As a born and bread Yorkshire lass, I'm proud to be from the north of England. Here are the most interesting/eco-friendly/quirky places to stay that prove, contrary to popular belief, it's not that grim up North!
Dovecote Barns, York
Not too far from the centre of York, these award-winning barns boast countless positive reviews and hold the prestigious title of best self-catering accommodation 2011-2012. On arrival, you'll be greeted by a friendly welcome, and a basket of local produce. The cottages offer a communal laundry service and produce all their electricity from renewable sources. There's also recycling and composting facilities available. The three cottages sleep between 2-6 people.
Home Grown Home's two straw bale cottages near Howden, East Yorkshire
These two cottages are the UK's first straw bale built self-catering accommodation. After running a course with Amazon nails, Home Grown Home offer a straw bale cottage and straw bale cabin near the beautiful village of Howden. Energy is provided by a wind turbine and solar panels, there's free bicycles to use whilst you're there, free collection from the railway station, a local shopping service, organic sheets, and even a wormery! The straw bale cabin sleeps up to 3 people, and the straw bale cottage sleeps up to 6.
Glamping with Jollydays, Scrayingham, Yorkshire
Yes, glamorous camping. A gold winner of the green tourism scheme, Jollydays offers a luxury camping experience based in a village farm in Scrayingham, near Stamford Bridge in Yorkshire. 10% of the company's profits are given to environmental and educational projects, they boast a bio digester and reed beds, and currently a proportion of their electricity is from sustainable sources. There's plenty of different tents to choose from to suit your budget.
La Rosa campsite extraordinaire, Whitby, Yorkshire
Although not explicitly an advocator of eco-tourism, La Rosa is a low-impact camping site. The site offers a number of kitsch caravans, modestly priced, and internally decorated with vintage and antique items. Each caravan includes bedding, gas, candles and fire-wood.
Charlotte Nicol is the co-founder of the UK based Tour company Most Curious Tours. Recently launched, Most Curious Tours aims at showing tourists the hidden cultural hotspots of the UK, traveling in small groups by scenic railway routes, staying in independent accommodation, and attending local concerts and theatre productions in hand-picked destinations across the UK.
Photo credit: By Paul Stevenson flickr