Ah, the winter break. Whether you like it soaked in sun, smouldering in classy surroundings, or embracing the bleakly beautiful British midwinter, we’ve assembled holidays which will let you to get away from it all without hurting the planet in the process.
So, get on a pleasingly ponderous train across stunning Scotland. Nip to glistening Greece for a few days. Try 007-themed treats as you chill out in impeccably Bond-ish surroundings.
Whatever you do, just keep it green!
Slower train travel in Scotland
Slow-travel company Byway has just partnered with VisitScotland and LNER to expand its flight-free trips to some of the country’s gems, including the Cairngorms and the east of Scotland.
Byway can personalise journeys depending on your interests, whether it’s adventure – such as stand-up paddleboarding across Loch Morlich – or food and drink, which might involve a visit to Royal Lochnagar Distillery for a peek at the distilling process and a dram of its signature single-malt whisky.
Trips from £668 for five days, from Byway.
Sustainable holidays in Greece
With sustainability still a hot travel topic, there’s good news from Greece, which has just launched a tourism hub that spotlights its best sustainability initiatives.
These include plastic-free islands powered by renewable energy, Unesco protection for ancient sites and cultural practices, roads ruled by electric vehicles and bikes, destinations made more accessible for disabled travellers and invasive fish served in restaurants.
Find out how modern Greek heroes are transforming their country and its tourism sector at the Sustainable Greece website.
Hotels from the Global Sustainable Tourism Council
It seems ridiculous that you could go the extra mile to ensure you’re travelling in the greenest way possible, only to rock up at a hotel that undoes all that hard work with its poor eco credentials.
Tui is looking to put a stop to that with its Green & Fair label, which enables customers to make more ethical choices about hotels. For a hotel to earn the badge, it must meet credentials set out by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council.
These include using sustainable suppliers and reducing energy consumption.
For more information, check out the Tui website.
Other top locations to visit
The sensory Bond experience
To celebrate the 60th anniversary of Dr No, the first James Bond film, you can now enjoy a decadent afternoon tea that harnesses the fictional spy’s favourite fragrance.
The perfume house Floris London has collaborated with the Great Scotland Yard hotel to launch the sensory Bond experience. It’s inspired by the notes of No.89, which became a favourite of Ian Fleming, creator of the iconic character.
Head pastry chef Verónica Garrido Martínez has produced an assortment of delicious cakes that incorporate the key notes from the fragrance.
Virgin Atlantic’s A330neo
The newest addition to Virgin Atlantic’s fleet, the A330neo, is at the forefront of sustainability.
Virgin will eventually have 16 of the aircraft – so far the only models to be part of a UK airline – which are equipped with the most efficient engines and technology designed to save fuel, helping deliver a 20 per cent reduction in carbon emissions in the fleet overall.
They also offer in-flight wi-fi and Bluetooth-enabled entertainment systems in every cabin and, in premium and upper class, the world’s first in-seat wireless charging. Initially, the A330neo will fly between London and Tampa.