Green travel supporters practised what they preached in a 1,000-mile car-free epic Lake District journey.
Celebrating the successful challenge - and a John Muir Award in the bargain - the GoLakes Travel team said it was a victory to all those who supported their sustainable goals and aspirations.
The team followed the lead of John Muir who completed a 1,000 mile journey on foot in 1867 and went on to be a key founder of national parks globally.
Set up with the aim of encouraging visitors to drive less and see more, as they make their way around central and southern Lakes, GoLakes Travel supports an innovative raft of alternatives, including bus, bike, boat – and boot.
GoLakes passenger adviser, Emma Moody, said: “We are all committed to bringing about a step change in the way people get about.
“We wanted to show how car-free miles could be covered, even if that meant riding horses and swimming, and that doing so brings fantastic fun into the bargain.
“Linking with the John Muir Award scheme gave added incentive as we mixed people power – walking, running, cycling, swimming and paddling – with bus, train, ferry and boat. It was all done in our own time, so it felt as if we were on holiday.
“It’s been a terrific learning curve and will definitely help with our GoLakes work, particularly as the whole experience was totally inspirational.”
Sharing the experiences was an integral part of the award, which included a trail run over Garburn Pass, mountain biking in Duddon, electric cycling on South Lakes’ lanes and taking a family bus ride to see ospreys at Bassenthwaite.
Emma added: “We had some brilliant days out over 18 months, enjoying just the sort of things our visitors love. A steam train to meet Windermere steamers, open top bus ride to Keswick, plus other rail travel – it was just the ticket!”
Graham Watson, manager for the John Muir Award with the Lake District National Park, said the incredible journey was very much in the spirit of the scheme, which encourages people to get involved in spectacular landscapes and help protect them.
He added: “Quite apart from the fun and adventure of getting outdoors and exploring the Lake District, the team shared John Muir's greatest legacy, campaigning to do the right thing in the environment they care deeply about.
“I’m sure the experience will further bolster GoLakes Travel’s amazing achievements which have seen a cut of nearly five million miles’ worth of car journeys over the past four years. They’re very worthy award recipients.”