Travel news has been pretty bleak in recent times. Natural disasters, political unrest, rising air fares, industrial action involving airline staff and unforeseen clouds of volcanic ash have all conspired to make global travel less appealing.
Looming largest of all is the shadow of our carbon footprint: a measure of our personal contribution to the amount of carbon dioxide and other pollutants dumped into the earth’s atmosphere each time we travel abroad by air.
So why do we do it? Why do we holiday abroad?
“Because”, you cry, “other countries offer experiences that Britain doesn’t”.
Really? You might be surprised at what the UK can offer without requiring you to set foot on a plane and ruin your eco-credentials. Want to go whale or dolphin watching? Forget South Africa or the arctic circle, there are plenty to see around Britain’s shores.
A fan of winter sports? Dedicated Scottish resorts such as Aviemore and Glencoe offer all the skiing and mountaineering action you can handle, giving France and Switzerland a (Black) run for their money.
Ah, but what about those Mediterranean beaches with golden sands and clear blue seas? Don’t be fooled; you don’t have to travel further than Wales to be beguiled by award winning beaches such as Barafundle in Pembrokeshire, which has been ranked as highly as beaches in Tunisia and the British Virgin Islands. In fact, that Mediterranean beauty can be witnessed along the length of the Pembroke Coast Path.
In fact, a UK holiday can offer international cuisine and the world’s finest wines, some of the world’s finest art collections, some of the most beautiful scenery from snow-capped mountains to Lakeland panoramas and to flower-strewn meadows. It can offer accommodation in every setting from a lighthouse to a five star hotel and everything in between. And a UK holiday can offer total relaxation or full-on activities to rival those available anywhere in the world.
And so, dear reader, the time has come for you to play your ‘overseas holiday’ trump card. It’s the British weather. That’s why we sacrifice our eco-friendly attentions and waste a proportion of our money and free time traversing the clouds.
It’s a fair argument. But consider this; according to the Met Office, 2010 was the UK’s driest year since 2003, and the tenth driest in a hundred years. It was also one of the sunniest years on record for Ireland and Wales.
So when you plan your next holiday, wouldn’t you prefer to save time, money and the planet by going green and enjoying the best that Britain has to offer? After all, when was the last time a cloud of volcanic ash ruined a UK holiday?
Image credit: Roger Blackwell