Popular Science! 15 National Parks in Britain!

Don’t miss the 15 National Parks in Britain! For those of you who love nature, National Park is one of the best attractions. Surely you will  always be fascinated by the charming scenery, and forget all your worries and stress, whether walking into the boulevard full of fresh air with the morning sun and dew, or camping under the big trees at midnight with fireflies and the radiance of the stars.  Today I will introduce you all these 15 magnificent national parks in Britain.

What is National Park?

Since the 1950s, Britain has established 15 national parks, covering for about 10% of the country’s land area. These diverse and vibrant national parks are widely distributed, including mountains, pastures, wastelands, woods and wetlands and other different landscapes. They have unique natural scenery and human resources. They are scattered on the territory of Great Britain like pearls. Known as “the breathtaking beautiful place in Britain”.

National Park is a leisure resort combines “beautiful rural scenery”, “wild animals live on”, and “has rich cultural heritage”.  In the United Kingdom, “national park” means an area restricted by the plan to protect it from unsuitable development and have a park management office to maintain it, it doesn’t mean the land belongs to the government or no one live. Therefore, it is not just a park for people’s leisure and entertainment, but also a place where some local people live and work. Its area is so wide that it covers the scenery of farms, small villages, small towns, and countryside.

In the three major regions of Great Britain: England, Scotland, and Wales, there are 15 National Parks altogether:

15 National Parks in Britain You Can’t Miss

National Park in the world is a big family with 113,000 protected areas in 37 countries, covering a total area of 149 million square kilometers. In British, most of the National Park land is owned by private landlord, farmers and some local organizations. The National Park are usually composed of mountains, vast grasslands, mysterious mud and wetlands, and deep forests. They are affectionately named as Britain’s lungs. The majority of visitors here also pay great attation to the ecological protection of these area and assist the management of National Park to protect the land.

If you have the opportunity to visit these National Park, you can participate in canoeing, horse riding, cycling, joining various of local nature shows time to time. Also you can buy some local fresh fruits and vegetables, or just take a walk and getting close to nature. Sounds attractive, right?

Lake District National Park

Website: https://www.lakedistrict.gov.uk/

Lake District National Park is located in Cumbria County in northwest England. It is a large national forest park composed of forests, lakes, mountains, streams, and ancient houses. It was selected by National Geographic as one of the “50 Most Worth Visiting Places in Life”

The Lake District has Scafell Pik – the highest peak in England, and Windermere – the largest lake in England, as well as the beautiful canyon Dales. The Camberley Mountain across the Lake District and divides the lake into three areas: South, North, and West. The largest town in the north of the Lake District is Keswick. 

Not only the beautiful nature, but also has a rich cultural heritage.  Famous poet William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter are inspired here. This is the best combination of natural history and human history.

In addition, there are the best hiking and climbing routes in England, as well as a wealth of tourist attractions and indoor and outdoor activities, suitable for family members of all ages. There are many delicious restaurants (including Michelin-starred restaurants), and there are many agricultural products markets selling locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables. Don’t forget to get some local-style crafts from handicraft shops and workshops before you leave, that’s will be your fantastic gifts.

800Lake District National Park
Lake District National Park

Peak District National Park

Website: https://www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/

Peak District National Park is the “oldest” national park in the UK. It was established in 1951 and is located between the two cities of Sheffield and Manchester. With 22 million visitors every year, the Peak District is the second most popular national park all over the world. Although there is “Peak” in its name, there are basically no steep peaks here. Instead, there are mostly round mountains and limestone faults. Because of the large area, it will present many different scenery. The peak area in the southwest is intertwined with farmland, woodland and wasteland; the lower terrain in the central part has deep valleys, historic forests and undulating farmland; while the northern part is higher and rugged with the highest peak Jinde Mount Sko here.

The Peak District is used by Jane Austen as the main scenes in the novel “Pride and Prejudice.” The prototype of Pembery Manor in the novel is actually Chatsworth Manor, a magnificent mansion near the town of Bakeville. In 2005, the film based on this novel, finished filming in this manor.

Other must-see attractions are the small town of Grindleford (one of the best places to enter the Peak District, and the starting point for many self-driving tours and hiking routes.),  Hope town ( the location of the most classic hiking route in the Peak District),  the small town of Castleton (Which has Britain’s largest natural caves – Peak Cavern. And other caverns like Speedwell Cavern and Treak Cliff Cavern.), Edale, Buxton and Bakewell.

The hiking routes here includ famous Monsal Trail, Derwent Edge, Mam Tor & The Great Ridge. And In fact, each town is surrounded by hiking routes, and the scenery is very beautiful, it is worth exploring and discovering.

Peak District National Park
Peak District National Park

Dartmoor National Park

Website: https://www.dartmoor.gov.uk/

Dartmoor is an upland area in southern Devon, England. The moorland and surrounding land has been protected by National Park status since 1951. Dartmoor National Park covers 368 square miles.  

This is the only highland national park in England. If you drive, you can see the beautiful scenery all the way through Princetown to Moretonhampstead via B3212.

The granite which forms the uplands dates from the Carboniferous Period of geological history. The landscape consists of moorland capped with many exposed granite hilltops known as tors, providing habitats for Dartmoor wildlife. The highest point is High Willhays, 621m  above sea level. The entire area is rich in antiquities and archaeology.

Dartmoor National Park
Dartmoor National Park

Exmoor National Park

Website: http://www.exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk/

Exmoor is located in the southwest of England, covering an area of 276 square miles.

Although not as large as the larger ones, Exmoor has a very wide view. Standing on the open lawn, you can see the coastline and towering cliffs. Exmoor was actually a hunting field and farm for the royal family. Because of this, you could have chance of close  look to many small animals here, such as flocks of red deer, foals, gorgeous butterflies, and some strange birds. Maybe there will be little lizards by the stream. Here, you can also go boating, rafting, fishing, horse riding, etc. With the rich outdoor activities, Exmoor are particularly suitable for family fun.

Exmoor National Park

New Forest National Park

Website: http://www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/

New Forest is located in southern England and covers an area of 220 square miles. Here you can choose to hike, or ride a white horse among the woods or enjoy the tree-lined scenery on a bicycle. There are also many small animals in the New Forest. When you walk by the tree, don’t forget to observe various potential small insects.

It’s also a nice place to watch deer close. 10 Best Places To See Deer In British

New Forest National Park
New Forest National Park

Northumberland National Park

Website: https://www.northumberlandnationalpark.org.uk/

Northumberland National Park is the northernmost national park in England. It covers an area of more than 1,050 square kilometres (410 sq mi) between the Scottish border in the north to just south of Hadrian’s Wall, and it is one of the least populated and least visited of the National Parks. The park lies entirely within Northumberland, covering about a quarter of the county.

The Northumberland coast is listed as an “outstanding natural beauty area”, with rugged cliffs, soft sandy beaches and vast sand dunes, as well as a nature reserve with various wildlife. There are many small roads along the coast, and you can enjoy the spectacular scenery along the way.

In addition to the natural beauty, the Northumberland coast also has amazing historical sites and attractions (such as the famous Lindisfarne Island), industrial heritage, and picturesque scenery like Berwick-upon-Tweed Small town.

The 10,000-year history of human habitation of the region is explored through the many archaeological sites, ranging from prehistoric monuments and Roman remains to Pele towers, constructed as a defense against invading Scots and Border Reivers.

The Park’s official symbol is the curlew.

Northumberland National Park
Northumberland National Park

North York Moors National Park

Website: http://www.northyorkmoors.org.uk/

Located in North Yorkshire, North York Moors covers an area of 540 square miles and has the largest purple rhododendron field in the UK. The purple flowers will definitely make you unforgettable in the blooming season.

In the park is also located one of the most beautiful monastery sites in the UK and Castle Howard. In addition, the Kilburn White Horse in the park is also an iconic landscape. On the hillside full of woods, the white horse made of gray stone is particularly conspicuous. This is also the largest white horse landscape in the UK. In addition, North York National Park has a different theme every month. For example, in September, whales can be seen migrating, and in October, large areas of woods turn brownish red, which is amazingly beautiful.

North York Moors National Park
North York Moors National Park

The Yorkshire Dales

Website: https://www.yorkshiredales.org.uk/

The second largest national park in England and Wales, it is located between York City and the Lake District National Park. After the area of the national park was expanded in 2016, there is actually only a highway separated from the lake district. The places and landscapes in the park include:

  • Aysgarth Falls
  • Clapham
  • Cautley Spout
  • Gaping Gill
  • Grassington
  • Hardraw Force
  • Hawes
  • Horton in Ribblesdale
  • Kisdon Force
  • Swaledale
  • Malham
  • Reeth
  • Sedbergh
  • Settle
  • Three Peaks of Yorkshire
The Yorkshire Dales
The Yorkshire Dales

The South Downs National Park

Website: https://www.southdowns.gov.uk/

The South Downs National Park is England’s newest national park, having become fully operational on 1 April 2011. The park, covering an area of 1,627 square kilometres (628 sq mi) in southern England, stretches for 140 kilometres (87 mi) from Winchester in the west to Eastbourne in the east through the counties of Hampshire, West Sussex and East Sussex.

The national park covers the chalk hills of the South Downs (which on the English Channel coast form the white cliffs of the Seven Sisters and Beachy Head) and a substantial part of a separate physiography region, the western Weald, with its heavily wooded sandstone and clay hills and vales. The South Downs Way spans the entire length of the park and is the only National Trail that lies wholly within a national park.

The South Downs National Park
The South Downs National Park

The Broads

Website: https://www.visitthebroads.co.uk/

The Broads National Park preserves the original natural landscape and precious historical and cultural buildings. It is an excellent sacred place for people to travel, explore, recuperate, and research. It is also one of the most natural and important nature reserves in Europe.

Located in the two counties of Norfolk and Suffolk in the east of England. The total area is 117 square miles. There are rolling farmland, forest, Grassland and marsh wetlands, among which the most iconic ones are the winding waterways and the shallow lakes connected to the waterways. There are 7 rivers in the wetland and approximately 200 kilometers (120 miles) of navigable waterways. These rivers divide the entire wetland into 63 different sizes of wetlands. Therefore, the Broads is also the main navigable river and lake wetlands in Norfolk and Suffolk.

More than a quarter of the rare wild plants in the UK grow in the Broads. Abundant aquatic conditions and diverse vegetation provide an excellent habitat for wildlife, making it a paradise for wildlife. According to the statistics, there are more than 300 kinds of rare birds in the marshland between Cromer and Wells alone.

The Broads is a paradise for birdwatchers and water sports fans, and one of the most popular holiday destinations in the UK.

The Broads
The Broads
The Broads

Cairngorms National Park

Website: https://cairngorms.co.uk/

Cairngorms National Park is a national park in northeast Scotland, established in 2003. It was the second of two national parks established by the Scottish Parliament, after Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, set up in 2002.

The park covers the Cairngorms range of mountains, and surrounding hills. Already the largest national park in the British Isles, in 2010 it was expanded into Perth and Kinross.

Four of the five peaks in Scotland are in Cairngorms National Park, with large deserted but charming highlands. Cairngorms National Park is the highest continent in the UK, with an altitude of more than 600 meters,It is ecologically more like the Arctic. The park is full of mist all year round, and there is a magnificent wild area,  with otters, badgers, pine marten, red squirrels, deer and ospreys living in it. Cairngorms is the home of golf in Scotland., so that there are 12 golf courses here, of which the Braemar is 1,200 feet above sea level, the highest 18-hole course in the UK. Also there are many whisky distilleries in and around Cairngorms National Park where you can have a little drink. 

Cairngorms National Park
Cairngorms National Park

Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park

Website: http://www.lochlomond-trossachs.org/

Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park is the first national park in Scotland. It is located 20 miles north of Glasgow. Its tranquility makes people feel much difference from the bustling city. The entire park covers an area of about 720 square miles, with mountains, ancient lakes, sparkling rivers and dense woodland. There are 4 different areas in the park with different view: the 24.5-mile-long Loch Lomond is the largest lake in Scotland, dotted with more than 30 small islands; The Trossachs has wild valleys and smaller lakes ; There is also Bradburn, which marks the beginning of the Scottish Highlands; and the largest forest park in the UK – Argyll Forest Park. 

Apart from cycling, boating, golfing and other outdoor activities, taking a ferry to Inkay Lodge, the largest island in Loch Lomond, is also one of the popular choices. The history of Inkaj Lodge can be traced back thousands of years, and now there are not only ancient ruins, natural trails, but also a small camping area.

Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park
Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park

Brecon Beacons National Park

Website: https://www.breconbeacons.org/

Brecon Beacons National Park in southern Wales has 520 square miles of vast wilderness, lush valleys, hidden waterfalls, fern-grown canyons, and four magnificent mountains. In addition, there is the Great Forest Geopark, which is Wales’ first European Geopark and UNESCO Global Geopark. Except the infinite natural view, there are more than 7000 years of human history here: from the stones erected in ancient times, the stone mounds of the Bronze Age, the hill fortresses of the Iron Age and Roman ruins, to the medieval castles and the industrial revolution – the landmark Blanarvon World Heritage.

It is also a good place for outdoor sports, whether walking, cycling, climbing, or activities such as gliding and cave exploration, you can try it here. Of course, there are also mild activities, such as fishing for brown trout in the Usk River, or trying one of the eight golf courses in the park. There are also traditional Welsh villages or market towns in the park, allowing everyone to taste local delicacies: Welsh lamb, cheese, and the famous Glamorgan sausage, etc.

Brecon Beacons National Park
Brecon Beacons National Park

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park

Website: https://www.pembrokeshirecoast.wales/

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park is located in Western Wales, covering an area of 243 square miles, it is popular for its long coastline and endless sea views. If you are lucky, you can see baby seals and various exotic birds when you walk along the coast. In addition, there are lots of outdoor sports such as fishing and sea boating.

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park
Pembrokeshire Coast National Park

Snowdonia

Website: https://www.snowdonia.gov.wales/

The English name for the area derives from Snowdon, which is the highest mountain in Wales at 3560 ft (1,085 m). In Welsh, the area is named Eryri. A commonly held belief is that the name is derived from eryr (“eagle”), and thus means “the abode/land of eagles”, but recent evidence is that it means Highlands。

Snowdonia is the largest national park in Wales and is ever known as the most beautiful national park in Britain. Located on the Snowdonia Mountains, it is picturesque, nine peaks occupy half the area of Snowdonia National Park, which is full of jagged peaks, canyons and high winds roaring.  You will find lakes and rivers between trees and exposed rocks are the best places to take pictures. Visitors will also find old buildings, including several castles in the park. Here is a history of folk tales and legends.

Cader Idris is a“Must”climb, the most popular mountain range in the park, which has three fixed routes to the peak.  However, you could take Snowdon Mountain Railway from Llanberis to Summit Station, round trip take 2.5 hours.

Snowdonia
Snowdonia

How many of these 15 national parks have you been to? My answer is 5, and a lot more on my trips plan.