Mapping it out
Date Posted: 04/07/2011
A new London initiative, Green Map aims to show you where you can go for an environmentally friendly trip to the capital.
Environmentally-conscious groups visiting London can now find the most eco-friendly spots in our capital city, with a map that has been created by VisitEngland, greentraveller.co.uk and Fairmont Hotels & Resorts. The Green London map brings together restaurants, hotels, cafes and attractions, many approved by the Green Tourism Business Scheme, all listed on a pocket-sized map.
The map features sustainable places to eat, sleep, shop and visit, and also contains useful information on getting around the capital and how to discover some of the city’s lesser-known attractions. Green London map is downloadable from Visit England’s website.
The ethos of the map is to illustrate that a ‘green’ weekend in London is accessible and affordable for all visitors, regardless of budget. It mixes luxury brands such as The Savoy with smaller, innovative businesses that run on ethical principles and specialise in offering locally-sourced and Fair Trade goods.
Livia Firth, owner of Eco Age said: "There is no excuse anymore not to be aware of how to be more environmentally friendly in London or not to know where to shop for your eco lifestyle. This guide is a treasure!"
On the reverse of the leaflet is a guide to how to use public transport in London, how to hire a Barclays 'Boris' bike, as well as a few green facts about the capital, such as ‘London has the first gastro pub certified by the Soil Association’ and ‘there are five buses powered by hydrogen fuel on the route RV1 between Covent Garden and Tower Gateway station’.
Where to stay
The refurbished Jurys Inn hotel in Islington uses eco-friendly and Fair Trade products. However, GTOs should be aware that a security bond of £100 per room for groups may be required (returnable on check out).
The Cavendish Hotel in Piccadilly strives to serve 100 per cent sustainably sourced produce in its Petrichor Restaurant.The restaurant currently offers a pre-theatre menu at £15.50 for two courses.
Where to eat
The Duke of Cambridge in Islington claims to be the UK’s first Soil Association-certified gastro pub, and has organic menus and a commitment to minimising food miles.The pub can close part (or all) of its space to the public for groups, and there is space for up to 150 people to enjoy either a buffet or sit-down meal.
inSpiral Lounge on Camden High Street offers an organic, vegetarian restaurant (with vegan options) menu and is located near Camden Lock and Camden’s bustling high street. Groups can reserve the lower lounge for no extra charge.
Where to shop
Planet Organic in Muswell Hill is a large branch of the UK’s largest, fully (Soil Association) certified organic supermarket. It offers a large range of ‘green’ products and food for a variety of diets and intolerances, including dairy and wheat-free produce, and claims to be 100 per cent ‘artificial anything’ free. There is also a café on site that serves lunch.
There are Neals Yard Remedies stores dotted all over London, but its flagship store is located in Covent Garden. As well as offering a range of organic beauty and skin care products, alternative therapies such as aromatherapy massage and acupuncture are available. Log on to the website for more details.
Where to visit
The London Wetland Centre in Barnes offers close views of nature, especially wetland birds, and more than thirty wetland habitats to explore. There is a visitor centre which boasts a lakeside restaurant, a gift shop, discovery centre and a theatre. Group benefits and discounts are available, and guided tours can be tailored to your needs.
Kew Gardens in Surry is a world-renowned centre for plant science and education, and is committed to saving plants and habitats at risk and combating climate change. Groups of ten or more are entitled to a discounted rate, and guided tours can be arranged with one of Kew’s expert volunteer guides for an introduction to the history of the gardens, and the scientific work carried out there.
A full list of participating businesses is on the map.
Download the Green Map at www.enjoyengland.com/greenlondon