Award winning responsible and sustainable cycling and walking holidays
As a tourism business in the heart of the National Forest, we are committed to responsible and sustainable tourism, minimising the environmental impact of our business. A cycling or walking holiday is naturally an environmentally-friendly way to enjoy the countryside, as well as being much more fun than a car!
We are very proud holders of both a Gold award for Green Tourism and the Silver Winner for Ethical, Responsible and Sustainable Tourism 2023 in the prestigious national Visit England Awards for Excellence.
We also are current holders of Leicestershire Tourism's 2022 Sustainable, Responsible and Ethical Tourism Award. The business is a member of the Good Journey scheme, which promotes car free activities and the international Tourism Cares organisation. We are also active members of local rural tourism and car free travel initiatives, as well as The National Trust and RHS.
We love feedback from our guests and suppliers on additional ways we might continue to improve our sustainability. We ask for guest feedback as part of our holiday satisfaction survey.
Accessible cycling and walking holidays
Our aim is to make our cycling and walking holidays accessible and enjoyable for guests of all ages and fitness levels. We specialise in adapting our holidays to suit individual requirements, such as a reduced mileage, no stiles or specific accommodation requirements. We know all of our routes and accommodation well and will always provide honest and informed advice.
We welcome guests bringing their own bikes, including adapted bikes. We will gladly transport any additional equipment required, alongside your luggage. Please talk to us first though, so that we can ensure that the route is suitable for you.
Many use an EBike holiday as a way to experience an electric bike and we are always delighted watching them fall in love with cycling. We hope that this experience will help encourage guests to embrace active travel within their day to day lives.
Responsible tourism helps the local economy
Unlike some parts of the UK, The National Forest area is still undiscovered by mass tourism. We are therefore encouraging visitors to enjoy cycling and walking holidays in a new area of the UK, rather than somewhere that is already struggling to cope with high numbers of visitors. Both the National Forest and Leicestershire Council have ambitious plans to increase overnight tourism numbers in a sustainable manner and we are proud to play a role in these plans.
When designing our walking and cycling tours we actively consider ways to encourage responsible travel and minimise the impact on the environment. Our holidays are self-guided, meaning that guests travel in their own small group – often just one or two couples. We regularly check local tracks and provide an alternative route if a track is very wet and needs time to recover. We only use public rights of way.
Guest luggage transfer and handovers are planned to minimise road miles and coordinated with other tasks. We operate in a tight geographical area and are never more than 30 mins away from our guests.
We're committed to reducing the number of cars on the road, especially for short journeys. All of our tourism destinations and local villages really appreciate visitors arriving by bike or on foot. We actively promote small local businesses and experiences along the way, which in turn are supporting the local economy, keeping alive rural crafts and contributing to the National Forest visitor economy.
Arrive by train
The National Forest and surrounding area has excellent rail links to most parts of the country. We offer a 5% discount to guests arriving by train, as part of our commitment to sustainable travel. We are also members of the Good Journey organisation, which promotes car free travel. As well as reducing your carbon footprint, it can be the fastest option to reach us too.
All of our routes can be adapted to start at your most convenient station, where we will meet you (with your EBikes if you are enjoying a cycling holiday) and transfer your luggage to your first hotel. Our goal is to encourage at least 30% of our guests to arrive by train by 2025.
We use lovely small B&Bs, pubs and hotels, many of which are independently owned, or part of small local groups. Some of our accommodation providers are members of sustainable tourism groups, or have received green tourism awards.
All work hard to reduce their impact on the environment. Locally-sourced food is important – it's even home grown in many cases, to reduce food miles. Many offer electric car charge points for those arriving by electric car. All welcome guests arriving on foot or by bike and have secure parking for bikes. Some have undertaken sustainable building conversions, use solar powers and biomass boilers.
We ask new accommodation providers about their green policies and love learning about their green tourism initiatives.
PHOTO CREDIT: BEN HALL
Your booking helps maintain the National Forest
£10 of every guest booking is donated to the National Forest to help develop and maintain the woodland.
The National Forest is the UK's newest forest and is a charity organisation. Much of the woodland was created on land that had previously been mined or quarried, often for 100's of years. Over the last 30 years, we have witnessed the transformation from black to green. It's an inspirational story that we love sharing with our guests. Our guest information includes information on the local fauna, flora and geology, as well as the rich heritage of the region.
We play an active role within the National Forest, including participation in an initiative to encourage the development of new sustainable tourism accommodation.
Looking after resources
Where possible information is provided and stored electronically. Any printed materials are provided on recyclable paper, with no plastic covers. We loan maps to guests, so that they can be reused by future visitors. Any plastic stationery coming into the business is reused and we reuse paper wherever possible too. The business recycles all our paper, plastics and metal and uses reusable bags.
We have loan picnic sets, with washable crockery and cutlery to help minimise the use of disposable picnic ware by guests. We encourage guests to use reusable water bottles. The area is full of lovely cafes and pubs who will happily refill your bottle for you. We also suggest that guests bring a reusable coffee drink for hot drinks. It eliminates the need for a disposable cup and will often save you money too.
Our decision to purchase Riese and Mueller electric bikes was, in part, due to their environmental policies and strong commitment to helping promote cargo bikes as a realistic delivery vehicle within cities.
We clean the bikes with professional cleaning products, which are manufactured under IS14001. The products are designed to require only a small quantity of water and chemical and to do the job first time. Where appropriate bikes are just cleaned using a microfibre cloth and no chemical.
Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity
We warmly welcome guests from all backgrounds, ages, ability and gender. We specialise in bespoke holidays, tailored to guest requirements, such as solo females, older guests and those with additional needs.
Many of our suppliers are small local businesses, whom we support by paying invoices within 2 days of receipt. We always choose indpendent local busineses where possible.
National Forest EBike Holidays is committed to preventing slavery and human trafficking in our operation and supply chain. Most of our accommodation providers are small family businesses, who we regularly visit. We monitor new suppliers for areas of risk and regularly review our policies with regard to Modern Slavery Act 2015.
Green Tourism Strategy
Encourage and incentivise guests to arrive by train. Look at ways to increase this to 30% of guests by 2025
Donate £10 per booking to the National Forest, towards maintenance and development of the National Forest.
Look at ways to encourage guests to make their own donation.
Actively use and promote small accommodation providers
Consider ways to make our walking and cycling holidays more accessible
Minimise waste within the business
Help guests learn more about the National Forest
Responsible Visitor Charter
We ask our guests to :
Arrive by train where possible. We are always happy to adapt holidays to start directly from a local train station and offer a 5% discount to guests arriving by train.
Experience local – The National Forest region is full of fabulous independent shops, cafes and experiences, which are essential to the local economy. Our travel itineraries provide details of our favourites. They really welcome your support.
Reuse and recycle – please bring a reusable bag with you. Do ask if you would like to borrow one for your holiday. Please use a reusable water bottle and hot drinks bottle during the day. We have loan picnic rucksacks available for picnics.
Conserve natural resources – turn off the tap when brushing your teeth and ensure that you don't leave on lights when you leave your room. Close a window to preserve heat and always turn the heat down before opening a window.
Respect Nature – please keep to the footpaths and cycle tracks and take your litter with you. Please ensure that you close gates and don't light a fire. Occasionally you will walk through fields containing livestock. Please tread quietly and do not disturb the animals. Don't pick wild flowers.
Support the National Forest – The National Forest is a charity. Please consider a donation towards the maintenance of the woodland for the enjoyment of future generations.