For a country as small as ours we are blessed to have such a diverse and wide range of impressive landscapes. None more so than the UK’s 15 National Parks.
From magnificent mountains of the Cairngorms in Scotland, and the spectacular dales in Yorkshire, to the golden coastline of Pembrokeshire, and the ancient woodlands of the New Forest, all of our National Parks are truly special places.
And what better time to visit than in the Spring…
Located in south Wales, the Brecon Beacons National Park has four dramatic mountain ranges, rolling hills and historic man-made landscapes that offer brilliant walking and cycling for all abilities. The Brecon Beacons is also one of the best places in the world to get lost amongst the stars as the entire park is an International Dark Sky Reserve.
The Broads is the UK’s waterland National Park with over 200km of navigable waterways, over a quarter of the UK’s rarest wildlife, majestic windmills, ancient monasteries and so much more to enjoy. The gentle landscapes and quiet country lanes of East Anglia offer some truly relaxing walking and cycling.
Situated in Scotland, the Cairngorms is the UK’s largest National Park and has some truly breath-taking mountain landscapes that are great for hillwalking, climbing, cycling and even skiing. It is home to amazing wildlife including red squirrels, pine martens and golden eagles.
The vast heather-covered moors, wooded valleys and many rivers of Dartmoor National Park offer incredible wilderness just waiting to be explored by foot or bike. An abundance of quaint medieval villages and wild ponies make Dartmoor a truly special place to visit.
With its endless footpaths and sheer variety of views, Exmoor National Park is a firm favourite amongst walkers. Keep an eye out for Exmoor ponies, observe local wildlife and marvel at the stars as you explore this ancient and wild landscape.
Now a World Heritage Site, the rugged yet beautiful Lake District National Park offers some incredible fell-walking and has the highest mountains in England. Get active in the hills, take to the many lakes or relax in one of the idyllic villages found throughout the Park.
See our guide to The Lake District
Loch Lomond and The Trossachs
With over twenty large lochs, rugged mountains in the north, rolling lowland hills in the south and loads of unique villages to discover, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park offers something for everybody. Get walking, boating, climbing and exploring one of Scotland’s most-loved landscapes.
Once a royal hunting ground, the New Forest National Park covers ancient woodlands, wild open heathlands and stretches of beautiful coastline in southern England. Go walking amongst the roaming animals and get a true sense of escape.
Northumberland National Park is the perfect place to get away from it all; whether you choose to walk the remote heather-covered hills, admire the iconic Hadrian’s Wall or gaze at the stars in Europe’s largest area of protected night sky.
North York Moors
There is so much more to the North York Moors. High hills, deep wooded dales, crinkly coasts, ancient abbeys, tumbling streams and timeless villages – everything that’s great about England, in fact, and perfect for walkers and cyclists.
Nestled in the heart of the country, the Peak District is the UK’s original National Park. A contrasting landscape made up of rugged, rocky moorlands and grassy limestone dales, the Peak District offers incredible walking, cycling, historic houses and world-class rock climbing.
The beautiful beaches, cliffs, harbours and coves of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park are unforgettable. Stroll along the 300km coast path to admire the surroundings and don’t forget to look out for incredible marine wildlife such as seals, dolphins and basking sharks.
With the largest mountain in Wales, wooded valleys, historic villages and endless trails to walk, Snowdonia National Park is a truly amazing landscape. Go hill-walking on the trails, follow some incredible mountain biking routes or take a leisurely ride on the Snowdon Mountain Railway.
Stretching across the south of England, the South Downs National Park, with its long distance paths, cycle routes and rare wildlife, is a real haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Get inspired by the rolling hills, dramatic cliffs and picturesque villages found throughout the National Park.
See our guide to The South Downs
The majestic rolling hills, old stone villages and farming heritage of the Yorkshire Dales truly showcases the best of the British countryside. Extensive footpaths and bridleways offer cycling, riding and walking for all abilities, from gentle strolls over the undulating countryside to the impressive Three Peaks of Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough.
All information gathered from the National Parks website