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Slowing down how you travel

Written by Emma Lavelle from Field and Nest

I used to travel with the approach that I wanted to see as much as possible in the little time that I had in a destination. I would race around cities, exhausting myself by trying to see everything. After many years of returning to work more stressed and tired than before my holiday, something had to change.

I became interested in the slow movement when I was made redundant and began working freelance. Suddenly I was in charge of my own time and understood that a nine-to-five life had been making me miserable. As I slowed down all aspects of my life, I reassessed how I planned my holidays. Rather than trying to see everything in one trip, I resolved to slow down the pace that I explored the world, learning to appreciate the smaller moments.

Emma lavelle
slow travel Emma lavelle pool

Slow travel is often seen as a fad, but it isn’t just a trend. It’s all about rediscovering how we used to travel, before it became an Instagram competition to visit the best places and share the best photos. To travel at a slower pace, you must travel more sustainably and more consciously, immersing yourself in your surroundings and seeing a place more as a local would than a tourist.

It’s about quality over quantity. Letting go of the idea that you want to see as much as possible and see the whole world; instead concentrating on getting to know the heart and soul of the places you visit. I would rather spend a week feeling like a local getting to know a small village than attempting to see an entire country in the same time period.

I recently spent three days at Another Place and found it the perfect destination for a slow retreat. We rose early, heading down to the lake to watch the sky turn pink, before retreating to the Swim Club to wake ourselves up with a swim and a soak in the hot tub. Meals were lingered over, discussing our favourite memories from the previous day and planning our afternoons. Rather than attempting to see as much as possible, we allowed ourselves time to soak up our surroundings, hiking into valleys and pulling over at the side of the road to stand and admire the scenery. The short days of mid-winter gave us an excuse to retreat back to the hotel and cosy up in our rooms with a book and a cup of tea – before heading back to the pool. Post-dinner, the library was the ideal retreat for sitting by the fire with a wooden board game and a glass of wine. A slow pace was welcomed here.

slow travel boat house

If you’re new to slow travel, here are a few tips to get you started.

  • Find the perfect destination for your slow getaway. I prefer quiet coastal retreats and cosy countryside getaways. It’s also important to stay in a hotel that doesn’t rush you with strict rules such as quick mealtimes.

  • Let go of the idea that you have to see everything and focus on enjoying the things that you really want to do. Choose just one or two activities per day, such as taking a long hike and swimming in the pool, rather than rushing around trying to do too much.

  • Linger over your meals, using them as an excuse to connect and make conversation with your travel companions.

  • Avoid organised tours and throw away the guidebooks. Discover your destination for yourself, walking or driving around with your eyes peeled for something that interests you. If you’re stuck for ideas for how to spend your day, ask someone at your hotel or a local for their tips.

swan ullswater

Stay with us on our Escape to the Lake package, a two night stay with dinner in each of our restaurants.