Regardless of background, age, nationality or any other individual feature, it’s up to every one of us to do our part in limiting mankind’s carbon footprint and subsequent impact on the environment. This means really thinking about how we use energy and which companies we give our business to; typically, these slight changes of lifestyle begin at home – but they should also be considered when you’re planning your holiday.
A visit to Stonehenge fits in well in conjunction with an eco-holiday. After all, although the details of how and why Stonehenge was built remain largely a mystery, the site seems to somehow be in tune with the earth, as if the monument speaks to an age when mankind lived in harmony with the natural world rather than actively harming it to irretrievable levels. This is why the recent Stonehenge includes using the site as a place for Pagan worshippers to celebrate the natural world. Since the 1870’s, the site has been visited by Neo-Druids who revere the earth as the giver of life. If you visit Stonehenge during the summer solstice you’ll see followers of all faiths who worship nature; Stonehenge, it seems, is one of the best places in Europe to really feel the power of the natural world.
With that in mind, we thought we’d put together some information that will enable you to make your trip to Stonehenge as ecologically conscience as possible.
A welcome fact about eco-holidays is that they’re rarely as expensive as you might think; they just need to be researched a little more thoroughly than a traditional vacation. To begin with, it’s worth noting that travelling by cruise is actually more damaging to the environment than flying (though cruise ships are trying to improve). Flying is also damaging, but improvements to aircrafts and less travel time means the impact is reduced, at least.
If you’re travelling to the UK specifically to see Stonehenge, then the most logical way to reduce your carbon footprint is to fly into one of the airports and prevent any need to a long drive to the site. Southampton Airport is only 26 miles, whilst the larger Bristol Airport is 53 miles away. The closest airport in London is Heathrow, which is 73 miles away.
If possible, reduce your carbon footprint by traveling to Stonehenge on our tours that depart from London. This way, there’s no need to rent multiple vehicles, which could be both expensive and unnecessarily damaging to the environment, especially if there is more than 5 of you on the tour.
Where to Stay
The hotel industry has made a big effort in recent years to implement strategies that would reduce environmental damage. The result is a whole host of modern hotels that feature innovative designs that don’t compromise on comfort but do protect the environment. When booking your accommodation, have a look at hotel’s environmental policy; if they don’t have one, consider giving your busy to one that does – hotels that lag behind will soon catch up if their lack of policy negatively affects business.
There are a number of hotels near Stonehenge that are considered “green”. The Holiday Inn Salisbury, for instance, holds a Silver Award from Green Tourism, while the Fairlawn Hotel is just 10 minutes from Stonehenge and has worked out to make sure their as eco-friendly as they can be, by implementing policies such as using local suppliers, recycling and reducing paper, and using compost in the garden.
Alternatively, those visitors who love the outdoors might find that camping is the best accommodation for them. Staying at Stonehenge Campsite means you’re just 5 miles from Stonehenge and as in tune with the natural environment as you can be prior to visiting the monument.
Respect the Environment
Not all tour operators treat Stonehenge with considered respect. With Stonehenge tours, you can rest assured that you’re travelling with a company that respects the values of Stonehenge and the environment at large.
But that doesn’t mean you don’t have a role to play. The best way to protect the environment – whilst in it – is to be vigilant about your interaction with it. This means taking your litter with you, being mindful of the delicacy of the infrastructure, and making sure that Stonehenge remains a sacred place. Generally, the best policy to adopt is: ‘take nothing but photographs, leave nothing but footprints’.
Be at Home
The most basic method of being ecologically minded when visiting Stonehenge – and elsewhere, for that matter – is to follow the same fundamental rules that you’d follow at home. This means switching off lights and other electrical items in your hotel room when not in use, timing your showers to limit water use, and using the air-conditioning/heating responsibly.
Stonehenge Guided Tours