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A Guide to the British National Parks

A Guide to the British National Parks

Looking for inspiration for your next trip? Well look no further than one of Britain's 15 National Parks.

The National Parks are great for adventure lovers, with plenty of places for camping and outdoor activities. 

What makes a National Park?

National Parks are areas of the country which have been designated on behalf of the entire nation because of their special qualities.

Stunning natural beauty, beautiful wildlife and fascinating cultural heritage make these living and working landscapes truly unique.

After a long fight, to get these areas recognised the first British National Parks were designated in the 1950s!

Helvellyn - Lake District National Park
Helvellyn - Lake District National Park

Where are the British National Parks?

There are 10 National Parks in England, three in Wales and two in Scotland, they are:

  • England –  Broads, Dartmoor, Exmoor, Lake District, New Forest, Northumberland, North York Moors, Peak District, South Downs and Yorkshire Dales.
  • Wales – Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons), Pembrokeshire Coast, and Eryri (Snowdonia).
  • Scotland – Cairngorms and Loch Lomond & The Trossachs.

What can I do in a National Park?

National Parks are the perfect locations for adventure travel or a chilled staycation surrounded by nature. With plenty of walking, cycling, watersports running and more slow paced activity too there is something for everyone.

Our Favourite National Park Trips

Dark Skies in Northumberland National Park

Covering an area of more than 410 square miles between the Scottish borders in the north to just south of Hadrian’s Wall UNESCO World Heritage site, Northumberland National Park is the least populated of all of the UK’s 15 National Parks.

This scarce population helps to create one of its biggest draws - the dark skies. Thanks to lower light pollution than most of England Northumberland National Park is great for star gazing. Plus if you are very lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights.

Dark Skies at Kielder Observatory, Northumberland National Park
Dark Skies at Kielder Observatory, Northumberland National Park


 Adventure Sports in the Cairngorms National Park

The Cairngorms National Park is home to a huge variety of outdoor and adventure sports - including Scotland’s top ski resort.

As well as snowsports the Cairngorm National Park has plenty of watersports, biking and even bungee jumping.

In the summer the Caringorm National Park is an adventure sport paradise, while in the winter the park becomes a winter wonderland. It's northerly location makes snow common and there is even a free roaming heard of Reindeers! 

Wild Reindeer in Cairngorm National Park
Wild Reindeer in Cairngorm National Park

Mountains of Eryri

Covering a total of 823 square miles, Eryri (formerly Snowdonia) is Wales’ largest National Park and is home to 9 mountain ranges - including Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon) - Wales's highest peak.

Whether you are looking to climb the massive Yr Wyddfa or discover some of the other amazing mountains which the Eyri National Park has to offer.

Which is your favourite National Park? Let us know on Instagram!

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