A Guide to Ethical Roadtrip Travel in the UK

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This is a guest post contribution from Jane Fournier, a freelance content manager and writer.
Thanks again, Jane, for writing and sharing your article with us. 


Britain is projected to have a tourism industry worth over £257 billion by 2025 –  as reported by Visit Brian – which is just under 10% of UK GDP. The industry will be able to support almost 3.8 million jobs, which is around 11% of the total UK number of jobs, making it an important industry in ensuring the success of the UK’s economy. However, this influx of tourism to major cities can have a sometimes negative impact on smaller, local economies as well as the environment.

While the UK is home to some of the world’s hottest tourist destinations such as London and Edinburgh, there are many opportunities to ethically contribute to the smaller, local economies by staying at independently-owned accommodations, eating at family-owned pubs and purchasing locally-produced souvenirs.

Low-Carbon & Low-Cost Adventures

Whether you’re trying to snap the perfect social media pic, or simply want to tour some of the UK’s most beautiful, scenic roads, you’ll be able to do both while also using a ride-share service such as BlaBlaCar. This type of experience not only cuts down on the amount of pollution you’d be emitting into the atmosphere, it provides a great way to get to know other people for a long-distance journey while cutting down on your fuel costs. When you’ve reached your destination, try opting for eco-friendly hostels that are locally-owned, to ensure you’re not only supporting the local economy but the environment as well. It’s important to keep in mind that eco-friendly can be luxurious as well if you’re looking for a luxury stay without leaving a massive carbon footprint.

A top view on a Bang Wa street with a taxi, motorbikes and an auto rickshaw

Scenic UK Countrysides 

Once you’ve got your transport sorted to ensure you’re making minimal negative impact on the environment, you’ll want to figure out where exactly you want to go. As mentioned above, try to plan a trip to somewhere outside of the major cities in the UK to ensure you’re not only being exposed to gems off the beaten path, but that you’re ethically supporting the influx of your tourism money into the rural economies.

If you’re in Scotland, for example, try heading two hours northwest of Glasgow on the A82. This route has been touted as a haven of windswept, rocky splendour, and is sure to make for some great Instagram pics while also carrying you to remote parts of Scotland you might not otherwise have the chance to see. Or, head to the quaint yet stunning Hutton-Le-Hole in England, where you’ll find a charming town filled with rich history that spans over 400 years. You can access the village in Yorkshire by taking the A170 near Helmsley.

As always, when traveling down these scenic routes, try to be as ethical and eco-friendly as possible. Things like avoiding purchasing food in plastic wrappers, opting for a reusable bottle rather than buying plastic ones and foregoing takeaway coffee and other foods that generate waste can have a major impact on the footprint you leave.

An Open Mind on the Open Road

Traveling through the UK presents you with many opportunities to experience small, quaint villages and expose yourself and your camera to stunning landscapes that you simply won’t see in a city setting. Take advantage of the countryside and add a little to the local economies you’re visiting by immersing yourself in their towns in every way possible: eating at their local pubs, purchasing local souvenirs and leaving a positive environmental impact wherever you go.

Jane Fournier.

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