Brilliantly British sustainable travel tips

Friday 15 October 2021

Go large and lessen your impact with our brilliantly British sustainable travel tips. Whether you swap planes for trains and go on a magical journey across the nation, or substitute bus trips for bike tours around London, even the smallest change can make the biggest difference. Check out our top tips for maximising your journey while minimising your footprint and make your next UK holiday a sustainable one. Plus, bring back some eco-ideas as souvenirs – finally, something you’ll actually use at home.

Stroll around London instead of catching a taxi using the green ground walking tube map released in 2021. A lovely twist on the underground map this guide offers walks ranging from ‘riverside ramble to urban literary trails’. 

Take a hike along some of the nation’s spectacular walking trails such as the England Coast Path – a 3,000 mile/4,800km route, the longest signposted trail in the world. 

Eat vegan; dine at a zero waste restaurant or make a conscious decision about what you eat based on the carbon-footprint of your dinner.

Reward yourself with a sustainable fine-dining experience that tastes and feels good, such as Skye Gyngell’s Spring in London’s Somerset House, or Native in Mayfair, washed down with an ethical drink such as an eco-beer from Old Tree Brewery in Brighton or a dram from Nc'Nean in Argyll, Scotland’s first net zero distillery.  

Book a sustainable stay: Fforest Farm in Wales, or green hotels and holiday homes, such as the zero-carbon The Emerald resort in Cornwall and canopy palace, Treetops Treehouse in Devon. 

Get buzzy in the city: Help save the bees and check in to one of London’s many hotels and venues with their own hives, from Ham Yard Hotel, to The Ritz and St Ermin’s Hotel, as well as Fortnum & Mason and the National Theatre.

Give back to nature: Help keep Britain beautiful by volunteering with a project like the Marine Conservation Society’s Great British Beach Clean events, or spend a week on a nature reserve volunteering for The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. Or how about Canal Camp, a working holiday restoring Britain’s waterways for the Inland Waterways Association.

Try forest bathing: Spending time in trees is proven to de-stress and boost your health and the good news is you don’t have to be in Japan to perfect the art of shinrin-yoku. Britain is full of forests and woodlands, including its famous ancient sites like the New Forest and Sherwood Forest. Take Forest Bathing tours through Forest Holidays or just walk into the woods and give it a go yourself, in some of Forestry England’s lovely sites around the country, like Alice Holt Forest in Surrey, or Bedgebury National Pinetum in Kent.

Slow down and speed up the relaxation with some water-wellness in or on Scotland’s lochs, like stand-up paddle-boarding and wild-swimming. Whether you are near it, in it, or on it, it’s proven that being around water is good for you. So Scotland, with its recent Year of Coasts & Waters, is calling. From paddle-boarding on a loch and wild swimming in one, to a waterfall walk with a seafood dinner, coast up to Scotland and indulge in some water-wellness. 

Put a date in your diary for UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK, where 10 outstanding large-scale projects around sustainability, life and the future are revealed around the country from leaders in the fields of science, technology, engineering, arts and maths. 

And don’t miss the Commonwealth Games in July 2022, where Birmingham aims to be the first carbon-neutral Games. They are creating 2,022 acres of Commonwealth Forest and 72 mini-forests in surrounding urban areas – which is ideal for a spot of forest-bathing while you’re there.

And finally, what’s a trip to Britain without some serious shopping? Even high-fashion doesn’t have to come at a cost (to the planet, your wallet might still hurt) any longer, with leading brands like Stella McCartney, Mulberry and Burberry at the forefront of sustainable style. Or at the other end of the budget, go vintage, with some of the nation’s famous emporiums like London’s Rokit and W. Armstrong & Son in Edinburgh and now even Selfridges, where you can pick up a second-hand bag to pack it all in. 

For more information contact:

Kristen Angus