18 Best Eco-friendly Accommodation in the Lake District

by Vanessa Wanders Miles

The Lake District is one of the most beautiful places in the UK. It is also a fantastic choice for sustainable and eco-friendly holidays.

Dramatic mountains, peaceful hidden valleys, and stunning lakes are around every breathtaking corner in ‘The Lakes’ and there is a multitude of green accommodation options to explore from.

The Lake District National Park became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2017. This honour was, in part, thanks to the concerted efforts of locals, business owners, and tourism leaders to put the conservation of this unique environment at the heart of their ethos.

Read on to discover the delights on offer with these inspiring eco-friendly accommodations in the Lake District.

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Hostels, Glamping & Camping | Eco-friendly Accommodation in the Lake District

Travellers on a budget will love what Cumbria has to offer. You can become one with nature on eco-friendly campsites, enjoy eco-glamping in a tepee or snuggle up in cosy hostels.

YHA Hawkshead

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YHA Hawkshead is an elegant Regency mansion with several accommodation types to choose from.

The traditional YHA dorms with basic shared facilities and camping grounds are great for a cheap night away. Alternatively, guests who don’t want to rough it should book a furnished bell tent, cool tepee, or luxury wooden pod.

Hawkshead is in a fantastic countryside location overlooking idyllic Esthwaite Water. You can enjoy oodles of activities such as mountain biking on the trails of Grizedale Forest and hiking the spectacular southern fells.

The prettiest village in Lakeland’, Hawkshead is just a mile away and the nearby tourist hubs of Windermere and Ambleside offer cake shops, friendly pubs, galleries, and museums.

YHA Hawkshead’s green credentials are impressive.

  • Lighting powered by renewable solar power.
  • Recycling facilities.
  • Drying rooms rather than inefficient tumble dryers.


Elterwater Independent Hostel

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This ivy-decorated stone house is old-school hostelling at its best. Choose from a bunk bed in a shared dorm room or spend a little more on a private family room. The bright communal living area and dining room are perfect spaces for chatting with new friends or cooking a simple meal.

The Elterwater Hostel is tucked away in the glorious Langdale Valley. Guests might plan to climb Pavey Ark and tackle the challenging scramble of Jack’s Rake or have a wet and wild adventure scrambling up Stickle Ghyll. A visit to Grasmere, the historic home of poet William Wordsworth, is a must for lovers of romantic literature.

The Elterwater Hostel has held a prestigious Green Tourism Award since 2014 for its ongoing commitment to the environment.

  • Water-saving initiatives.
  • Recycling facilities.
  • Food waste composting.
  • All appliances at the hostel are AAA-rated.
  • LED lighting.
  • Partnership with the ‘Fix the Fells’.


YHA Eskdale

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YHA Eskdale is a purpose-built, farmhouse-style building set in its own extensive grounds, a real rural idyll. Dorms and family rooms are minimalist but comfortable and there is room for four 2-person tents. We loved the land pods with retractable roofs that are awesome for stargazing.

The communal areas feel relaxed, and the chilled vibe extends to the outdoor terrace where you can enjoy the hostel’s homemade food and soak up the view. Kids will have endless fun in the outdoor play area.

Eskdale is a fantastic base for surveying the wonders of The Lake District. Discover ancient history at the Hardknott Roman Fort, tackle the highest fells in Cumbria, or wander to the Stanley Ghyll Falls. The pretty Cumbrian coast is just a short drive away too.

Eskdale is a YHA GreenLeader which is confirmation that you’re staying in an eco-friendly hostel.

  • LED lights.
  • A beautiful wildlife garden, nature trail, and bird hide are designed to encourage guest appreciation of nature.
  • Biomass boiler and solar panels.
  • Recycling facilities.

YHA Borrowdale | Rosthwaite

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A popular stop on Wainwright’s Coast to Coast Route, YHA Borrowdale hostel, and campsite nestle in a peaceful valley on the banks of the River Derwent.

Stay in the funky, retro AirStream caravans that are exclusive to YHA Borrowdale and Windermere. Go budget in shared dorm rooms with basic bunk beds or find a more private space in the camping pods. There’s even a quirkily old-fashioned games room and TV lounge.

Borrowdale is conveniently close to popular fells such as Catbells, ‘The Queen of the Lakes’, Derwentwater, and all the cafes and kit shops of bustling Keswick. There are tonnes of exciting things to do, including zooming down bike trails or across ravines on a zip wire at Whinlatter Forestry Centre.

The YHA provides amazing eco-friendly accommodation in the Lake District that is kind to nature.

  • Recycling facilities.
  • Sympathetically designed.
  • Extensive use of water-saving devices.


Park Cliffe Camping & Caravan Estate | Windermere

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A delightful, white-washed cottage-style main house and large camping ground on lush green rolling hills. Pitch a tent, kick back in a camping pod or bring your touring caravan.

Young families will be thrilled by the location of Parkcliffe Estate on the serene eastern shore of Lake Windermere. They will find wildlife in abundance and a shallow beck that is ideal for children to play in. The adventure playground is fab and if the kids have enough energy take them on one of the easy fell walks that begin on the estate.

The park has won various important awards for their work to become eco-friendly including a bronze ‘Green Tourism Award’ and ‘Bee Friendly’ status from David Bellamy’s Conservation Award Scheme.

  • Recycling facilities
  • Waste management – 98% stays out of the landfill.
  • All food and drink served are local.
  • All estate vehicles are electric.
  • Sensor and LED lighting.
  • Toilets are flushed with beck water.
  • Use of sustainable everyday products throughout the park.

Hill of Oaks Lodge & Caravan Park | Windermere

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Spend some quality time in historic woodland on the southeast shore of Windermere. A beautiful location for a green weekend of eco-glamping.

Pick from well-appointed pods, glamourous safari tents, gorgeous houses with private access to the lake, or a woodland caravan pitch.

Windermere is a favourite of tourists from all over the world and Hill of Oaks is in an unbeatable location for all this area has to offer.

Hire a mountain bike and have adventures on gentle lakeside paths or thrilling trails. Take to the waters of Windermere on a paddleboard, canoe, or kayak. Some of Lakeland’s most popular fells are an easy hike away and a delicious dinner in Windermere will be just what you need to refuel after an epic day.

Hill of Oaks has a strict ethos that ensures they run a green and sustainable operation.

  • Respect for the biodiversity of the environment.
  • Local goods used to reduce food miles.
  • Constant carbon footprint assessment.
  • Use of renewable energies.
  • Recycling facilities.
  • Green waste management.

B&B and Guest Houses | Eco-friendly Accommodation in the Lake District

We love a B&B! They are friendly, cosy and offer a tasty home-cooked breakfast to fuel a big day on the hill or lake.

Lowthwaite B&B | Watermillock

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A low-rise dwelling in the hamlet of Lowthwaite in peaceful Matterdale Valley. Open countryside is just outside of the flower-framed door and the owners care deeply about protecting it.

Stay in this delightful B&B and escape the world for a weekend. The beautiful and unique en-suite rooms include a two-storey suite and a family room with a large sitting area.

Both tranquillity and adventure can be found in abundance in and around Lowthwaite B&B. You could sit quietly in the cottage garden which is blooming with colour, scent and wildlife. Hopefully, you’ll spy on one of the rare red squirrels who live there.

Test yourself by scrambling over Striding Edge, the iconic ridge on nearby Helvellyn, and then the next day float down Ullswater on one of the famous steamers and get off at the awe-inspiring Aira Force waterfall.

Lowthwaite provides a landscape-friendly stay thanks to its green manifesto.

  • Biomass boiler and solar panels.
  • Fully insulated.
  • Building improvements and furniture using recycled materials.
  • Breakfast using local ingredients.
  • Strict recycling rules.
  • Sustainable use of water from the nearby spring.
  • Energy-efficient appliances and bulbs.
  • Natural cleaning products.
  • No single-use plastic.


Thorney How | Grasmere

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Thorney How, a 400-year-old farmstead is one of the oldest properties in the divine village of Grasmere. The Georgian-style rooms in the ‘manor house’ are all en-suite and the bunk-barn is an affordable choice for large groups.

There’s an elegant bar and dining area which provide a fantastic space in which to spend holiday evenings. Guests can also sip an evening pint on the terrace whilst watching the resident bats swoop.

Families and hard-core hillwalkers will all find something to relish in the vicinity. Relax in the grounds amongst rare breed sheep and companionable ducks or enjoy afternoon tea in Grasmere, a village that William Wordsworth described as ‘the loveliest spot man hath ever found’.

Kit shopping in Ambleside would be a fun, if expensive way, to spend a morning before trekking the Fairfield Horseshoe or walking ‘The Coffin Trail’ a scenic, flat walk between Grasmere and Ambleside.

The current custodians of Thorney How are committed to sustainable tourism.

  • Water-saving appliances and sanitaryware.
  • Recycling facilities.
  • Heating and hot water from a biomass boiler.
  • Automatic lighting provided by a green-focused energy supplier.
  • Electic vehicle charging station.
  • Green Tourism Gold Award and a GreenLeader badge
  • Thorney How has been independently assessed as having a very low carbon footprint.

Ivythwaite Lodge | Windermere

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Ivythwaite Lodge is a gorgeous Lakeland stone and flint house with a homely feel on the wonderful Windermere.

Stay in one of the tastefully decorated double rooms with romantic four-poster beds or chill out in the large attic room with fabulous views of the far fells.

Busy Bowness-on-Windermere is a good choice for a family holiday or couple’s getaway.

Take a leisurely wander up little-known School Knott or join the crowds on a leisure cruise of Lake Windermere. Nature lovers will adore the Aquarium of the Lakes and kids will be thrilled by a rainy day at the World of Beatrix Potter.

Ivythwaite Lodge follows their ‘Ten Green Steps’.

  • Charging point for electric/hybrid cars.
  • Free-range, local produce with veggie/vegan options.
  • Use of public transport by guests is encouraged.
  • No single-use plastics.
  • Water-saving.
  • Recycling and use of recycled products.
  • LED, sensor, and metered lighting and heating.
  • Phone charging via USB.

Sunnyside Guest House | Keswick

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Sunnyside is a handsome dwelling with excellent facilities. All the stylish double, twin, and single rooms are en-suite and bigger families can easily be accommodated. The spacious breakfast/dining room and relaxed shared lounge area are attractive and welcoming.

Sunnyside Guest House is in Keswick, one of the busiest towns in The Lake District. It’s a useful base for a week of exploring the area. Catch a play at ‘The Theatre by the Lake’ or head to Hope Park with your little ones, there’s a nature trail, bird hide, and crazy golf course.

Skiddaw, Great Gable, and Catbells will provide Wainwright baggers with a challenging walk and stunning views, or hire a rowing boat and skull out to have a closer look at Derwentwater’s wildlife-filled islands. 

The proprietors of Sunnyside appreciate the breathtaking but fragile environment in which their B&B is located. They have made lots of eco-friendly changes recently and are constantly looking for new ways to improve.

  • Electric showers.
  • Composting
  • Lots of public transport information is provided for guests.
  • Green cleaning materials.
  • LED lighting.
  • Highly insulated.
  • A silver Green Tourism award.

Crooklands Hotel | Kendal

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The Crooklands Hotel offers traditional B&B accommodation in recently renovated deluxe or classic en-suite rooms.

After your journey tuck into a home-cooked meal in one of the two restaurants. One is charmingly traditional and the other is romantic and lit by lanterns.

The hotel is in a village near Kendal, the gateway to the Lake District, where there is plenty to do locally. The Lancaster canal is just across the road and for golfers, several quality golf courses are a short drive away.

Kendal itself is a lovely place to go shopping or the Homescales Activity Centre will provide an exhilarating day out quad biking or clay-pigeon shooting.

As an active part of the Green Business Hub, Crooklands takes the use of sustainable and renewable practices seriously.

  • Large refillable containers of complimentary toiletries.
  • All fresh food has minimal food miles.
  • Water-saving devices and ways of working.
  • Reduction of single-use plastic.

Luxury Hotels | Eco-friendly Accommodation in the Lake District

These magnificent, luxury eco-friendly hotels take exquisite care of their customers and the environment alike. They are heartening proof that sustainability, opulence, and a responsibility to protect the earth can all work seamlessly together.

Ambleside Salutation Hotel

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The Ambleside Salutation Hotel and Spa is a fabulous place where guests can relax in style.

Spa bedrooms have hot tubs and access to all the gorgeous spa facilities while the luxury rooms are decorated with sumptuous soft furnishings and calming colours.

The Ambleside area is one of our favourite parts of the lakes. Small, bustling, and packed are full of fascinating things to do and see. Rheged is a grass-roofed entertainment complex with a cinema, food halls, and art gallery and the Lakeland Motor Museum houses one of the finest collections of classic cars in the U.K

Plan an exciting hike on Red Screes, Walla Crag or Nab Scar, then the next day, ask the hotel reception for a sumptuous picnic lunch to take to Fell Foot Park with blankets and a good book or two.

The Ambleside Salutation has a comprehensive environmental policy, and they go above and beyond the required green regulations.

  • Rainwater recycling.
  • Meals made from sustainability-conscious local suppliers.
  • Gentle, natural cleaning products.
  • Single-use plastic use reduced.
  • Consistently low carbon footprint.

Moss Grove Organic | Grasmere

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Moss Grove is a boutique hotel that prides itself on providing a spectacular guest experience while remaining sustainable and organic in all possible ways.

The rooms and suites at Moss Grove are the epitome of thoughtfully crafted decadence. They have hot tubs, spa baths, and handmade beds that are individual works of art.

On arrival, you’ll be welcomed with a tea tray of dreams with delicious homemade biscuits and a basket of Pure Lakes toiletries. State-of-the-art BOSE sound systems will play your favourite tunes as you watch the village go by from a private wooden balcony.

Grasmere village and lake have long been a treasure trove of joy for UK tourists. Get sticky fingers at Grasmere Gingerbread, a shop that has been in the village since 1854. Learn more about one of the greatest romantic poets at the Wordsworth Museum and his home, Dove Cottage and then explore the craft and souvenir shops.

The Moss Grove Organic team is adept at minimising their hotel’s impact on the environment.

  • The furniture is crafted from recycled or renewable timber.
  • All paperware and bin bags are biodegradable.
  • Organic clay paints and naturally screen-printed wallpaper adorn the walls and woodwork.
  • The stunning building is insulated with the fleeces of local sheep.
  • Ethically sourced wool carpets.
  • Organic, Fairtrade, and locally sourced breakfast.

Cedar Manor | Windermere

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The Cedar Manor is a luxury hotel in Windermere that combines stunning accommodations with sustainable tourism.

Each of the rooms and suites has its own unique style and personality and colours and fabrics chosen are a balm to the soul after a long day plodding along mountain paths. Spa baths and rain showers make washing off the fell mud a joy and the rooms with sitting areas and fell views are lovely spaces to recover your energy.

Beautiful lounge rooms and dining rooms make a fantastic background for mouth-watering meals and sweet and savoury afternoon teas.

Windermere is a hub of activity for locals and visitors. The Cedar Manor is a handy base to discover the village’s delights such as Windermere Jetty, a new museum dedicated to the sights and sounds of this busy lake

Visit Hill Top Farm, a lovingly preserved 17th-century farmhouse where children’s author Beatrix Potter lived then hop on the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway, the UK’s oldest and longest narrow-gauge railway.

The Cedar Manor is a member of the Green Tourism Scheme and the ‘The Lakeland Foundation’ which shows their wish to reduce the damage they do to the local area.

  • Careful management of the heating.
  • Sensor lighting.
  • High levels of insulation.
  • Low food and product miles.
  • Recycling includes cooking oil.
  • Lead-free paint.
  • Green cleaning products.
  • Public transport info provided.

Langdale Hotel & Spa | Ambleside

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The Langdale Hotel is a jaw-dropping lakeside hotel with impressive green credentials. The chic garden rooms boast warm jewel tones or calming shades of blue and cream. Treat yourself to a suite with a roll-top copper bath and a queen-sized bed with impressive views of the local mountains.

The on-site local pub and a restaurant serve their own wood-fired pizzas, just what guests need after a spell in the peaceful spa, gym, and pool.  After dinner stroll the gardens, they are particularly lovely when lit up at night.

Langdale is very like the Alps, the fir tree forest and dramatic peaks have a very special atmosphere. Soak it up while clambering along with Jack’s Rake, a scrambling route on Pavey Ark

Further afield are the cycle trails of Grizedale Forest, paddle-boarding on Windermere, and sea swimming at remote Silecroft.

The Langdale has a creditable sense of environmental responsibility.

  • A garden habitat crafted to support red squirrels.
  • Protecting local biodiversity.
  • Two biomass boilers and a waterwheel.
  • 99% Palm Oil.
  • No waste goes to landfills.
  • Reducing the use of plastic.
  • Water management systems.
  • Charging ports for electric cars.

Lindeth Fell Country House | Bowness-on-Windermere

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Lindeth Fell is an extraordinary country house that sits perched on a fellside above Windermere. Appreciate the splendid views from spacious, light-filled dining rooms and lounges that boast beautiful views across the colourful garden and lake below.

For your private space, choose from an array of sophisticated rooms with a chic yet cosy décor of soft colours, soothing patterns and comforting textures.

An entire weekend could be spent only in the hotel and superb gardens, but if you wish to venture further, it’s an excellent base. For example, the Lakeland Farm Visitors Centre is a fascinating place run by a family who has been farming for generations and Windermere Lake can be enjoyed in many ways from boat trips and wild swims to beach picnics and kayaking.

Lindeth Fell Country House are proud of the low impact they have on the environment, their success is due to the comprehensive policies they follow.

  • Lindeth Fell’s seven-acre gardens encourage wildlife and support biodiversity.
  • LED lighting.
  • Bio-mass boilers.
  • Minimal water wastage.
  • Lakeland products and produce.

The Wild Boar | Windermere

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Windermere has a distinguished history as a tourist destination and The Wild Boar has been a part of that heritage for many years.

Luxury rooms here have serious ‘Wow!’ power and are perfect when celebrating special occasions while the feature and Classic rooms all have beautiful, quirky touches that give each one a unique personality.

The lounge room at The Wild Boar is wonderfully traditional with a luxurious gentlemen’s club-style ambiance. On chilly days, relaxing in front of the roaring open fire will make you want to stay here forever.

The rambling grounds of The Wild Boar host fun activities for guests to take part in that include clay pigeon shooting, axe throwing, and archery.

Gilpin Valley is a quiet, nature-filled corner of the Windermere area but there is plenty of culture and adventure to enjoy just a few miles away. If you adore touring stately homes, you’ll love Holker Hall and Gardens, and creative types will appreciate Blackwell House Arts and Crafts House, an art centre of international renown where Victorian designs are displayed alongside contemporary works.

Kayaking on Windermere is a fun way to entertain the family, you’ll get very wet so it’s a useful alternative to walking on rainy days. For undercover interest, try Rydal Mount, one of Wordsworth’s most loved homes and learn about the turbulent life of this romantic poet here.

The Wild Boar has Green Key Accreditation – an honour given to businesses that make every effort to be environmentally friendly.

  • The lounge fire is fed with sustainable wood.
  • Gardens that serve the needs of local wildlife.
  • Investigation of renewable energy sources.
  • Low carbon footprint
  • Sensor lighting.

Low Wood Bay Resort & Spa | Windermere

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Tucked into a sheltered part of the Windermere shoreline lies a white-washed hotel and spa with a reputation for unfettered luxury and rooms designed to help invoke a feeling of deep relaxation.

The Low Wood Bay is a resort rather than a hotel, they offer everything a discerning traveller might desire. There are two classy restaurants that serve homemade food lovingly created from local ingredients and a superb health club and spa.

The entire Lake District is within easy reach of Low Wood Bay. Tour the Honister Slate Mine and push your limits on the Via Ferrata course or take a Hidden Lakeland Tour, a great way to learn more about this incredible part of the world.

There’s also plenty to amuse on-site, Low Wood Bay has its own water sports centre. Try canoeing, hire a boat, or experiment with wakeboarding. After a day on the water, indulge in some well-deserved self-care by booking a massage or facial with a skilled therapist.

Low Wood Bay is part of the same group as ‘The Wild Boar’ so they follow the same Green Key environmental principles.

  • Small green changes that lead to huge progress.
  • Renewable energy sources.
  • Sustainable products
  • Generally green ways of working.
  • A low carbon footprint.

Handy links to plan your Lake District trip

Accommodation in the Lake District

Tours + Tourist Info in the Lake District

Transport for the Lake District

Gear for the Lake District

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lisa 3rd June 2021 - 4:04 am

WOWZAA, so many beautiful eco options in the Lake District! I truly love them all!

Vanessa 4th June 2021 - 4:05 pm

Thanks Lisa, glad you like the list. The Lake District is such a beautiful place, we should support businesses who protect it!


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