Four of the best eco-friendly holidays on Scottish islands

Old traditions meet new thinking on these green Scotland stays
Orkney in the world’s first all-electric campervan

Voluntourism, Isle of Skye

The hugely popular island has a Keep Skye Beautiful team that looks for volunteers to help with projects each year. Work might involve maintaining and creating hiking pathways and viewing areas, setting up signposts and removing litter. Volunteers get to explore landmarks such as the Old Man of Storr and Kilt Rock while helping restore and protect them for future visitors.
Register interest at

Camping, Isle of Arran

Red deer in the river at Lochranza, Isle of Arran.
Red deer at Lochranza, Isle of Arran. Photograph: Tim Graham/Alamy

Camping is one of the greenest ways to stay wherever you head off on holiday, and a visit to this island – using the CalMac ferry and connecting train – can be even more so with a stay at Lochranza campsite. Not only does it have eco-friendly credentials (holding a gold award from Green Tourism) for its facilities, but its owners are committed to boosting biodiversity, which has meant deer, birds, red squirrels, bees and wildflowers have all benefited, making it environmentally sound for the campers and the wildlife.
Pitch for two from £20,

Green stay, Inner Hebrides

Eigg Shed
Eigg Shed Photograph: PR

Having produced 95% of its electricity since 2008, via what became the first grid in the world powered by a perfect combination of wind, solar and hydro schemes, Eigg offers an almost guilt-free island stay. Not only did islanders say goodbye to all but their back-up diesel generators over 10 years ago, but they also cleverly buried all the cables underground so there are no electricity pylons spoiling the scenery. It’s accessed easily via train and ferry, and Eigg Shed is a Scandi-style modern bothy, with a low carbon footprint and a composting toilet.
From £522 a week, sleeps three,

Slow food break, Shetland

Much like neighbouring Orkney, Shetland can also be reached via rail and sea: train to Aberdeen and overnight NorthLink ferry to the island’s main town, Lerwick. From there it’s a 20-minute bus ride south to Cunningsburgh and MacKenzie’s Farm Shop and Cafe, a croft that’s been run by the same family for more than 500 years. They grow produce and farm cattle in traditional ways: nothing goes to waste as their produce always sells out. Visitors staying in one of two self-catering lodges on site can sample their goods at source.
Call for prices and availability,

• An entry about electric touring in the Outer Hebrides was removed on 19 August 2021 pending further inquiries into whether it remains a viable option.


Phoebe Smith

The GuardianTramp

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