Gloucestershire is home to both the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the luscious Forest of Dean – and has ambitions plans to become a carbon neutral county by 2050, to help preserve this stunning natural environment.
With demand for sustainable holidays on the rise, SoGlos has hand-picked 15 sustainable staycations and eco-retreats in Gloucestershire, from treehouses to glamping pods and everything in-between.
Thyme in Southrop
Describing itself as ‘a botanical breather, away from life’s bustle’, Thyme in Southrop offers a range of botanical-inspired rooms in its collection of restored farm buildings. Situated within the Cotswolds AONB, Thyme is passionate about conserving wild spaces that allow nature to thrive, with its water meadows being a designated Site of Specific Scientific Interest.
With a range of drinking and dining options inspired by the local land – from fresh, handmade cocktails in the Baa Bar to contemporary, seasonal cuisine in The Ox Barn – Thyme also boasts a botanical spa with a spring water pool and a range of treatments, using its own nature-inspired product range.
Stays at Thyme cost from £320 per night for bed and breakfast, with guests able to add a conservation fee to their bill to help support Thyme’s conservation projects and partner charities.
Wildwood Bluebell near Moreton-in-Marsh
Set within acres of ancient woodland amongst swathes of bluebells, primroses and babbling streams, Wildwood Bluebell offers a magical glamping experience in Gloucestershire. Munday’s Meadow accommodates up to 24 guests in six bell tents, each equipped with fairy lights, lanterns and handmade cushions, with a large decked area for socialising and both indoor and outdoor cooking facilities.
Meanwhile, those looking for a more secluded stay can cosy up in one of two shepherd’s huts in the Bluebell Wood. Each hut sleeps two and comes with sheepskin rugs and wood-burning stoves to keep guests warm, as well as a shared outdoor safari shower – with keen-eyed visitors often able to spot deer, foxes and badgers in the surrounding woods after dark.
Stays at Wildwood Bluebell cost from £75 per night in the shepherd’s huts; or from £30 per night for a minimum of 16 guests staying for three nights in the tents at Munday’s Meadow.
Hudnalls Hideout in St Briavels
The one-of-a-kind Hudnalls Hideout is a stunning timber treehouse, nestled in amongst the lush woodlands of the Forest of Dean. Offering romantic, adults-only retreats, the treehouse sleeps two and offers guests exclusive use of the surrounding ancient woodland, as well as a colourful wildflower meadow, ideal for picnics.
There’s no TV or WiFi, allowing guests to completely switch off and immerse themselves in nature – opting instead to try a forest bathing session; have a relaxing soak in the outdoor bathtub; hibernate inside the cosy, bioethanol heated treehouse with a good book; and stargaze from the hideout’s incredible floor-to-ceiling windows.
Stays at Hudnalls Hideout cost from £400 per night with a minimum three-night stay. Anyone wanting to secure a stay at Hudnalls Hideout is advised to book well in advance.
Cotswold Farm Park in Guiting Power
With 16 festival-themed bell tents in its own private field, families looking for a more sustainable holiday will love staying at Strawberry’s Field glamping at Cotswold Farm Park – especially as admission to the award-winning attraction is included with every stay.
Each off-grid tent sleeps up to five guests and two dogs, with solar-powered lighting and USB power banks providing juice for all your devices – though it’ll be tough to tear your eyes away from the stunning sunsets over the Cotswold countryside. There are glamping toilets and showers too, exclusively available to campers staying in Strawberry’s Field.
Stays at Strawberry’s Field at Cotswold Farm Park cost from £175 per night for 2 people, with additional guests costing £35 and under-twos able to stay for free.
May Hill Woodlands near Newent
May Hill Woodlands in the Forest of Dean is home to two safari tents, each sleeping up to four people, where guests can cosy up around a real wood fire and enjoy spending a few nights under the stars. Both tents have two bedrooms, a kitchenette with its own fridge, gas stove, kettle and toaster – as well as access to a shower and toilet cabin with eco-friendly dry compost toilets.
There are also a number of wild camping sites further in the woodlands. Available for a limited number of days with locations alternating each year to protect the unique surroundings, more intrepid explorers can arrange to stay at one of these secluded sites for a truly immersive experience.
Stays in the safari tents at May Hill Woodlands cost from £85 per night, with wild camping fees costing £15 per night.
Rodway Hill Golf Club Eco Pod Hotel in Highnam
Located in Highnam, Rodway Hill Golf Club has six Eco Pods within its expansive grounds, offering a unique alternative to your usual bed and breakfast. Each heated wooden Eco Pod has twin beds or a super king-size bed to snuggle down in, as well as luxury towels and bedding, a writing desk and a television.
There are dedicated Eco Pod toilet and shower facilities on-site, not to mention an 18-hole golf course and driving range – with Eco Pod guests able to upgrade their stay to include unlimited golf, too.
Stays at Rodway Hill Golf Club cost from £69 per pod.
The Wildings in Bourton-on-the-Water
Family-friendly campsite, The Wildings, offers eco-tourists a choice of camping pods, boutique bell tents and yurts – alongside a cosy cookhouse, fully-heated toilet and shower block, children’s play area and on-site farm shop.
Its six pods have double beds, electric heaters and plug sockets, as well as linen and towels, with camp beds available for additional guests. The four boutique bell tents sleep up to five guests and are completely off grid to be closer to nature, with a double bed and two single chair beds, solar powered fairy lights, battery operated tealights and their own private campfire and garden areas. The yurts feature the same furnishings as the bell tents, but also boast their own log burning stoves inside, for extra cosiness.
Stays at The Wildings cost from £65 per night.
Squirrel’s Nest Treehouse in Lydney
Walk up the spiral staircase and into the trees at Lydney’s Squirrel’s Nest treehouse, which offers guests an array of home comforts, including a gorgeous bedroom with its own balcony and a fully-equipped kitchen, set within the dreamy natural surroundings of the Forest of Dean.
Outdoorsy guests will love being just a short distance from the Wye Valley, where they can hike, bike and kayak, as well as trying to spot the Forest of Dean’s elusive resident wild boar. Then, spend the evening rustling up a delicious barbecue on a private island; cooking your own wood-fired pizza; or settling down next to the fire pit and toasting marshmallows after a day of exploring.
Stays at Squirrel’s Nest Treehouse cost from £155 per night.
Daylesford Cottages near Kingham
Located on one of the UK’s most sustainable organic farms, it’s no surprise that Daylesford Cottages make for an ideal eco-retreat in Gloucestershire. Its carefully restored farmhouse cottages are insulated with sheep’s wool and feature recycled materials, including Cotswold stone floor tiles and oak beams made of fallen trees from the Daylesford Estate.
Electricity comes from solar panels on the farm; guests are encouraged to recycle their rubbish and turn off lights and appliances when not in use; there are electric car charging points in the main car park; and Daylesford’s Zero Waste Pantry means self-catering guests can stock up on staples without the need for single-use packaging – not to mention enjoying fresh farm eggs, vegetables, fruit and herbs from the Daylesford farm shop and organic milk and cheese from the dairy.
Prices for stays at Daylesford Cottages are available on request.
The Wright Retreat near Berkeley
Situated in Breadstone, just outside Berkeley, The Wright Retreat has three romantic shepherd’s huts which sleep two, perfect for an adults-only eco holiday. The huts – named Eden, Bluebell and Willow – each have a log burner to keep them toasty on cool evenings; an ensuite shower and WC; kitchenette with coffee machine; and a luxurious double bed.
Outside, each hut has a fire pit, barbecue, impressive outdoor kitchen and dining area, as well as a hot tub, double hammock and deck chairs. With no light pollution on the site, guests can wrap up in a blanket, toast some marshmallows and indulge in an evening of stargazing before settling in for the night.
Stays at The Wright Retreat cost from £110 per night with a minimum two-night stay.
Mrs Mills’ Yurts near Longhope
Set amongst six acres of Gloucestershire countryside with expansive views over May Hill, Mrs Mills’ Yurts gives eco-tourists a choice of four luxury yurts to stay in – complete with 1920s-inspired names from the golden age of glamping.
Offering comfortable beds and futons for between three and five guests, each yurt is solar powered and has its own wood-burning stove inside to keep it cosy, as well as a fire pit; barbecue; and outdoor seating area to soak up the spectacular sunsets – with some even having a wood-fired hot tub for an additional charge. Mrs Mills has a reputation for fantastic food, too, with a menu of yummy dishes available to warm up on hotplates inside the yurts.
For those looking to staycation further afield, Mrs Mills also offers Glampervans for hire, loaded with luxuries like cheese hampers and cocktails in the fridge, to take on tour wherever you wish.
Stays at Mrs Mills Yurts cost from £120 per night for two guests with a minimum two-night stay.
Eco Chic Cottages near Lechlade
The award-winning Eco Chic Cottages near Lechlade offers luxurious staycation destinations with impressive green credentials. The two historic stone cottages are ideal for a quintessential Cotswold break, with Culls Cottage sleeping up to six guests and The Chestnuts sleeping up to eight.
Each cottage is equipped with inglenook fireplaces and wood-burning stoves; luxury kitchens with Lavazza coffee machines; impressive bathrooms and large gardens – with an electric vehicle charging point at The Chestnuts, too – and some of the Cotswolds’ prettiest towns right on the doorstep.
Stays at Eco Chic Cottages cost from £1,332 for a minimum two-night stay.
The Roost Luxury Glamping in Mitcheldean
With two snug cabins sleeping two adults and two dogs each, The Roost Luxury Glamping in Mitcheldean puts an eco-friendly spin on your usual cabin in the woods. Each cabin has a living roof and boasts king-size beds, luxurious bathrooms with power showers, well-equipped kitchens and dedicated doggy beds – not to mention chemical-free Japanese soak tubs for a spot of outdoor bathing.
Its environmental credentials are impressive too. The Roost is powered by green electricity and stocked with locally-sourced wood for the log-burners; soap handmade in Mitcheldean; eco-friendly cleaning products; and local, organic produce for the kitchen. It has gold accreditation from Green Tourism and has planted over 70 new native trees, 500 native hedgerow plants and a new wildflower meadow, which provides food for the local Horseshoe bat population, and harvests rainwater for its washing machines and staff toilets, too.
Stays at The Roost cost from £533 with a minimum two-night stay.
Westley Farm in Frampton Mansell
Offering five unique glamping locations, all with their own deck kitchens, barbecues and fire pits, Westley Farm in Frampton Mansell is a secluded eco-retreat, set within 40 acres of ancient woodland and providing glamping from April to October each year.
Choose from The Far Out Yurt, which was hand-made on the farm and boasts its own wood-fired hot tub and outdoor shower; the Sapperton Yurt with its comfy double bed, wood-burning stove and roll top bathtub in a horsebox; the aptly named Yurt Reynolds with a double bed, its own bath house with roll top tub and wood-fired hot tub; the quirky Gold Rush Cabin with its Western Red Cedar wood-fired hot tub, barbecue and tin cowboy shower; or The Zen Den with its panoramic views, floating bed and Japanese-inspired Ofuro soaking tub.
Prices for stays at Westley Farm are available on request with a minimum two-night stay.
Resilient Woodlands Retreat in Lydney
With spectacular views over the Severn Estuary, Resilient Woodlands Retreat gives guests the opportunity to really admire the natural beauty of the Forest of Dean from its two glamping log cabins.
Each cabin has an elevated private deck with breath-taking views, as well as a private wood-fired hot tub, king-size bed and double futon and fully-equipped kitchen, as well as a bathroom with full-size shower and eco-friendly toiletries. The Coppice cabin is also dog-friendly, ideal for couples with a four-legged friend in tow.
Stays at Resilient Woodlands Retreat cost £155 per night with a minimum two-night stay.