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GIFT IDEAS: BEST REUSABLE COFFEE CUPS

Britain has developed a vibrant coffee culture over the last decade or so, and the morning (afternoon and evening) brew has become an important daily ritual for many of us. In the UK, we drink around 98 million cups a day, as part of an industry worth more than £9 billion.  

On the flip side, Britain gets through 2.5 billion disposable and hard-to-recycle coffee cups each year, a number set to increase by a third by 2030. Fortunately, the amount of coffee cup recycling facilities in the UK is growing along with an awareness of the problem.  

Sidestep the hassle of what to do with your used single-use coffee cup by carrying one of these handsome reusables in your car instead – bagging the discount that frequently comes with a BYO cup while you’re at it.  The Kitchen at Croxley for example – an Extra Mile venue – offers a 20p discount if you bring your own cup (their takeaway cups are compostable, too).  

Circular&Co Reusable coffee cup, £14.95 

A cup, made from old single-use coffee cups. If there’s a more guilt-free way to enjoy your coffee on the road, we’d like to see it. You can open the lid with one hand and drink from any side, yet it’s still leakproof. Designed to last for 10 years, it fits in most car cup holders and is safe to put through the dishwasher.  

Stojo collapsible coffee cup, £12.99 

This is a compact option if you’re short on space and it can be tucked into most shoulder or handbags. Made of silicone, this little cup concertinas down into a pocket-sized disc when you’ve finished using it, while a lid plug ensures no coffee residue leaks out. A rigid plastic cuff saves your fingers when your coffee is hot.  

Klean Kanteen insulated TKWide with café cap, £25.95 

This vacuum insulated cup will keep drinks hot for 11 hours (or 38 hours, iced). It claims not to retain or impart flavours which is appealing if you’ve ever tried in vain to rid a flask of lingering milk smells. Works as a water bottle, coffee mug, sport bottle and insulated cup. Designed with an impact base-cap to protect it from bumps, it’s chip resistant and the lid can be disassembled for easy cleaning.  

Smidge travel cup, £15.40 

Double-walled stainless steel stops heat escaping anywhere fast, while a screw-top lid with two silicone seals claims to be 100% leak-proof. It comes with barista-standard internal measuring guides, fits under most coffee machines and is available in a range of cheerful colours (with matching water bottles). The cup is only suitable for hand-washing at the moment, but is easy to disassemble and clean.  

Coffee BugBear, £18 

If the pandemic has left you more germ-aware than ever, try BugBear’s reusable cup with patented antimicrobial protection shielding its stainless steel walls. Double-skinned to keep in the heat, it has a screw-on cap to prevent slips slopping out.   

SoleCup, £16 

An aesthetically appealing cup made in the UK from tempered glass with a cork band for easy grip. With the option of an infuser accessory, it works as well for smoothies and tea as it does for coffee. For the eco-minded, the cup is 100% recyclable and arrives in plastic-free packaging.  

Bru coffee cup, £17.99 

Made to last from powder-coated stainless steel, with matching bottles available if you’re a co-ord kinda person, this is a stylish cup for on-the-go. It’s designed to fit under most coffee machines (though perhaps not in car cup holders) and is large enough to hold a standard, 340ml latte. Dishwasher safe and can be recycled with scrap metals at the end of its useful life.  

Chilly’s Series 2 coffee cup, £36  

Shaped like a drinks can and available in a wide range of patterns and colours, this stainless steel coffee pod is a stylish addition to your road trip. Get yours engraved with your name if you’re not up for sharing, and put ownership arguments to bed forever. It’s not dishwasher safe, but – tip – use bicarbonate of soda if you ever need a thorough clean.  

Corkcicle Travel Cup, £44 

Prefer your coffee cup with a handle? The whopping great Corkcicle could be for you. It’s triple insulated, has a snug, clear, see-through lid and has a stay-put grippy silicone base so it doesn’t slide around the dashboard.  

Frank Green reusable cup, £28.99 

A handsome design that comes in an array of colours (including neon lids), Frank Green is a discerning choice for the travelling coffee drinker. It’s easy to use with one hand (thanks to a push-button lid), is designed to fit in cup holders and is spill resistant. Despite the ceramic lining, its makers claim the base is unbreakable, which means you can polish the stainless steel exterior to your heart’s content with the microfibre polishing cloth supplied with it…if polishing is your thing. 

Huskeecup, £14 

Made from coffee husks, this cup is a waste-free wonder. Durable and insulated, it’s designed for coffee-to-go, and when it’s no longer at its best, you can exchange it in a participating café through HuskeeSwap (see the app for details) or return it to the company for recycling.  

If you’re an Extra Mile café or eating experience that offers a discount for those bringing their own cup, let us know and we’ll promote you below. If reading this, you obviously prefer your hot drinks to be HOT – whether at home or on the go – or you’re buying a gift for someone who really cares about their coffee. Get the most up-to-date edition of The Extra Mile guidebook here, to make the ultimate birthday or Christmas gift combo for the hot drink lovers in your life. 

Venues offering an own-cup discount

The Kitchen, Croxley

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WHERE TO HIRE A CAMPERVAN

Red and white VW Camper van

Looking to make a proper road-trip of it? You’re going to need a campervan. Like Airbnb, a number of companies now offer campervan hire direct from owners, so you can rent a home-on-wheels no matter where you are in the country.

Camplify 

A platform for renting recreational vehicles, with a range of sizes and styles. Van owners are all personally verified by the team and RAC cover means you don’t need to worry about breaking down. Some owners will even deliver the van to your holiday destination.  

VW T25 campervan

Paul Camper 

Home to more than 1,000 private campers, you can take your pick on Paul Camper. Although the sharing website was born in Berlin, it’s spread to the UK and has a range of vans across the country. Handovers are in person so you can visit it and take it for a test drive before finalising the booking.  

Camptoo 

In 2020, this company was named the fastest growing in the travel industry. Europe-wide, it’s now booked out more than 550,000 campervan nights, so they know what they’re doing.  

Old fashioned VW camper at a lake at sunset

Quirky Campers 

Specialists in hiring out bespoke campervans, Quirky Campers rents out a range of beautifully designed motors so you can live out your #vanlife dreams, if only for a little while. The company prides itself on sustainable credentials so expect vans fitted out with masterfully reclaimed materials (see picture below from Quirky Campers), as well as carbon offsetting for your driving miles.  

Go Boony 

Boonies are a New Zealand term for beautiful, untouched places, so Go Boony is a nod to where the founders of Go Boony met – on a campervan trip, naturally. They claim to have the largest fleet in the UK, with pet and bike friendly options easy to find.  

Quincy Campervan (c) Sam Howard, Quirky Campers

Suitably inspired to hit the road? Find perfect pitstops and idyllic farm shops at which to shop and stock up, in The Extra Mile guidebook – friend of campervan gloveboxes everywhere – or by using the online Venue Finder

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6 UNIQUE FERRY TRIPS TO TAKE IN THE UK

Image of a ferry between islands

Did you know that around 4,400 islands make up the British Isles, although only around 210 are inhabited. UK ferry journeys can offer a fresh perspective on the coastline. To add a voyage to your overland journey, find inspiration with this collection of six of the country’s most unique crossings.  

Scrabster to Stromness, Orkney 

The wonderfully named Scrabster, on Scotland’s North coast, is a jumping off point for a short-ish (90 minute) hop to the Orkney archipelago. It takes passengers past the Old Man of Hoy, a famed 137m high sea stack off the coast.  The archaeological wonders on Stromness (below) are something else. 

Incredible archaeology in Stromness, Orkney.

Glenelg to Kylerhea, Skye  

The original crossing point between Skye (pictured below) and the mainland, a small ferry crosses this narrow channel in season. It’s an unusual turntable design, so the ferry pulls up alongside the slipway and the crew turn the deck to embark cars and passengers. Sure, you can drive over the bridge to get to Skye these days, but if you do you’ll miss the sea eagles, otters and seals that frequent the waters. Grab a coffee at the Shore Station café to stop and enjoy the view.  

Small boat passing Skye, Scotland

Kingswear to Dartmouth 

Crossing the water saves drivers a lengthy detour round the river Dart and gives a lovely view of the picturesque harbour town, including the castle and Royal Naval College; keep eyes peeled for helicopters as well as wildlife. Two boats make the crossing, straightforwardly named Lower Ferry or Higher Ferry. 

Kingswear to Dartmouth Ferry, Devon

Lymington to Yarmouth, Isle of Wight 

The shortest route across the Solent, this 40-minute journey spirits you from the New Forest to the tranquil Isle of Wight, passing Hurst Castle on the way. On the other side of the water you’ll see its counterpart, Yarmouth Castle, which was built by Henry VIII as a gun platform to defend the waterway.  

Feock to Philleigh, Cornwall 

Another time and mile saver, this crossing saves drivers the 27-mile alternative route round the Truro River. The King Harry Ferry (pictured below) has been transporting passengers to the Roseland peninsula since 1888, and today’s incarnation offers calming views through the glass side, and a view onto the chains guiding the boat across the water.  Find out more about the route at Fal River Ferries

 

King Harry Ferry, Cornwall, (c) https://www.falriver.co.uk

Penzance to St Mary’s, Isles of Scilly   

Affectionately known as the Vomit Comet, thanks to the rough ride it can offer in high seas, the Scillonian III takes passengers on a nearly three-hour journey to the UK’s southernmost islands. Hope that the weather is fine so that you can enjoy the beautiful views of Cornwall’s coast as it glides past. Explore timetables for your next adventure with Isles of Scilly Travel

Scillonian Ferry (c) iselesofscilly-travel.co.uk

Inspired to take a road trip, boat trip or best-of-both-worlds trip? When travelling across the UK to actual ports or simply metaphorical ports of call, don’t forget to check that The Extra Mile is in your glovebox (with the Venue Finder on home-screen speed-dial) to ensure your journey eats are as memorable as the trip itself. Get your copy here

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FAVOURITE UK WATERFALLS

Autumnal waterfall image

As a rainy, lumpy country, there is no shortage of waterfalls in the UK. After a hot, dry summer where most dwindled to trickles, one benefit of the seasonal turn to drizzle is that the waterfalls are back in full display. Waterfalls also emit negative ions which are said to be good for your health, helping with mood, sleep, metabolism and our immune systems. For a truly restorative stop, work one of these into your journey. 

Waterfall Country: The Brecon Beacons National Park

Though famous and increasingly popular, it would be churlish not to mention the Brecon Beacon’s famous waterfalls at the southwestern corner of the national park. The Four Falls Trail is a well-trodden route taking in several of the area’s finest. Wales’s answer to the rain forest, the area is as magical as it is fragile, so do make sure you stick to the paths and take litter home (which we hope would be a no brainer). Visit Waterfalls Country on the National Park website – the lovely falls pictured below are in Neath.

Neath Waterfall, Wales

Grey Mare’s Tail, Dumfries

Watch the water tumble 60m from Loch Skeen into the Moffat Valley. Consider a ranger-guided walk to learn more about the fossils, rare upland plants, ring ouzels and vendace found here. The drive from the M74 to the reserve along the A708 is said to be one of Scotland’s most scenic as well. Find out more with the National Trust for Scotland 

Thornton Force, Yorkshire

A popular cascade on Yorkshire’s waterfall circuit, the water here falls over the edge of a limestone cliff to dramatic effect. It’s one of several falls on the Ingleton Waterfalls walk (so named for the nearest town) and is the most popular. If you want it to yourself, try timing your visit for a weekday. The Dales are home to more than 50 waterfalls, so if you’d rather find a lesser known one, try one on this list. Uncover the area courtesy of the My Yorkshire Dales website.

Aber Falls, Snowdonia, (c) Snowdonia.gov.wales

Aber Falls, Snowdonia

Just a short distance from the A55, Aber Falls (pictured above) is an impressive introduction to the Snowdonia National Park. It’s at the foothills of the Carneddau where the Afon Goch (Red River) descends into the Menai Straits. The 4.5km path is accessible to all and has picnic areas and open spaces for running off some steam. Explore Aber Falls online before planning your trip. Image (c) Snowdonia.gov.wales.

Hellgill Force, Cumbria

Although Aira Force is arguably Cumbria’s most famous (and there ought to be a lot of waterfalls in England’s watery lake district), Hellgill Force is an impressive slot-canyon fall at the start of the River Eden under the Crinkle Crags fell. It’s easy to reach from the B6259 and there’s a small parking area available at Aisgill Moor Cottages. Find out more about Aira and its neighbouring falls here at Visit Cumbria.   

North Glen Sannox, Arran

Beautifully clear waters slip over the granite stone here in a pretty series of waterfalls (pictured below). If your trip is taking you out to the islands of Scotland’s west coast, make this one of your stops. And if the islands aren’t on your itinerary, consider adding Arran, which at a 55-minute ferry ride from Ardrossan, is one of Scotland’s most accessible. Explore North Glen Sannox’s pools and falls.

North Glen Sannox, Arran

Water-break-its-neck, Powys

So memorably named we had to include this one in mid-Wales! At Water-break-its-neck, hills and rivers combine to create a selection of tall falls. It’s easy to reach through a forested path and is suitable for little legs as it’s only a kilometre there and back from the car park. Explore Water-break-its-neck (pictured below) and surrounds on this Country File recommended walk.

Water-break-its-neck Falls
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CATCH THE UK’S BEST AUTUMN COLOURS

Woman enjoying falling autumn leaves

Are you a leaf peeper?

Europe is beginning to catch on to the North American hobby of leaf peeping, a term used to describe trips dedicated to the seeking out of blazing autumnal colours. The Japanese call it momijigari which means maple viewing, more specifically, but the quest for colourful leaves is the same. Who hasn’t gaped in wonder at the golds and russet reds of the UK’s woodlands as the seasons change? What better reason for an autumnal exploration? Here are some of the UK’s best leaf peeping spots. 

An autumnal picture of Gibside, National Trust

Gibside, Tyne and Wear Designed for its stunning views and now a National Trust property, Gibside (pictured above), at the edge of the Derwent Valley near Gateshead, is heaven for leaf chasers with 720-acres of beckoning woodland. Download one of four walking routes through the landscaped parkland to maximise your stop. (Image (c) National Trust)

Wintour’s Leap, Gloucestershire

Enjoy the sylvan colours of the Forest of Dean blazing around the horse-shoe sweep of the river Wye from the unique vantage point of Wintour’s Leap, just to the north of Chepstow (pictured below). It’s also a popular climbing spot, if any adventurers have their ropes and harness in the boot. Visit Dean Wye has lots of great ideas for activities in and around the region. (Image (c) Visit Dean Wye.)

Wintour's Leap image (c) Visit Dean Wye https://www.visitdeanwye.co.uk/

Llanwrst, Wales
Is there a more iconic image of autumn in Wales than the
Tu Hwnt I’r Bont tea room (pictured below)? We don’t think so. Make this Virginia-creeper clad cottage part of your autumn road trip to see it in its full, fiery glory.

(Image (c) Tu Hwnt I’r Bont.)  

 
Tu Hwnt i’r Bont in Llanrwst

Glen Affric, Scotland

Sometimes touted as Scotland’s most beautiful glen (though it’s a hard-fought crown), Glen Affric’s woodland and moorland come alive in autumn as the leaves change colour. With a 10-mile circular walking circuit, prepare to enjoy them from every angle.

(Image (c) Visit Scotland.)

Stourhead, Wiltshire
Famous for its spectacular hues in autumn, the National Trust’s
Stourhead property is decadent in its autumn splendour (pictured below). Enjoy this quintessential view across the lake towards the Pantheon to see the colours in reflected glory.
(Image (c) National Trust)

Stourhead, image courtesy The National Trust

The Extra Mile glovebox guidebook brims with excellent eating choices, designed to take motorists just off the main roads and into the lovely communities and locally run foodie businesses hidden around each corner. This autumn, escape the monotony of the Services and the bland forecourt food at A road garages around the country. Use The Extra Mile book or online map to eat more memorably. To buy a copy for yourself, or as a gift for a favourite, frequent-travelling friend, visit our online shop today.

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TELL US YOUR TIPS

The Extra Mile from Glovebox Guides (ed. 3)

Avoid the Services: Nominate great cafés for the new guide

Research is underway for the 2023 edition of The Extra Mile – Delicious Alternatives to Motorway Services – every driver’s essential guide to good food on the move.  
 
Nominations are welcomed from (or for) independent cafés, cosy tea rooms, quirky pit-stops and welcoming farm shops – within a 15-minute drive of a motorway or main A-road junction – to feature in this useful glovebox guidebook and on its companion website. Is there anywhere we really shouldn’t miss?
 
Writer, Kerry O’Neill, said, “We’re keen to fill the upcoming fourth edition of this sell-out guide with some classic and new foodie destinations to help drivers avoid the monotony of motorway services. We’ll uncover the best farm shops, cafés, tea rooms and eateries we can find near motorway and main A-road junctions, many of which would love a helping hand following the challenges of recent years. The Extra Mile helps its readers find and support the small and independent food and drink businesses who are going the extra mile to keep us all fed and watered in local, low-food-mile style.” 

 
England, Scotland and Wales: the café hunt continues 

In early Sept 2022, Icelandic foodie and photographer Iris Thorsteinsdottir will set off to explore Scotland’s off-motorway and A-road wilds on a quest to find more venues to join The Extra Mile while author Kerry O’Neill continues her quest across Wales and England.  
 

Nominate yourself or a favourite venue 

To nominate a venue to join The Extra Mile – Delicious Alternatives to Motorway Services for the team to visit, go to Find a stop to see if it’s already part of the collection. If not, submit the information at Join the Guide. Nominations should be interesting and independent (or part of a small regional chain) with a strong locally-sourced food ethos. They must be within a short drive – 15 minutes maximum and the closer the better – of a motorway or main A-road junction in mainland England, Wales or Scotland. Most importantly, they should be friendly, foodie and fabulous!
 

Who can be nominated? 

  • Coffee shops and tea rooms 
  • Cafés and bistros (including those within gardens or visitor attractions) 
  • Farm shops, farm shop cafés, garden centre cafés 
  • Delis and bakeries 
  • Vegetarian and plant-based cafés 
  • Unusual take-aways, pre-order picnics/ veg box companies 
  • Ice-cream parlours 
  • Breweries, wineries or distilleries with sit-in food options 
  • Family-friendly and dog-friendly spots 
     

Buy a copy for yourself or for a gift

The Extra Mile – Delicious Alternatives to Motorway Services is the essential glovebox guidebook for anyone seeking interesting eats while exploring England, Scotland and Wales by car. It’s the ideal gift for drivers, food lovers and gloveboxes everywhere. The most recent edition (ed. 3, 2019, by Laura Collacott) sold out and was refreshed and reprinted for 2022 by Glovebox Guides. The new, fourth edition is being compiled now, with a deadline for inclusion of 30 Sep 2022. The book will be in good bookshops and online in 2023. For updates and an alert when the new edition is available to order, subscribe to our newsletter on the homepage. Buy the current edition now while stocks last.

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Notes for editors 
For further press information and to discuss related content, photography, book giveaways and reader competitions, email Kerry at The Extra Mile Guide.

 
The Extra Mile guidebook 
The Extra Mile – Delicious Alternatives to Motorway Services is the essential glovebox guidebook to memorable food and drink experiences while on the move. It helps readers replace monotonous motorway food with the fresh, colourful and often locally sourced flavours of over 300 independent cafes, growers, makers and bakers, all within a 15-minute drive of a motorway or main A-road junction. Plan your journey, explore the alternative eateries and eat better when on the move, while supporting local producers. 
 

The Extra Mile website 
The Extra Mile site is an extension of the print guidebook with venue details and a ‘search by map’ function to direct hungry drivers to their chosen foodie venue. The site is updated regularly, with a curated collection of stop-offs, eateries and farm shops featuring in each new edition of the book. To submit a venue or request to join the collection, visit Join the Guide.
 

Glovebox Guides 
Glovebox Guides is an imprint of Printslinger Ltd, the independent publishing company run by renowned slow food lover, Alastair Sawday. Glovebox Guides will publish the fourth edition of The Extra Mile – Delicious Alternatives to Motorway Services in 2023 as the first in a series of new titles.  Buy direct from Glovebox Guides to ensure you get the refreshed 2022 reprint.
 

Kerry O’Neill, author 
Kerry O’Neill is a UK-based travel researcher and writer with an MSc in literary tourism. She has collaborated with key sustainable travel, food and wine brands including Secret Compass Expeditions, Sustrans, TravelLocal, Sawday’s Special Places to Stay, Sidetracked magazine, Avery’s Wine Merchants and FoodWorks South West. The Extra Mile is her first collaboration with Glovebox Guides.   

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