Having recently got back from a few days up in Edinburgh I was really taken by not only what a lovely city it is, but also what a great ecotourism destination it is. Now true, your presence there isn’t going to contribute to the protection of the rainforest or support ethnic minorities in far-off lands but for a “staycation”, Edinburgh is well worth considering for anyone who lives in the UK.
I was impressed by the public recycling facilities found in many of the more popular areas of the city making it easy to recycle drinks cans, plastic bottles and so on so reducing the landfill you create while on your holidays.
The city was buzzing with low-impact backpacker lodges which rather than being built from scratch are often converted buildings from hundreds of years ago so low-impact living is certainly possible here.
The city boasts some amazing architecture and has a wide number of free exhibitions and museums one can visit as well as the classic paid options such as a visit to Edinburgh Castle.
Public transport is excellent in the city with regular buses and a new tram-line being built as we speak. Cycle paths can also be frequently found and a whole network of these paths criss-cross the city.
Infact, the only downside of visiting Edinburgh is really the trek of getting there. Driving or getting a train from London can take 8 hours or more, and trying to travel via bus or bike would take even longer still. However I experimented this time with taking the Caledonian Sleeper train.
This train leaves London at around 11.30pm and arrives in Edinburgh early the next morning. Not only are tickets reasonably priced but the train also offers 2-person cabins for sleeping in. So you arrive at the station at London, get onto the train, find your cabin and curl up for a good nights sleep.
You’re woken by the guard with breakfast half an hour or so before arriving in the city so that as the train pulls in you’re bright eyed and ready to enjoy yourself in this fantastic city. This way you travel while sleeping so it is a very easy and efficient way to get to Scotland and means you don’t have to essentially waste a day of travel there and back.