National Forest EBike Holidays was thrilled to be named best Ethical, Responsible and Sustainable Tourism business at the recent Leicestershire Promotions Go Leicestershire 2022 Tourism and Hospitality Awards. The annual awards recognise the achievements of the county's tourism businesses.
The business specialises in gentle, self guided electric bike and walking holidays around the National Forest region. The holidays are aimed at guests that want a low mileage, easy walking or cycling holiday, with lots to explore and all their creature comforts, including daily luggage transfer between hotels. A 5% discount is offered to all guests arriving by train.
The judging panel said, “Our judges agreed that it would be hard to find a more ethical, responsible and sustainable business. The business offers a low carbon, sustainable experience totally in keeping with their natural surroundings.”
Sue Jerham, founder and Managing Director, commented, “we're over the moon that our efforts to promote sustainable cycling and walking holidays have been recognised in 2022. It's been a great year, as in addition to winning the Leicestershire award for Ethical, Responsible and Sustainable Tourism, we achieved a Gold Award from Green Tourism Business Scheme, earlier this year.
Sustainable, responsible cycling and walking holidays
“From the beginning, our ethos has been to put sustainable tourism at the heart of the business. The National Forest is an inspiring example of regeneration and sustainability and it's important to us that we reflect this within our business. We donate £10 for every booking toward the upkeep the National Forest.
“We chose Riese and Mueller electric bikes for quality, comfort and sustainability, with Bosch motors for maximum service life. A range of bike frames ensures a safe and comfortable ride for everyone, including step-throughs for the less agile. We've introduced a saddle selection service to maximise comfort and make cycling more attractive to everyone. Tyres are Schwalbe, the first company to manufacture high performing recycled tyres. We use few consumables and are paper-free where possible. Free loan picnic rucksacks, with reusable cutlery and glasses, are available, to discourage plastic throwaways.
“The National Forest is still undiscovered by mass tourism and we're proud to help showcase just how much there is to experience in the area. We curate our routes to ensure that guests explore as much of the region as possible. In addition to including known larger attractions, such as National Trust and English Heritage properties, our routes also visit many lesser known hidden gems along the way. These include secret walled gardens, sculptures hidden in the woodland and ruined priories. Guests leave inspired by how quickly an industrial landscape can be changed and amazed at how much there is to do in the area.
“Mileage is kept low on both our electric bike and walking holidays, to encourage guests to travel slowly and enjoy meandering through the varied countryside. Guests stay at different accommodation each night, allowing them to discover as much of the region as possible. Holidays are circular to eliminate the need for taxis back to the car and our walking holiday routes take guests directly from hotel to hotel, without needing additional transport. All of our routes are within 30 minutes of home, which helps reduce our vehicle travel. We further minimise car miles by planning our luggage transfers and other daily business carefully.
“A great night's sleep and comfortable accommodation is very important to our guests. We're lucky to operate in a region with some fabulous, award winning inns and B&Bs. We only select the best small luxurious B&Bs, hotels and cosy inns and we ask about their sustainable credentials.
“Most of our guests share our love of small local businesses and enjoy discovering the many local shops, pubs and cafes. We highlight local food heroes and retail therapy opportunities in our daily route guides and also email a list of recommended places to eat before each holiday. The list includes details of cafes offering a discount for using your own thermal mug. Retail therapy is strongly encouraged and we're always delighted to collect larger items for our guests and deliver them with their luggage! Past purchases have ranged from a ornate hand blown glass lamp to an entire autumn wardrobe, snapped up at a local fashion show.
“Whilst our walking and EBike holidays have minimum emissions, we feel it's still important to develop a baseline measure of our carbon footprint. This will help to ensure we can identify areas to further improve. Once we have this measure in place, we intend to explore adding carbon labels to our different holiday options, enabling guests to know the carbon footprint of their holiday. We also plan to look at ways to encourage even more guests to arrive by train.”
About National Forest EBike Holidays
National Forest Ebike Holidays is an award winning, family business, offering luxury, self-guided EBike and walking holidays in and around the National Forest region of the UK. Guests can start their holiday any day of the week, all year. The holidays are designed to encourage slow travel. We keep mileage low, making our EBike and walking holidays perfect for gentle adventurers and leaving plenty of time to connect with nature and explore the many sights and experiences along the way. We love signposting some of the fabulous local woodland experiences, including bee keeping, Forest Bathing and woodland crafts. We move guests' luggage between hotels, leaving them free to explore the region at their own pace and in their own private group. Our guests can expect fabulous accommodation each night. We select the best possible small luxury B&Bs, delightful country inns and small boutique hotels. Often our accommodation providers have their own green tourism accreditations and awards. All have a love of locally-sourced, seasonal food – it will be home-grown, reared or baked in many cases. Unlike many cycling and walking holidays, our routes are circular to limit the need for additional transportation. In most instances, there is always a local pub or restaurant for guests to enjoy a delightful evening meal, without needing to take a taxi. As a small family company, we specialise in offering guests a very personal service, with holidays tailored to suit guest's specific needs or interests. We meet every guest and personalise holidays to suit individual guest requirements. And of course, we're on hand should a guest need a helping hand during their holiday.
Location – We are centrally located in the UK's National Forest, which spans the counties of Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire. The region is easily reached by both train and car. The National Forest recently celebrated the planting of the 9 millionth tree – a true success story for regeneration.
The National Forest region
Straddling Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire, The National Forest is one of England's most exciting and ambitious regeneration projects. The area was once full of of coal mines, opencast and clay pits. The last 30 years has seen 200 square miles transformed from black to green, completely changing the landscape and lives of local people. Miners have become forest guardians and forest schools are common place for children. Some of the UK's most productive mines are now filled with trees and wildlife. The 9 millionth tree was planted in 2021 and the region has gone from less than 6% to over 20% tree coverage.
Choose your perfect EBike or walking holiday
We would love to help find your perfect walking or EBike holiday. Contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01530 417482 to discuss your requirements.