Staying in the UK
For a week in the company of some unusual friends, rent a picturesque stone cottage in Hatt, near Saltash, Cornwall. Lynher Cottage is set in the grounds of an alpaca smallholding, and you can watch them grazing from your terrace. There’s also the opportunity to meet, greet and walk the friendly alpacas on a lead!
- Sleeps two, prices start from £303 per week. For details call 01244 356695 or visit www.sykescottages.co.uk
Budding ornithologists will find much to tempt them in Scotland, but we recommend a visit to the RSPB’s Galloway Kite Trail. Open year-round, these majestic birds of prey are drawn to a special feeding station at Bellymack Hill Farm each day at 2pm.
- The farm can be found on the B795 east of Laurieston. For more information call 01556 670464 or visit www.rspb.org.uk/discoverandenjoynature
Interested in the Channel Islands? Then the Living Islands package tour of Alderney is perfect for you. Would-be wildlife spotters will enjoy this sustainable, eco-friendly trip that involves hedgehog and bat walks, a seabird safari to see puffins, plus visits to the island’s various landmarks.
- Three nights cost from £499 including flights from Southampton, accommodation, breakfast and activities. To book call 0844 493 7095 or visit www.channelislandsdirect.co.uk
Bird enthusiasts will go cuckoo over Responsible Travel’s short break package to Hungary. Over four days you’ll explore picturesque forests to discover up to eight species of woodpecker and four types of eagles with an expert guide. Most of the tour is suitable for disabled guests thanks to its relaxed pace, although some forest walks aren’t wheelchair accessible.
- The break costs £325pp excluding flights. Call 01273 823700 or visit www.responsibletravel.com
Have a whale of a time in the Azores with a special package for nature lovers. Pico Island is famed for its high numbers of whales and dolphins and this week-long trip involves five boat tours, seven nights’ accommodation and return flights to the island via Lisbon.
- Departs April 2015, costs from £868pp. To book, call Archipelago Choice on 01768 775672 or visit www.azoreschoice.com
Australia is a great place to get up close to nature both deliberately and inadvertently – check under the loo seat! If you’re planning a trip, fit in a day at Mon Repos Conservation Park on the Woongarra coast in Queensland which is home to the highest concentration of nesting loggerhead turtles in the South Pacific. These beautiful reptiles can be seen between November and March.
- Adult tickets cost $10.90 (around £6), for more information call (0061) 741 538 888 or visit www.nprsr.qld.gov.au/parks/mon-repos
Meanwhile, for a cuddlier encounter, head to Brisbane’s Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary which has – you guessed it – a host of koalas you can actually hug, as well as kangaroos and platypuses to hand-feed.
- An adult day pass is $33 (around £18), for more information call (0061) 733 781 366 or visit www.koala.net
Fancy spending a day in the company of gentle giants? Volunteer or visit the Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai, Thailand for a day ‘pampering a pachyderm’. For 6,000 Thai baht (around £114) you can spend a day hiking through the forests with the elephants, watching them bathe in rivers and enjoying a picnic.
- To find out more call (0066) 053 272 855 or visit www.elephantnaturepark.org" target="_blank">www.elephantnaturepark.org
Tiger-watching should be on every nature-lover’s bucket list, and Responsible Travel has a nine-day trip which explores two national parks in India. Beginning and ending in Delhi, the trip is designed to maximise your chance of getting a stripy sighting, but you might also see jackals, bears, hyenas or leopards.
- Prices range from £610-£810 depending on numbers, and include accommodation, transfers, meals and drives, but not flights. To book call 01273 823700 or visit www.responsibletravel.com
Take a holiday of a lifetime…
Get saving for a wild break with a difference. The stunning Mustang Monument in Nevada is home to 600 wild horses, and you can stay on-site in a luxury teepee. Stays include all meals, plus a range of activities – from horseback riding to roping lessons, and relaxing spa treatments. There’s disabled access, too. Stays (inclusive of food and activities) cost $1,500 per night (around £900) for double occupancy. For information call 0845 0756 079 or visit www.steppestravel.co.uk
We’ve given international dialling codes plus phone numbers for the conservation parks in Australia and Thailand. For overseas tour operators with a UK-based office, we have given the UK number instead. International rates will be higher.
For more travel ideas pick up the latest copy of Yours