There are vast pockets of stunning unaltered landscape in Scotland, and it makes sense to construct low-impact buildings here that are in tune with the natural environment. Complementing their surroundings with self-sustaining designs and carbon-neutral footprints, here are Scotland’s most incredible ecolodges. Green never looked so magical!
Croft 103 is an intuitive structure that looks as if it comes straight out of a James Bond film. Located on the bonnie banks of Loch Eriboll near Durness in North West Sutherland, this contemporary carbon-negative croft gets most of its power from a compact wind turbine and is insulated with sheep wool. The beautifully executed Croft 103, which consists of local timber and stone, was crafted using traditional techniques. Solar panels provide hot water, and the rest of the energy to run the building comes from renewable sources. Even used car tyres have been cleverly used in the build.
Eagle Brae, with its carbon-neutral self-sufficient log cabins and jaw-dropping natural beauty, is a true oasis of calm. Made out of western red cedar logs and handcrafted to perfection, the swanky cabins employ clever environmentally friendly tricks such as biomass heating, micro hydro power systems, an underground spring water supply and wild greenery roof insulation. A utopian ecotourism spot, Eagle Brae is nestled in the thick of the Scottish Highlands, with picture-perfect views. Details such as the handcrafted Himalayan woodcarvings add an extra punch of personality to the already chic interiors.
The Duck’s Nest
The cosy and intimate Duck’s Nest is well suited to times that call for going off-grid. A birdwatcher’s dream, this postcard-perfect two-person ecolodge lies in a pine forest at the edge of a stream, and is surrounded by ducks and waterfowl. The wood-fired hot tub and two-person dry-heat sauna make for a restorative experience. It’s hard to tell which is more magical – gazing up at the dancing Scottish stars through the strategically placed window, or taking a rejuvenating shower of heated rainwater that’s been collected in reclaimed oak whisky barrels. The red squirrel feeding table and chimenea stove add an off-the-radar sense of excitement. As for the clever composting toilet – it isn’t as bad as it sounds.
The brainchild of two environment-loving yogis, EcoYoga is a sanctuary synonymous with rejuvenation and respite. This unique yoga retreat is located at Inverliever Lodge and boasts carbon-free status. Blending in with the forests, lochs, rivers and hills, the entire centre is powered by solar panels and an impressive 550kW water turbine. Guests are invited to tour the Inverliever Hydro power station and learn about the benefits of a luxury eco lifestyle. With secret baths at river gorges in the forest, a geodesic hot tub, rainforest showers and an artisan sauna, EcoYoga offers unrivalled liberating outdoor bathing experiences inspired by Japanese purification rituals. All the water comes from their private spring and uses 100% renewable energy.
Less of an ecolodge and more of a top-class eco-friendly haven, the serene Knoydart House – with its lofty vaulted ceilings, exposed timber-frames and floor-to-ceiling windows – gets umpteen stars. It’s hard to believe that this swanky self-catering accommodation can be so environmentally friendly. Aside from the unparalleled views of Loch Nevis and the dreamy floodlit hot tub, highlights include a sauna, canopy bed, energy-efficient appliances and environmentally conscious insulation.
Where to Stay
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.