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LIFE IN THE SLOW LANE

In the digital age, travellers are falling back in love with the romance of life at a slower pace

When Concorde took to the skies in 1969 – ten years after man first made it to the moon – it heralded a new era of speed and exploration. High-speed travel is without doubt a marvel of modern technology and an excellent way to keep people and planet connected. But in an age where smart technology and social media affords us instant access – by contrast – there is a growing backlash against high speed travel in favour of going at a slower pace; luxuriating in the journey itself, rather than the destination.

The slow travel trend is also inspired by our growing awareness of the negative environmental impact caused by air and auto travel. Climate change has never been a more prevalent topic and people are increasingly aware of their carbon footprint. A study by Eurostar on the CO2 emissions of train vs airplane travel found that taking the high-speed train from London to Paris instead of flying cuts CO2 emissions by 90% per passenger.

In 2019, supermodel Edie Campbell chose to take a 12-hour train ride from London to Milan for Fashion Week instead of flying. Writing about the experience a few months later for Elle magazine, she described the journey as ‘heaven’ as she made friends with fellow travellers, caught up on some long overdue emails and was ‘gently rocked in my comfortable seat, while gliding past glittering lakes and mountain passes, and catching glimpses of Italian nonnas hanging out their bloomers’.

Globe-Trotter was founded in 1897, a time when long journeys crossing vast continents and oceans, taken by steam boat and train, were de rigueur. Today, the brand still extols the virtues of this time, when true luxury meant taking your time. More than 120 years since Globe-Trotter was founded, every collection still pays homage to this era.

‘I’ve noticed the trend for slow travel,’ commented Charlotte Seddon, designer at Globe-Trotter, ‘and it’s something that seems to be growing partly because of a general awareness towards climate change but also because many people view the journey to and from a destination as a key part of their holiday and therefore something to be enjoyed, appreciated and often extended.’

‘Luxurious travel is synonymous with Globe-Trotter and slow travel chimes with our brand – the cases are designed and manufactured for all types of journeys; they are made to last, to be cherished and perhaps even passed down to the next generation. This lifelong connection to our luggage goes hand in hand with the sustainable and emotional ethos of slow travel.’

Feeling inspired? Here’s three of our favourite slow-paced journeys

London to Fort William, Caledonian Sleeper

This classic sleeper train is a leisurely 14-hour journey through Scotland’s spectacular West Highlands. Renowned as a ‘hotel on wheels’, guests can sit back and relax throughout the 500-mile journey with a five-star menu of quintessential Scottish dishes, such as smoked Scottish salmon and haggis, neeps and tatties.

sleeper.scot

Delights of the Danube

Take this scenic train and ferry tour journey to Budapest via Brussels and Cologne before embarking on a romantic seven-day cruise along the Danube, from the Hungarian capital to Regensburg in Bavaria.

greatrail.com

Maharajas’ Express (various routes)

Known as the ‘Orient Express of the Orient’, this luxurious train evokes the opulence of the days of the Raj with beautiful decor, a lounge carriage, restaurant and butler service. It has also been labelled the “World’s Leading Luxury Train” by the World Travel Awards seven years in a row.

the-maharajas.com