Forget NY, LA or Miami – head directly to these off-beat destinations instead
Forest of Bowland, UK
Gone are the days when green travel was a form of tourism masochism where you shivered in converted chicken coops as penance for your carbon footprint. Proof of this is provided by the winners of the Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards 2011, organised by responsibletravel.com, whose schemes are often fascinating and pioneering. Take joint overall winner Sockmob Events/Unseen Tours as an example - it is a London-based company that hires homeless people to conduct tours. Some are also set in the most jaw-droppingly beautiful locations and so, aptly, we begin our journey in the Forest of Bowland.
Best destination: highly commended
The Forest of Bowland is an official Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The views are dramatic and often overwhelmingly beautiful, with stretches of moorland, bright tufts of purple heather and curious sheep. For more information, visit the website.