Looking to explore London the eco-friendly way? For those seeking a city break in London this holiday season, there’s never been a better time to enjoy the splendours of the British capital while maintaining a limited footprint. Read on for Nestor’s guide to travel and activities in London, the guilt-free way!

The Capital’s Green Credentials

Over the past decade, the UK’s historic capital has been shedding its “Big Smoke” moniker and successfully reinventing itself as an eco-friendly haven. 

London was ranked in the top 10 cities in the world for sustainable travel, scoring a perfect 10 out of 10 for public transport, and additional high marks for green spaces, recycling, and a low ratio of cars to residents. 

For a charming city getaway, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better sustainable stop than the UK’s capital. 

Green Travel From Europe

Several of Europe’s largest cities (Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam) are connected directly via the Eurostar to London St Pancras station.

Alternatively, hop on a train from most major European cities to Calais, where you can then hitch a short ferry ride across the English Channel to Dover. The train journey from Dover to London boasts spectacular views of the rolling wooded countryside of the South of England. 

Choose Green Accommodation

London has plenty of eco-friendly accommodation spaces to choose from, including Nestor’s own stunning portfolio of more than 100 short-term rentals and hotels in Kensington, Victoria and Central London.

A quick checklist for a green living space. Make sure your host…

Getting Around In London

There’s no better way to get an authentic London experience than by exploring it via its many pedestrian areas and walkways.

Whether you’re gliding down the banks of the River Thames on one of London’s shared bicycles or simply enjoying a riverside stroll, the 35 bridges that cross the Thames are an ideal place to take in panoramic views of this iconic capital. 

What’s more, each emblematic site is a stone’s throw away from the next, so you can hop from Westminster Abbey to Big Ben, right on to Leicester Square and Covent Garden.

Big Ben
London’s Big Ben

To get to areas that are farther away, you can slink off down the London Underground, which is an eco-friendly and cost-effective way to zip around Greater London. 

Obviously, you just use your debit card, but if you order your oyster card online, you can benefit from the best rates.

The Journey Planner on the Transport for London website is perfect for planning trips and the best routes.

Green Eats!

Eating local and seasonal is one of the best ways to be sustainable while on vacation. You’ll not only support London’s sustainable food industry but also invest in small, local producers. 

The organic farm-to-table dining scene is thriving in London. Whether you fancy your hand at cheffing in your rental or choose to dine outdoors, you’ll find plenty of delicious, locally sourced options at every turn.

Pop down to some of London’s most famous markets. Every Saturday from 10-4pm, you can explore the open-air Fine Food market curated by Partridges, which is just off the King’s Road. Here you can enjoy artisanal and locally produced meat, fresh bread, and cakes that just melt in your mouth.

Flowers, plants

Alternatively, the bright and beautiful Portobello Road Market has everything and anything! Perfect for sourcing some fresh and seasonal produce.

Portobello road
Portobello Market, a hit in London’s Notting Hill in west London

Oval Night Market, on the other hand, sits against the backdrop of Cambridge Heath’s gasworks and is ideal for foodies on the hunt for local pop-up kitchens. 

You’ll also be spoilt for choice for organic pubs and bistros. The likes of Farmstand in Covent Garden and Mildreds in Soho will replenish body and soul as completely as a month-long yoga retreat.

Famished? Whack your location into the London Farmer’s market website to find great, green food near you at any time. 

Enjoy London’s Vast Green Patches

Duck out of the hustle and bustle of the city for a stroll in some of the country’s finest parks. With more than 20% of its area covered by green space, London is the world’s largest urban forest.

You won’t want to miss the most famous of the royal parks, Hyde Park, where you can wander aimlessly through its charming green alleys, trot around the gardens on horseback, or join in fun activities such as roller-blading or frisbees. 

Alternatively, why not take in the beautifully manicured gardens at Kensington, or opt for an hour of deer spotting at Richmond Park? 

London also boasts a wealth of nature reserves, where you can explore heaving ecosystems of birds, bugs, and other wild animals. A real paradise of biodiversity! 

Cruise Along The River Thames darling!

Electric boats along the famed River Thames offer visitors a brand-new perspective on London. Take a trip around Little Venice, one of London’s not-so-secret gems in the heart of the British capital. 

This quirky and charming network of canals runs through the residential area of Maida Vale and is tucked far away from traditional tourist hotspots. It’s one of the best ways to get a worm’s-eye view of some amazing Victorian houses. 

Guided City Tours, On Two Feet Or Two Wheels

The guided double-decker bus is the signature of London. But if we’re completely honest, it’s both the least fun and least green way to discover the city.

To give yourself a much higher chance of uncovering the secrets of London, opt instead for a guided bike or walking tour. Along your journey of discovery, you’ll have every chance to make traditional touristy stops, like visiting Buckingham Palace or shopping around the cobbled streets of Chinatown.

For a more off-the-beaten-track experience, you might go for one of the “Unseen London” tours. These excursions provide a voice and income to the formerly homeless of the city, who will be your guides. You’ll hear all about the history of the areas you visit and learn about their contemporary community and culture. 

We look forward to hosting you soon in one of our sustainable London properties! If you’re looking for a place to stay in London, we’d love to be your sustainable travel company of choice! Book your stay with us today.

If you’d like to chat with us more about our sustainability practices, don’t hesitate to contact us. You can also find out more about our More Trees initiative here.