The United Kingdom, which is made up of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales is consistently a top international destination for travelers. Earlier this year, even our family visited London to both introduce the city to our young son and discover what it had to offer eco-conscious travelers.
While our son immensely enjoyed visiting Westminster Abbey, the London Eye, and some of the city’s parks, we also appreciated the great variety of sustainable restaurants in London. However, venturing out of the city offers the responsible traveler many more choices to appreciate the pristine areas of the nation, including the wide selection of 28 natural and cultural UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
In fact, the UK is setup very well to accommodate sustainable travelers. Its transport system is far reaching and reliable. Its Green Tourism Business Scheme eco-certification encompasses a strong network of accommodation providers and visitor attractions. And, for sustainable gourmands, there’s a long listing of organic and fair trade restaurants that cater also to vegetarians, vegans and customers with special diets.
So, what should be at the top of your family eco-travel wish list for the UK?
Consider a cycling tour of Yorkshire Dales National Park. This area is approximately 220 miles from London and is considered one of the most diverse wildlife regions within the UK. The area’s long history of sustainable agriculture practices, distinctive architecture and culture along with its deep tradition as a green destination make this an eco-destination to behold.
For a more varied and independent eco-travel choice, the Wild Scotland website offers self-guided multi-day itineraries that focus on nature and wildlife viewing activities.
Lastly, if you don’t want to venture too far from London, The New Forest is an ideal spot reachable via a 90 minute train ride from the city’s center. There are numerous walking, biking and horseback trails throughout the forest and surrounding villages as well as guided walks provided by local experts. You can stay in eco-certified accommodations and find sustainable food eateries throughout the area.
Check out our family travel experiences through Scotland.