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Is this Sussex’s best sustainable staycation?

Proof that you can go green glamorously is the Goodwood Hotel in West Sussex who is leading the way with innovative ideas to holiday holistically

Can a quintessentially British break really be stylish and sustainable? Well, if you’re heading to the Goodwood Hotel then… Yes. It. Can! Floating in an eco-friendly heated pool, practising mindfulness in the forest and dining on organic local produce are just the beginnings of a staycation that offers conscious comfort. 

The venue has taken on the challenge of climate change with creativity without compromising its high standards. Something which has seen it crowned the most Sustainable Business at the Catey awards in London.

The hotel even has hugely admirable ambitions to be carbon neutral, where better to staycation with a clear conscience?

Find fun in nature

Picture this, feeling the breeze on your fingertips while nature’s authentic sounds serenade you as you’re kissed by sun rays peaking through the canopy of trees. Relaxed already? Then you don’t need us to explain why escaping into nature is good for your soul and helps remind us why it’s worth preserving.

The Goodwood Hotel, nestled in the South Downs provides an enormous, make that, an epic amount of nature to escape in – 11,000 acres to be precise. It’s also the perfect spot to try forest bathing – for those not in the know, this is a Japanese technique of relaxation known as shinrin yoku. The method is simple: be calm and be quiet (read: turn your phone off) while walking around trees. The results impressive: a gentle calm comes over you. 

Goodwood has a portfolio of natural paths that will take you through grassy hills, carpets of wildflowers and vibrant views. You can choose to take a slow stroll, power hike, or cycle. But wherever you choose to explore, you’ll be surrounded by beauty helped along by the 78,000 trees recently planted as part of their sustainability project.

Feast on home-grown produce

In order to dine with dignity and enjoy a meal without worrying if elements of your dish have been flown from another continent, keep things organic and local which is exactly what the restaurants at the Goodwood Hotel do!

Farm-to-fork food is a term that’s used regularly, but combing that with real taste isn’t guaranteed. Fortunately the sustainable flagship restaurant at the Goodwood Hotel  – Farmer, Butcher, Chef (the clue is in the name) manages exactly that. The dining ethos is simple – there’s zero precent waste, one hundred percent taste.  The venue’s butcher and chef work in tandem to ensure every part of the animal is used to achieve the very best yield from the estate’s livestock.

A menu highlight is the butcher’s board, a showcase of lamb, beef and pork servings. You can also toast to sustainability with cocktails that embrace nature such as a refreshing grapefruit and thyme spritzer. Delicious!

The more relaxed Bar & Grill serves classic of burgers, steaks, fish and chips and has a children’s menu. While The Kennels, which is open to hotel guests, offers seasonal treats such as Sussex plaice and lamb rump. 

Almost all of the three restaurants’ produce comes from the Goodwood Home farm which is an icon in itself. It has served the estate for 300 years and focuses on foraging vegetables and grass-fed, free-range meat. And don’t you dare leave without stocking up at the farm shop, a portion of the organic Molecomb blue cheese will be coming home with you…

Relax the right way 

There’s no reason why you can’t indulge while protecting the planet. To assist you with this mission, the spa at the Goodwood Hotel offers selected treatments with Elementary Herbology products. Their natural skin and body care focuses on the five natural elements, wood, fire, earth metal and water. This ensures each well-heeled step of your stay is as kind to you and as it is the environment.

And that’s not the end of things, by any account! The spa offers a selection of holistic wellbeing retreats to truly restore you both mentally and physically. On offer is the Gut Health Programme and Breath and De-Stress Retreat.

For added bliss, you can unwind in the pool and jacuzzi knowing they are heated sustainably thanks to the hotel’s new waste-to-energy biomass boiler. And then for added tranquility, the spa is inspired by the natural world that surrounds Goodwood. Lie back, relax and have zero guilt. 

For the active relaxers among us (yes, this really is a thing) there is a range of outdoor fitness classes, but for a more gentle form of exercise why not try the yoga? What better way to pay homage to nature than with some sun salutations.

Consider the (environmental) cost

Avoiding flying is the obvious antidote to carbon footprint-heavy holidays but you don’t have to stop there. Consider travelling via an electric vehicle, the Goodwood Hotel has everything you need to facilitate this with charging points. As well as plenty of cycle routes should you prefer two wheels to four. You can even do the historic motor circuit on a bike.

To commit to the green cause fully, it’s worth considering how a hotel provides hot water and electricity. And this is where Goodwood delivers beyond expectation… 

Their dedication to protecting the planet is impressive, they have a new £6million biomass waste-to-energy installation that provides enough power to ensure hot water and electricity is pumped into the venue. And not just that, they have every right to boast, their boilers are fuelled by wood chip, waste straw bales and chestnut stakes from the famous Festival of Speed.  

Explore locally

To keep your movement to a minimum and not constantly explore in the car, remember what is on the doorstep, after all who wants to spend their break glued to Google Maps? 

The Goodwood Estate boasts almost every activity imaginable, from a pay-and-play golf course, to clay shooting. A little further afield is the cathedral city of Chichester (voted as Muddy’s best place to live in Sussex), and it would be rude not to stop by one of the local award wining vineyards. 

But to truly remember why this planet is worth preserving, head to the edge of the Goodwood Estate’s woodland first thing to hear the Dawn Chorus where a variety of birds perform a music concert unlike any other. 

Rooms start from £150 per night for two for bed and breakfast. The Goodwood Hotel, , 01243 775537,

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