To keep your carbon footprint light, follow this hop-on hop-off guide
Sunday 18 July 2010
How can we access some of the UK's most scenic spots without leaving a damaging footprint on fragile environments?
The New Forest Tourism Association (thenewforest.co.uk) has come up with one solution for this summer, a hop-on, hop-off bus tour of the national park, which runs until 12 September (thenew foresttour.info).
"The great thing about the New Forest Tour," says Anthony Climpson, New Forest tourism destination manager, "is that it gives visitors a unique upstairs, open-top view of the forest that you can't get from a car."
Now you can leave the motor in a car park or jump off the train at Brockenhurst and a one-day bus ticket (£9 adult; £4.50 children) will allow you to explore the attractions and natural beauty at your own pace.
Arm yourself with a free New Forest Tour Official Guide – which includes details of the forest's key features, discounts, and four walking/cycling routes (bikes go free) – and you can get on and off the bus at one of nine locations.
Visitors can explore the expanses of heath and dense woodland, stop off at the pretty village of Lyndhurst or Georgian Lymington, visit the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu, or the steam railway at Exbury Gardens.
They've had a similar idea in Wales, too. A Snowdon Sherpa day ticket (snowdoniagreenkey.co.uk; £4 adults; £2 children) allows you to explore the north Wales national park at leisure, leaving cars behind. While in south Wales, the Gower Explorer day ticket (countrygoer.org/wales/gower explorer; £3.70) opens up a network of footpaths and bridleways across the peninsula, including local travel to and from Swansea.
And in Scotland, budding backpackers can pick up a Haggis Adventures bus tour until early September (haggisadventures.com). Starting from Edinburgh, the two-day circuit stops in Glasgow, Oban, Fort William, Fort Augustus, Carbisdale Castle SYHA in Inverness, Aviemore and Pitlochry. With the three-month, £99 ticket, you can spend as long as you like at each destination, and the tour is fully guided between stops.
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