Later this month I will be cycling the length of the UK, a distance of nearly 1,000 miles from Lands End in Cornwall to John O Groats in Scotland. En route I’m looking forward to seeing parts of the country that I have never visited before and to re-discovering places that I have travelled through before, but at a slower pace . . . a much slower pace!
As I considered what to blog about this week it struck me that the route will also take me past some of the great sources of power – hydro in Scotland, some of the larger wind farms in the South West, Wales, Scotland and the Midlands, the nuclear power station at Hinkley and some of the large coal and gas plants. I haven’t mapped this out against my route, but I’m sure there will be many energy vistas to enjoy along the way.
Now of course I’m an energy geek and I find this stuff interesting, or even beautiful, to look at, but it made me wonder how many people actually participate in energy tourism and what, if anything you can visit. I suppose the ultimate energy tourists map is this one put together by Deloitte. For those looking for something a bit more organised though, I thought I would save you the time and provide some links to the top energy tourist destinations in the UK!!
1. Whitelee Wind Farm - Just outside Glasgow this wind farm has it’s own visitor centre and visitors can tour around one of the largest onshore wind farms in Europe. There are also nature tours, cycling and the various visiting attractions as well as the opportunity for younger visitors to make their own turbines in craft workshops.
2. Electric Mountain - Not a new ride at Thorpe Park, but a visitor centre for a hydro electric power station in Snowdonia, Wales. More specifically the Dinorwig Power Station, which incorporates a guided tour of the massive turbine hall for any visitor that pays the entrance fee, is of appropriate age and wearing the right head gear and foot wear.
3. Eon Visitors Site - Eon have not one, but seven sites that people – mostly students by the look of it – can visit. Sites including the Ironbridge Coal Power Station in Telford and the Scroby Sands Wind Farm Visitor Centre in Great Yarmouth.
OK I admit this will not be everyone’s cup of tea, but hopefully there are a few young visitors that will be inspired by these vital installations, and I will try to take some pictures during my journey to capture some of them along the way.
By the way if you are interested in sponsoring the journey – we are raising money for the Royal National Institute of Blind People and the fund raising page is at http://www.justgiving.com/ChrisPratt-LEJOG