Apart from an attempt to rescue drivers from the grim, strip-lit inhumanity of motorway service stations, we wrote the Extra Mile to encourage a better way of travel. We think the best road trips include stops where families can jump out and bolt around some country paths, pit stops in local cafes and finger-licking parcels of local food. Journeys with time built in for stopping and smelling the proverbial roses.
Of course, part of travelling better means considering *how* you travel (all the more compelling with the latest news that atmospheric CO2 levels have hit a record high), which is why we have highlighted in the book places where you can charge an electric car. While still developing (fast) electric cars promise to reduce our transport emissions and air pollution.
Here are our top five places to charge your car while roaming (penned originally for our friends at Next Green Car). Like the cars themselves, the network of charge points is still developing. Eleven of our venues have charge points but we hope the number will climb with every issue.
A low-key cross between a wildlife park and a zoo, the Lakeland Wildlife Oasis is a great stop for animal lovers where you can get up-close encounters with the animals, regardless of whether you’re leaf-cutter ant or snow leopard inclined. The café’s new window onto the tamarin enclosure mean you can have a coffee face-to-face with a monkey while your recharge.
Victorian Gardens filled with waterfalls, terraces and woodland, Hestercombe’s green commitment is understandable, and seen in the biomass boiler, solar panels and free electric car charging point. Plug in then explore the gardens and meander through the art gallery while you charge up.
Shoulders immediately unravel in Webbs’ peaceful gardens. Charge up at one of three charging points and head inside to sample the chocolate library, stroll along the river and let kids delight at the hobbit house and winter ice rink.
With its breathtaking views across the dales, it’s easy to see why the environment is so important to the team at Cross Lanes, and it’s been woven into the very fabric of the business. Car charging is a natural add-on, so park up and beeline to the café-restaurant beneath the living roof for an organic feast.
The former, sprawling estate of the Morgan family and now a National Trust treasure, Tredegar House is a worthy spot for refuelling before heading to West Wales. The sumptuous house was once host to some riotous parties, revealed in the tour, while the 90-acres of parkland make for reviving strolls to pass the time. Four-legged friends are welcome too, and the tea room even serves puppy ice cream.