Take a weekend off to stay in a zero energy apartment, or learn to kite-surf , or just walk through the mountains. Eco-tourism is on the rise, and check out Natural Discovery, a new service offering ‘responsible holidays’ in the UK.
Discovery Breaks, aim to take ‘eco issues’ to mainstream holidaymakers in an interesting, interactive way. Their goal is to enable guests to make a difference through their choice of breaks, enjoy local culture, heritage and attractions and promote locally run activities and services such as guided walks, cycling and farmers’ markets. They provided their own carefully written local tour guide with detailed descriptions of the birds and flowers you’ll see on the break.
For example, the Kite-Surfing weekend I returned from yesterday, was in a low-key part of Sussex, on a perfect sandy beach, with accommodation in a hotel famed for its locally sourced food. Handling the giant kites was amazing, and learning to fly them was a skill that I will use forever.
The internationally recognised course started at 10,30 on Saturday, and would have finished on Sunday afternoon except that the winds were so strong that day, that I will have to return to complete the course – always a risk in late October. But the instructors weren’t fazed by it and will keep my place open for as long as it takes. The beach was very busy with more experienced kiters taking to the sea and air, so try to book mid week if you want peace and tranquillity thrown in.
Natural Discover often an even more unique break – staying in a BedZED eco apartment in London. BedZED – Beddington Zero Energy Development – is an environmentally friendly, energy-efficient mix of housing and workspace in Sutton, South London. BedZED incorporates up to the minute thinking on sustainable living, from energy from renewable sources generated on the site to the ‘Living Machine’ sewerage treatment plant. BedZED is a long way from the ‘hair shirt’ image that bedevils green living. It aims to be a beacon, to show how people can meet the demand for housing without destroying the countryside. It shows that an eco-friendly lifestyle can be easy, affordable and attractive – something that people will want to do.
Other Natural Discovery breaks include: Tasting English wines, with organic food prepared by a local chef; Exploring the British countryside; on a bike, by hot air balloon or even on a farm safari; Visiting the Centre for Alternative Technology in Wales and going whale watching while you’re there.
James Little, Director of Natural Discovery, explained: “On a Discovery Break, guests are able to experience the best of the local area whilst also finding out what it is like to live with the latest green technologies and products in environmentally friendly accommodation. Sustainable tourism and having a good time on holiday go hand in hand. Discovery Breaks are interactive, enjoyable and demonstrate just how easy it can be to consider the environment and have a more positive experience in the process. Guests leave with a real understanding of the place they have visited.”
For more information on Discovery Breaks and Natural Discovery’s range of home products, visit Natural Discovery’s website at www.naturaldiscovery.co.uk