Category Archives: sustainable travel

Village people: cooking lessons & a community project in Sri Lanka

Tamarind Gardens Sri Lanka

Of all the many delicious dishes I enjoyed in Sri Lanka last summer, it’s the meals at Tamarind Gardens homestay, in the dry-zone near to Kandy, that really stand out. Partly because it was here that, by hanging around the kitchen and watching the cooks at work, I got a better idea of the ingredients, flavours and techniques that go to make Sri Lanka’s most popular dishes… Continue reading

Adventures in Sri Lanka Part 2: hiking in the Knuckles mountains

Knuckles mountains, Sri Lanka

Few international tourists make it to the Knuckles mountain range. The road is terrible – almost non-existant in places – and tourists on a typical round-island itinerary don’t have time. I spent two nights at Sphinx Eyrie campsite at Corberts Rest  (I actually had to stay in a stone cottage as it was too windy for canvas), and took a long 16km hike – which was one of the real highlights of my trip. Here’s some photos of the wildlife and scenery I saw along the… Continue reading

Adventures in Sri Lanka Part 1: Yala National Park

IMG_9525 sharper narrow 430 final

It’s taken me four weeks to get around to it but – finally – some blogs from my month in Sri Lanka! I’ve been here since the start of August, researching green hotels and responsible tourism projects. Wildlife tourism plays a pretty big part in responsible tourism here in Sri Lanka, so of course I had to go looking for leopards and elephants for myself…

First up, some photos from a safari trip into Yala National Park:

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No photos please: a bike-tour company in Jamaica gets it right with school kids

Blue Mountains JamaicaIt’s taken until my third visit to Jamaica to fulfil an ambition of getting up into the Blue Mountains – it’s the longest mountain range on the island, reaching 2,256 metres above sea level at its highest point.

A couple of months ago I finally managed it, taking a day trip from Ocho Rios with Blue Mountain Bicycle Tours. The scenery was spectacular, and though the steep downhill cycling was a little hairy at points, it was a wonderful way to experience the beauty of the thickly forested… Continue reading

Sustrans, the NCN and a big day out for the Golden Chariot


Having cycled 34 miles last weekend without even meaning to (after getting rather lost in-between Richmond and Wimbledon), we decided that this weekend we’d try to cycle even further.

Intending to stray outside the M25 for the first time, I invested in a proper National Cycle Network map of Central Sussex and South Surrey, and planned a route from Redhill train station, near Reigate, down to Brighton: a not-too-shabby 37 miles in all… Continue reading

Goldie lookin’ chain: Bicycle Bling in Herne Hill

I went to Herne Hill’s street market this morning and stumbled across a Bling Ya Bike stall, offering to fix bikes free of charge, and even give bikes, scooters and pushchairs a facelift with a spray-job.

I took along my old purple bike (which I’ve had since I was 13, so is not the coolest wheels in the hood) to see what bling they would suggest.

A team of pleasant young chaps turned into this much more glamorous golden chariot… Continue reading

The Poseidon adventure: behind the scenes at Atlantis’s aquaria

Manta ray Poseidon

The gigantic Atlantis mega-resort in the Bahamas is not somewhere I’d normally choose to stay, but when I found myself there for a recent tourism conference, I was pleasantly surprised to learn how much conservation work is done by its team of marine experts.

Giant aquariums filled with fish, coral and sea mammals form an integral part of the resort, which is themed on the legend of the sunken city of Atlantis. I’m not sure I… Continue reading

Fair Trade in tourism – how does it work?

[My blog on TTG website,]

One of the most interesting events of WTM for me was the launch by Kuoni of the UK’s first Fair Trade-certified holiday.

Kuoni teamed up with Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa (FTTSA), which has been working to promote the importance of fair trade in tourism for a decade, in order to gain certification of all aspects of the supply chain on a 13-night South Africa package.

While the concept of fairly-traded cocoa… Continue reading