megan, Soho Farmhouse claims first place for the most Instagrammed staycation in the UK, with almost 50,000 hashtags. Boasting a beautiful mix of nature and luxury, guests can expect pampering spas, pools, bars and more. Be prepared to spend a pretty penny for membership plus accommodation, but it’s worth it if you’re in need of a luxurious post-lockdown treat.

Staycation #2: Port Lympne, Kent

The beauty of Port Lympne is that it’s a wildlife park and hotel all in one. Experience nature in their treetop hotel or spend the night *with * animals in their immersive lodges, which place you right in the centre of the animals’ habitats. At 39,021 hashtags and counting, it’s a staycation you won’t want to miss out on this summer.

Staycation #3: The Hoxton, London

The Hoxton in London comes in at third place, clocking up 35,121 hashtags on Instagram. While being smack bang in the middle of London doesn’t seem green-friendly, these cosy hotel rooms aim to provide everything you need – and nothing you don’t – with minimalist décor that cuts unnecessary energy usage and waste.

(Credit: Martin Charles Hatch/Shutterstock.com)]

Other eco-friendly staycations in the UK

In fourth, fifth and sixth place are Babington House in Somerset, Chewton Glen in the New Forest National Park, and The Pig Hotels, found in several locations across the country. These destinations define green and sustainable in their own unique ways, amassing interest from eco-conscious millennials in the UK. It’s no wonder they’ve got 18,112, 16,186 and 16,186 hashtags respectively.

Most of the green entries reside in the South of England, so it’s important to give a special mention to Jesmond Dene House, the luxury and eco-conscious hotel in Newcastle, which takes ninth place. Surrounded by extravagant gardens, and with an extensive environmental policy, this hotel is a great staycation to discover this summer, gathering a total of 6,605 hashtags on Instagram.

Other entries include:

  • One Aldwych (London) – 10,768 hashtags

  • Dormy House (The Cotswolds) – 6,870 hashtags

  • Limewood Hotel (New Forest National Park) – 5,735 hashtags

Where are the most-searched locations Brits want to visit this summer?

As well as social media interest, SaveOnEnergy was intrigued to see how many of us intend to make our green intentions a reality by booking a UK staycation. Using data from SEMRush, the monthly search volumes for each getaway can reveal the top 20 retreats we want to visit the most. The results are as follows:

Our research can reveal that Soho Farmhouse takes the first spot once again, proving that it is just as popular in real life as it is on social media. With a staggering 51,100 Google searches last month, it appears many Brits who can afford to are keen to make this eco-friendly summer dream come true.

In second place is Chewton Glen, which was the fifth most popular staycation on Instagram. Eco-credentials like rainwater harvesting, air-source heat pumps, solar panels and low-energy lighting are selling points for Brits, with 38,000 searches on Google for this luxury hotel at the edge of the New Forest.

Chewton Glen is followed in third by Dormy House, the heavenly hotel surrounded by the natural beauty of the Cotswolds. Our research found that Brits searched for this boutique staycation more than 25,000 times within the last month.

The familiar sights of Babington House (23,080), Limewood Hotel (19,500) and The Pig Hotels (18,100) claim fourth, fifth and sixth place, but seventh gives way to a new entry. Retreat East offers a digital detox in the Suffolk countryside, with their private 35-acre land being home to luxurious, eco-friendly barns. You can choose to pamper yourself at the full spa or get your hands dirty and pick your own eggs for breakfast. Whichever way, it appeals to many Brits with almost 17,000 searches last month!

However, if you're staying home this year, make sure your own energy is renewable by switching to a green tariff.

Other entries include:

  • The Newt in Somerset (Somerset) – 12,100

  • Treehouse London (London) – 7,320

  • Brimstone Hotel (Cumbria) – 6,300

  • The Swan (Suffolk) – 5,450


  • Staycations were chosen based on trending news, articles and thorough research. Once the 100 locations were finalised, Instagram hashtags and monthly search volumes (using SEMRush) were obtained.

  • ‘Eco-friendly staycations’ are defined in this case as any retreat that utilises green measures to reduce their impact on the environment and/or embraces nature and the outdoors as part of its experience.