Top 10 tips for a greener stay
Help us to preserve the special character of the Winchester district by following these few simple steps:
1. Look for the Carbon Smart logo
Book your accommodation with a member of the Carbon Smart Scheme, indicated by the blue circle symbol. These accommodation providers have made a commitment to promoting and using local products, encouraging car-free transport, conserving energy and recycling where possible.
2. Bag a Winchester bag
Plastic not your bag? Pick up a Winchester bag from the tourist information centre or one of the district's attractions and use it during your stay. The Winchester bag is stronger and larger than the free plastic carrier bags provided by most stores, and won't end up in a landfill site either. Featuring an attractive design by a local artist, the Winchester bag will provide you with happy memories of your visit long after you've returned home
3. Leave your car at home
Winchester is a compact and pedestrian-friendly city that's just perfect for exploring on foot. And with excellent coach and rail links - London Waterloo is just under an hour away by direct train - there's no real need to bring your car at all. The city very quickly opens out into the surrounding countryside, and if you fancy staying in more rural surrounds, many of our Green Leaf accommodation providers will collect you from the station - just ask when booking.
4. Eat local
When eating out, choose dishes which make use of fresh, seasonal Hampshire produce. Not only will you enjoy the tastiest food the county has to offer but you'll also be making an essential contribution to the sustainability of the countryside by supporting local farmers and small businesses, which in turn helps to reduce food miles and therefore energy consumption and pollution.
5. Buy local
Whether shopping for food or souvenirs, make efforts to purchase locally-produced goods: the quality is generally much better and the impact on the environment much less than buying products which have been transported halfway around the world. Take time to explore the district's smaller independent shops, or why not check out Winchester's famous farmers' market on the second and last Sunday of the month? Hampshire Fare publishes an excellent free guide to producers of local food, drink and craft. Call 01962 845 435 or go to the Hampshire Fare website to request your copy.
6. Go local
Winchester's central location makes it a tempting base for extensive exploration of the south coast, but why spend hours travelling when there is so much to see right on your doorstep? Stretch your legs and get to know the area in which you are staying: the city has plenty to keep you entertained for days, while the district is criss-crossed by a large number of walking paths and trails. Explore this website for some ideas, or ask the TIC or your accommodation provider for information on local walks.
7. Use pedal power
At the gateway to the South Downs, the gently rolling countryside of the Winchester district is ideal for cyclists of all abilities. If you haven't got your own bike, Winchester Tourist Information Centre will lend you one for the duration of your stay. See the Bikeabout page for more information. For online routes, leaflets and maps take a look at the cycling pages of Hampshire County Council's website.
8. Go by bus
You can catch buses to lots of the places mentioned in this guide from Winchester's bus station, which is conveniently situated at the bottom of the High Street opposite the tourist information centre. TIC staff are always willing to help with routes and timetables, or else you can plan your own journey using the Traveline website.
9. Switch off
Most of us are pretty good at conserving energy in our own homes these days but often forget to keep up our good habits while we're away. For example, don't leave the TV on standby in your hotel room, turn the lights off when you leave and participate in towel-saving schemes where possible.
10. Recycle, recycle, recycle
Some of our Green Leaf Tourism Scheme participants provide separate recycling bins for guests' use. If there isn't one in your room, ask your host to dispose of your recyclable waste in their own recycling bin.
Attractions work to improve their environmental footprint
Attractions in Winchester and the surrounding area are also adopting sustainable business practices so that the area can be enjoyed for generations to come. Here is just one example...
Conservation charity, Marwell Wildlife awarded ISO 14001 certification