(Note from Robert: The Following is a Guest Post from Charlotte Nicol of Most Curious Tours. Enjoy–)
The rise of Slow travel in the UK
The Slow movement is becoming increasingly popular in the UK, encompassing slow travel, slow food, slow books, cities, and even schools. The movement began in Italy with a protest organised by Carlo Petrini’s against the opening of a McDonald’s restaurant in Rome, 1986. This sparked the creation of the Slow food organisation, and further movements grew from this. When applied to travel, slow means having time to explore your surroundings, respecting the local culture, and having a meaningful connection to where you are staying – the opposite of hopping on a plane to Benedorm to live in a resort for a week. Although there is no hard and fast definition, most take this to mean travelling by foot, bike, and public transport, contributing to the local economy, and staying in one place for more than a couple of hours. Slow travellers generate wealth for small businesses run by local people, keep their carbon footprint to a minimum, and make a positive effort to interact with local communities.
An emphasis is also placed on enjoying the journey to the destination, as well as the destination itself. The idea of travelling and enjoying the method of travel is fairly alien in our society in which immediacy is celebrated. Arguably, as well as the economy, environment and communities that the Slow traveller visits, the Slow travel movement also encourages a different mentality – the importance of ‘now’.
Our minds are often occupied with the future or the past rather than the present – the Slow Travel movement encourages us to be in the present moment, and to enjoy our journey rather than counting down the minutes on the plane, or becoming hot and tired in the car. The slow travel movement places an emphasis on enjoying the journey to the final destination as well as the anticipation of the arrival.
(Charlotte Nicol is the co-founder of the UK based Tour company called Most Curious Tours. Recently launched, Most Curious Tours aims at showing tourists the hidden cultural hotspots of the UK, travelling in small groups by scenic railway routes, staying in independent accommodation, and attending local concerts and theatre productions in hand-picked destinations across the UK.)
- Slow Wine – A New Italian Wine Guide that Looks Beyond the Glass! (charlesscicolone.wordpress.com)
- Slow food in Wales: Organic and locally produced food in Wales, Food (visitwales.co.uk)
- Slow Food Celebration: Domes of Elounda Reaps What It Sows… Gastronomy Meets Luxury Vacation (prfire.co.uk)