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There is no mistaking it, going abroad, visiting new cultures, experiencing different climates and seeing somewhere totally different is so exciting. But we think that these places could unexpectedly fulfil your wanderlust, only without the need to travel abroad. Whether it’s the pandemic, the budget or a desire to delve further into the corners of the home soils, this list can provide a reference point for finding somewhere new to explore.
Located on the Lizard peninsula in the South of Cornwall, Kynance Cove is on the top of our ‘to-visit’ list, if you haven’t already. Looking down on the cove, the contrast between the turquoise blue ocean and the jagged, foliage woven cliffs, makes for a mesmerising view. You can also drop down onto the beach enclosed by the cove on a calm day – particularly clean, the cove is a key area where The Friends of Pondhu (a National Trust beach cleaning group) take care of collecting ocean litter that washes up on Lizard’s beaches, transforming and up-cycling litter into new, useful items including kayaks and swimwear.
In the Lizard Peninsula, you will find yourself immersed in nature. The area is renowned for being largely-open-land, where the National Trust, Cornwall Wildlife Trust and Natural England work together to preserve the landscapes and protect eco-systems.
As for places to stay, Trelowarren luxury cottages are dedicated to tying sustainability with luxury; or for those who want to get closer to nature, the Little Wild Camp Site offers a completely eco, pared back to nature, camping experience throughout the Summer months.
The first island to be run entirely on renewable energy sourced from wind, water and the sun in the world, Eigg is pioneering sustainability. Residents work together to manage their energy consumption, are guided by a traffic light system that turns red when renewable sources are running low and paying a fee when they exceed personal energy allowances.
Known by naturalists as the ‘isle of flowers’, Eigg boasts a beautiful and diverse plant-life as well as 212 species of bird. Within the varied habitat, you can often see seals, dolphins and Minke whales off the coast too. Other than immersing yourself in the local, thriving habitat, Eigg also offers a rich arts culture offering and films, workshops, concerts and ceilidhs are schedules year-round.
And staying on the island… wild camping is permitted as long as campers follow local guidelines and respect the land; or for more comfort there are a host of camping pods and b&bs too.
The second largest lake in the UK is surrounded by mountains and hills. Whether you want to walk the 20 mile Ullswater way route and take in the or take to the water on a hired canoe or kayak, it is ideal for setting your inner adventurer free.
The Lake District is home to an array of mountains and big hills for you to walk, as well as town centres that are home to a rich plethora of art galleries, cafes, bars, pubs and more. We really recommend Eden Arts’ Picnic cinema where you can watch a film outdoors, and engage in dressing up, games, music, dancing and camping whilst you’re there; or book to see the magnificent Aira Force waterfall; alternatively, you can set out walking pretty much anywhere and very rarely will you be disappointed by a lack of scenery.
Staying around Ullswater, even if you’re not camping, can also be sustainable – Having won numerous awards for just that, The Quiet Site has its own camp site as well as hobbit holes; camping cabins and luxury cottages to stay in, all whilst being completely carbon neutral and encouraging stayers to holiday sustainably whilst there. Their facilities include a zero-waste shop, sustainable zero waste pizza and crepes, and a bar featuring lots of live music too.
South East England’s sea-side city: known by many as the LGBTQ capital of the UK, home of the 1974 ABBA Eurovision win; and the Royal Pavillion… is also a great place to head if you’re looking for a sustainable break. Being a city you’ll find yourself with an abundance of places to stay – some of the greenest ones we came across were The Grand Brighton, or My Brighton’s ‘rebellious’ guest-rooms.
Brighton is top of the range for it’s sustainable food too: Moshimo makes extravagant and sustainable Japanese cuisine, offering both vegetarian and vegan food as well as sustainably sourced meat and fish; The Chilli Pickle makes Indian street food; and Lucky Beach café (voted in the top 20 sustainable businesses in the UK) is renowned for its burgers, coffee and brunch. You will never find yourself short of world cuisines to indulge in.
When you’re not eating, you can visit the stony beaches or explore the local independent shops that fill the streets across the city: get an independent magazine from North Laine’s Magazine Brighton; get into some comfy dungarees at sustainable fashion independent Lucy and Yak; or head to Wiaste Vintage for unique finds.
Whilst Eigg, Kynance and Ullswater fulfil your adventurous and down-to-nature spirit, think of Brighton as your sustainable city break by the sea. Shopping, eating and relaxing are all to be had.
In the south-west of England lies the region of Devon, and within it, this historic market town by the River Dart is renowned for its laid-back atmosphere. Brimming with independent shops, cafes and galleries, and crowned by the magnificent Totnes castle, we recommend that you simply allow yourself to be completely absorbed in the local culture. For a more romantic soiree, Sharpham vineyard offers picturesque scenery, exquisite cheese, and of course – wine. If bustling seasides are what you conjure up when you think of devon, Totnes will come as something completely unexpected. For a more romantic soiree, Sharpham vineyard offers picturesque scenery, exquisite cheese, and of course – wine.
To stay in Totnes, you will be met with a small variety of options: there is the camping site at the river dart country park; or if you’re in the mood for wild swimming, the Little Riverside holiday apartment might just be the ideal spot.
We wish you very happy adventuring.
+ Words: Niamh Heron, Luxiders Magazine
BA Journalism and Media Graduate, based in Leeds, UK
Connect with her through Instagram @niamh.heron or LinkedIn