Holidays that don’t cost the earth

What attracts you to visiting your destination? Is it the beautiful landscape? The local traditions and culture? Whatever it is, adopting sustainable tourism principles to your holiday can help preserve and protect the places you love to visit.  

Sustainable tourism is all about ensuring that tourism has a positive impact upon the destination, this means minimal environmental impact and maximum benefit for the local communities and future visitors.

Doing your part

Being a responsible tourist means that you care for the places you enjoy visiting and consider the impact your visit may have. Sustainable tourism is all about balancing the negative impacts with positive ones.

Looking for green accommodation? Visit our Green Directory.

Sustainable tips to avoid guilt trips!

 Download our "Sustainable Tourism: a guide for guests"top tips to find out the best quick and easy ways to be a responsible traveller on your next holiday!


Travel light

Car travel is the single biggest contributor of our personal carbon emissions (Act on CO2), so using your car less when on holiday can make your trip much greener, and help look after the places you love to visit.

On your bike!

d7002021-92401We are the UK’s adventure capital, so experiencing the landscape by mountain bike or hiking is simply the best way to take in its beauty.

There are an abundance of walks and cycle routes suitable for all abilities and ages. To find out what routes are available in the area you’re visiting click here for walks (family walks) and bike rides 

Public Transport

Plan your route to the Lake District carefully so that you are minimising your carbon emissions. Think about travelling by train - It leaves you free to enjoy the scenery over your journey, there are many straight forward routes at a reasonable price, and it is much kinder to the environment than arriving by car.

Use public transport instead of your car once you are here. It’s a superb way to meet local people and get the inside line on the best places to visit! It is cheap to buy a weekly travel pass, and you can visit top attractions or go to some of the hidden gems of the Lake District.

Links to Cumbria & Lakesrider, Mountain Goat, Trains

On your doorstep

Always check first what is available right on your doorstep. We can guarantee there is something amazing to see just around the corner that doesn’t require much travelling.

signpostFresh Air is Free

Remember, fresh air is free so stretch your legs to explore what's on your doorstep. Nurture has produced some itineraries for car free fun days out in Bowness, Windermere and Ambleside. Find out what you can do without your car


There are lots of great websites that can help you plan a low impact holiday. A simple start could be to read up on your destination, taking note of any specific cultural requirements to ensure you respect local ways of life.

Look out for accommodation with green credentials, such as those accredited by the Green Tourism Business Scheme.

Pick ethical operators and those doing their bit for the environment. We have some listed in our Green Directory, or organisations such as Much Better Adventures promote adventure providers that care about destinations and operate responsibly.

If you it smarter!

We understand that not everybody can leave their car behind during their stay, so if you have to use your car while you holiday ensure you adopt Smarter Driving to reduce your carbon footprint.


Save resources

Saving energy whilst you’re on holiday can help keep your destination a beautiful place to visit. Most places still use fossil fuels as their main source of energy, which cause harmful gases to be released into the atmosphere contributing to climate change. Do your bit on holiday - use energy wisely and give the environment a break.

Switch off lightswitch-1-w

Remember to turn off any lights and appliances before you leave your guest accommodation. Please make sure you switch things off properly, not just on stand-by.


Shower versus bath shower-head-w

A five minute shower uses a third of the water used in a bath. By using less water you are saving energy used to heat the water. Having a quick shower also gives you more time to explore!


Turn down the heat thermostat-w

Preserve heat by closing windows. If you’re too warm in your bedroom, turn down the radiators before opening windows.



Recycle it

recycle-symbol-100x100Nearly two thirds of all household waste can be recycled, so why not recycle whilst on holiday? Help keep the Lake District a beautiful place to visit and reduce, reuse and recycle.

Before you arrive

If you’ve bought some new outdoor gear for your trip, please remove packaging and recycle or dispose of them at home. With all the visitors coming to the Lake District, we could do with a helping hand to reduce our waste levels.
Cumbria has a lot of beautiful brochures to help you plan your trip, if you’ve used any of these please pass them on to a friend or recycle them.

In your accommodation

Your accommodation should have sufficient recycling services; ask your host how your rubbish can be recycled.

During your stay

While you are shopping please try to use reusable carrier bags and decline plastic bags in shops if you don’t need them.

Why bother? Recycling - the facts

  • 1 recycled tin can would save enough energy to power a television for 3 hours.
  • 1 recycled glass bottle would save enough energy to power a computer for 25 minutes.
  • 1 recycled plastic bottle would save enough energy to power a 60-watt light bulb for 3 hours.
  • 70% less energy is required to recycle paper compared with making it from raw materials.
    (taken from Recycling Guide 2011)

Buy local

Cumbria has an abundance of local flavours and traditions.  cumberland-sausage-s
Taste or experience these in local restaurants or shops.
You can help the local economy, help conserve our heritage
and experience the real Lakeland life.

Food & Drink

Traditional local foods include:  stickytoffeepudding-s-w

  • Cumberland sausage
  • Kendal mint cake
  • Grasmere gingerbread
  • Damson gin
  • Cartmel sticky toffee pudding

Also look out for our fabulous locally brewed bitterendpint-small
ales from the following breweries:

  • Bitter End Brewery
  • Coniston Brewery
  • Dent Brewery
  • Foxfield Brewery
  • Great Gable Brewing Co.jennings_cumb_glass-s
  • Hawkshead Brewery
  • Keswick Brewery
  • Yates Brewery
  • Jennings Brewery

The new "Taste District" for a good reason! Find out more on gorgeous local grub.

Arts & Crafts

Traditional hand-made crafts can make a walking-sticks-small
lovely souvenir or a gift to take home.
Help preserve our local crafts and traditions.
Look out for Cumbrian craft specialties, such as:

  • Slate produce and art work 
  • Rugs and woollen goods
  • Wood craftsmanship and furniture
  • Ceramics and pottery

Beautiful local crafts supplied and promoted by Made in Cumbria. Their website is useful for finding craft fairs too.



bassenthwaiteThe main attractions of the Lake District are its natural landscape and diversity of wildlife. It is vital that we all help protect and preserve these for our enjoyment now and for future generations.

Local conservation projects rely on public giving. If you visit one of Cumbria’s many conservation or wildlife reserves, think about donating to help the work continue.

Nurture Lakeland fundraises for a variety of conservation projects throughout Cumbria, ranging from upland path restoration, protecting red squirrels, maintaining beautiful gardens, to exciting educational programmes. Why not have a look at the projects we fundraise for and consider making a contribution to support our work. Your donation could help some crucial conservation work happen.

Help look after the Lake District - forever!

Join us. You can become a member of Nurture Lakeland and give the Cumbrian landscapes you love a little helping hand, keeping them special for many more years. Join us now.

If you have any feedback on how the Lakeland landscapes are managed, let us know. Conservationists are always looking for ways to improve our environment and your comments will be welcome. Contact us.

What you can do when you're out and about

1) Be safe, plan ahead, follow signs

2) Leave gates and property as you find it

3) Protect plants and animals - don't be a litter bug

4) Keep dogs under control

5) Consider other people

1) Never take short cuts

2) Don't walk on worn sides of paths, this makes them wider

3) Keep to the path to protect rare flora

4) Zig zag is best!


Murley Moss, Oxenholme Road, Kendal, Cumbria LA9 7RL     T. 01539 822622    E.  get directions >

Nurture Lakeland is a part of Nurture Cumbria, a charity registered in England and Wales with the charity number 1130453 and company number 3317259

photography featured in top header courtesy of  James Bell PhotographyJames Bell Photography