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  • Writer's pictureRichard Hammond

Flight-free startups & Car-powered hotel

The Green Traveller Digest

Welcome to my latest round up of news about green travel. This newsletter is written by me, Richard Hammond, the founder of Green Traveller. If you'd like to receive the newsletter by email, please subscribe here.

There's recently been a flurry of new startups in green travel. Following hot on the heels of Byway which bravely (during lockdown!) has led the way with its dynamic trip building platform for overland holidays (users can book both transport + accommodation), is online booking Ecosytravel and no-fly trip-planning service Train X Europe. Deregulation in European railways has also led to several new long distance rail services, including new overnight sleeper services: preparations are underway to launch a new Brussels-Amsterdam-Berlin-Prague service at European Sleeper, and Midnight Trains has an ambitious plan to create a network of more than 10 destinations from Paris. The Man in Seat61 remains the go-to place for information on booking rail (and ferry) tickets; Europe by Rail by Nicky Gardner and Susanne Kries is the authoritative book on the subject, and Simon Harper's Show me the journey includes a handy beginner's guide to rail travel based on over 300 train journeys. This week I took part in an online panel organised by National Geographic Traveller Europe: by rail, road and sea with National Geographic Traveller's Executive Editor Glen Mutel, Helen Coffey, travel editor of The Independent and author of Zero Altitude: How I Learned to Fly Less and Travel More, and Rebecca Lowe, author of The Slow Road to Tehran, a book about her year-long cycle ride through the Middle East.

There were over 500 registrations and over 200 attendees join the event live. Green travel is happening!

======================= Green Travel News New app for low carbon travel in Scotland Electrek Explorer has launched an app Recharge in Nature for low-carbon travellers to the South of Scotland and Outer Hebrides. The app links to local businesses that provide facilities and experiences for low carbon travel, from providing EV charging, E-bike and EV-friendly accommodation, to safe bike storage, E-bike charging and providers of nature based tourism.

'World’s first car-powered hotel' Lynn Rusk writes in London World about a luxury cabin on a countryside farm in Essex that is powered by electric cars. Curated by writer and broadcaster Grace Dent, Hotel Hyundai will be completely powered by a fleet of Hyundai IONIQ 5.

Launch of Eco Escapes in Lancashire The Forest of Bowland and Arnside and Silverdale Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty have joined forces to promote sustainable tourism in rural Lancashire. Eco Escapes provides car-free sustainable travel plans linking main stations and visitor attractions and highlighting visitor destinations that support sustainable tourism. The initiative encourages visitors to take the train and discover Lancashire’s unique limestone coastline at Silverdale on the edge of Morecambe Bay, explore the remote uplands of the Forest of Bowland on foot or by bike or e-bike in an action - packed long weekend that explores some of the undiscovered rural oases that characterise the northern reaches of the Red Rose County. Below is a short film produced by two local filmmakers about Eco Escapes:

South African Animal Sanctuary scoops top award for sustainable tourism The Panthera Africa Big Cat Sanctuary in South Africa was awarded the Countryside and Biodiversity Award at the annual Skål Sustainable Tourism Awards announced at the Opening Ceremony of its World Congress in Kvarner, Croatia. Other winners included Colombia's Secretary of Tourism of Santiago de Cali (Community and Government Projects), Mankind Digital, Australia (Educational Programmes and Media), and CGH Earth (Rural Accommodation).

Iberian Highlands becomes Rewilding Europe’s tenth landscape The Iberian Highlands – part of the Southern Iberian Chain, a 500km-long maintain range in central eastern Spain – has become the tenth landscape to join Rewilding Europe, adding a further 850,000 hectares of land "to help upscale rewilding efforts across Europe".

Good news for... Langton Matravers Ordnance Survey has discovered that the three 'norths' will combine for the first time in history this week – True north, Magnetic north and Grid north will combine at a single point - starting at the village of Langton Matravers, just west of Swanage.

Bad news for... Europe's Climate Warming Helena Horton reports in The Guardian that, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), Europe's climate is warming at twice the rate of the global average. Scientists are warning that the trend of faster warming over the last 30 years is likely to cause exceptional heat, wildfires and floods.

people in indoor pool overlooking sea
The pool at Watergate Bay overlooking the sea. Photo: Richard Hammond

My Tip of the Week Looking to improve your swim technique? Cornwall's beautiful Watergate Bay hosts a weekend Swim Clinic for those looking to perfect their stroke. There are two theory sessions (enjoyed over a lovely breakfast smoothie), a Swim Yoga session, an optional beach and cliff walk, a SwimTalk and a body surf session. The course includes being filmed underwater so your stroke can be assessed by the experienced instructor Salim Ahmed of SwimLab.

========== News from Green Traveller What kind of green traveller are you?

I've been working with Visit Estonia on a series of short videos profiling three different types of 'Responsible Adventurers': Nature Nomads, Flavour Seekers, and Culture Scouts that are featured in our Green Traveller's Guide to Estonia. The videos show the opportunities all year round so there are some shots of summer activities but also lots of clips of things to do in autumn and winter, and even the 'fifth' season in Estonia when the the melting snow inundates the floodplain meadows. Here is the first in the series of three videos:

And finally... @greentraveller Over the past few months, I've been re-organising all of Green Traveller's social media channels including establishing @greentraveller as the new handle that YouTube has rolled out, so you can now find all our social channels under the @greentraveller handle: Twitter Instagram Facebook Pinterest YouTube Have a great, green weekend wherever your travels take you!


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