7 Beautiful Eco-Cottages Just a Few Hours from London

Fancy an escape to the country? These beautiful eco-cottages, some just a one-hour drive from London, all have a gold or silver Green Tourism Certificate – recognised worldwide as an indicator of environmentally-friendly practice. So for a more sustainable break from the city, read on…

Lead image: Belle Grove, Norfolk

1 Eco Chic Cottages, The Cotswolds
Green Tourism Award Gold
1.5 hours from the M25 (west)
Culls Cottage is a quintessentially Cotswold Cottage dating from 1670, blending the charm of the past with modern fittings and luxurious extras. Its larger sister property, The Chestnuts, is a stylishly furnished traditional stone cottage with the original lounge containing a large inglenook fireplace and bread oven with woodburner.  The cottages are run as a Carbon Neutral Business and The Chestnuts is an award-winner for its responsible, ethical and sustainable tourism efforts. Eco-features including spa-like, eco-friendly bathroom condiments, and locally blended teas and coffee beans. Enjoy glorious walks over the fields right from the door, as well as the historic sites of Burford, Lechlade, Blenheim Place and The Ashmoleum Museum, which are all within easy reach. A three-night weekend break in Culls Cottages (which sleeps six) starts at £830, and in The Chestnuts (which sleeps eight) starts at £1,150.
See or call 07680 337 763

2 Heath Farm Holiday Cottages, Oxfordshire
Green Tourism Award Gold
1.25 hours from the M25 (west)
Heath Farm Holiday Cottages is set in 70 acres of beautiful woodland and meadows, with tree-lined avenues and views of the rolling Cotswold hills. The properties provide the perfect tranquil base for exploring the Oxfordshire Cotswolds and are filled with furniture and fittings made by local craftsmen in English hardwoods, much from the farm’s own trees. There is plenty of wildlife to see year round as the woodlands and wildflower meadows are home to rabbits, hares, badgers, squirrels, roe deer and muntjac deer, as well as a good variety of birds. Heath Farm has been awarded Gold for the Green Tourism Business Scheme since 2014, demonstrating a commitment to developing good environmental practice. A three-night weekend stay ranges from £401 in Hazlenut (which sleeps two) to £716 in Cobnut (which sleeps four)
See or call 01608 683 270

3 Cranmer Country Cottages, Norfolk
Green Tourism Award Gold
2.5 hours from the M25 (north)
The luxurious Cranmer Country Cottages, set in 175 acres of farmland in Norfolk, have been converted from a Victorian dairy farm using traditional local materials and local craftsmen. Now offering spacious accommodation, the property boasts a luxury heated indoor swimming pool, two all-weather tennis courts, a games room and children’s adventure play area. The owners have created an eco-friendly business using energy from onsite renewable energy sources with careful monitoring of energy and water use and waste reduction, as well as ethical and local sourcing of foods, toiletries and services. They are also committed to responsible tourism practices with an going hedge and tree-planting programme to safeguard wildlife corridors and offset carbon emissions. A three-night break in Cranmer Cottages’ Avocet (which sleeps six) costs from £738.
See or call 01328 823 135

4 Cossington Park, Somerset
Green Tourism Award Gold
2.5 hours from the M25 (west)
Cossington Park in Somerset is an elegant period house that’s perfect for celebrations. Home to the same family for 400 years, the property is set in 22 acres of grounds and offers plenty of space for large family gatherings. Think roaring log fires, luxurious roll-top baths, cosy four-poster beds and rooms brimming with antiques and portraits. With a 250-year old Clementi piano, elegant chaise longues and a wood burner, the grand old drawing room is perfect for pre-dinner drinks, and the wonderful dining room seats 32 guests. Eco credentials include responsible use of energy, water and materials and waste reduction, the use of local suppliers, artists and retailers, incorporating organic and fairtrade products when available, and using environmentally friendly cleaning products where possible. A three night weekend break in Cossington Park’s Park House (which sleeps 12) starts from £2,265.
See or call 08000 433 468

5 Primrose Cottage, Suffolk
Green Tourism Award Gold
1.25 hours from the M25 (north east)
Primrose Cottage is a Grade II listed cottage in the picturesque village of Kersey, Suffolk, with country walks right from the door and a lovely pub close by. The characterful cottage offers the perfect base for those wishing to explore Suffolk, including Constable Country, the medieval village of Lavenham and Flatford Mill. It’s less than a 1.5 hour drive from the M25 and a one-hour drive to the Suffolk coast. The owners of Primrose Cottage, committed to protecting the environment, have implemented many sustainable initiatives. You’ll be welcomed with a generous, locally sourced hamper and an ample supply of locally sourced logs. A three-night weekend break for two guests starts from £345.
See or call 07950 712 239

6 Wallops Wood, Hampshire
Green Tourism Award Silver
1 hour from the M25 (south west)
A country retreat in the South Downs National Park, Wallops Wood is a chic collection of eight award-winning self-catering cottages with an indoor heated pool and a jacuzzi. Located in the beautiful Meon Valley, the cottages have spectacular views of the South Downs, as well as wood burners, private gardens, hot tubs, underfloor heating and en suite facilities. They are thoughtfully designed with children and pets in mind – the owners even provide age-appropriate toys and a welcome basket for furry friends. You’ll be welcomed with a pack of locally sourced produce including a homemade cake, alongside a comprehensive information folder, walking books and maps in each cottage. A three night weekend break for six in Teal starts from £651.
See or call 01489 878 888

7 Belle Grove, Norfolk
Green Tourism Award Silver
2.5 hours from the M25 (north east)
Located near the Suffolk Heritage Coast – a 50-mile stretch of heritage coastline and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty just two hours from London – the five gorgeously converted farm buildings at Belle Grove are bursting with character and comfort. Carefully chosen antiques, textiles and objects create an ‘East meets West’ aesthetic, and the under-floor heating and wood-burning stoves make for idyllic cosy nights in. The pet-friendly property also has secure private gardens and a summer beach hut in nearby Southwold. Eco-friendly features include rainwater harvesting, solar-heated water and Type-2 Electric Vehicle charge point. A three-night weekend break in The Granary (which sleeps four), costs from £795.
See or call 01986 873 124