We’re pretty lucky, here in the UK, we’ve got shed loads of amazing National Parks that are as varied as they are beautiful. From the Welsh coastal national parks in the west, to the rolling hills of the English countryside there’s a whole heap of stunning natural beauties that’ll have you racing for the hills! 😉
Whether you are in England, Scotland, or Wales, there are an abundance of national parks to choose from, with many within trudging distance by train, bus or when creating your epic British road trip. Expect blustery cliffs, misty moors, and mostly untouched landscapes that’ll inspire every traveller to our wonderful country.
Here are 10 national parks to visit in the United Kingdom…
1) Experience the rugged west coast Pembrokeshire Coast National Park
A national park that is set along a gorgeous strip of pristine coastline the Pembrokeshire National Park is rather unique – especially as you’ve got a chance to spot some puffins and visit St. Govan’s Chapel too! Also, for a little picturesque town, make your way (40 mins south east) to the town of Tenby. A historic fishing village that’s well worth a visit.
…not all at once, of course! 😉
2) Discover a Royal hunting ground at Exmoor National Park
Exmoor National park actually used to be an upscale area of royal hunting ground that the King and Queens used to hunt. Nowadays expect 267 square miles of glorious woodlands, moors, and lush valleys – all safe in the knowledge that you wont be hunted down by an overzealous Queen!
3) See the magical landscape of the North York Moors National Park
If you want to stroll over some prime moorland then this is certainly the place to come, especially in the winter months when the foggy moors become a magical landscape that is just so picturesque. Take in the area on foot, by bike, or muster up the courage to ride them by horse, there’s a whole intertwining range of trails and bridleways all across this stunning National Park.
Oh, don’t forget to make a pit-stop in Whitby, a historic English sea-side town for some fish and chips on the harbour front or Staithes, for it’s beautiful quaint charm.
4) Walk the coast at South Downs National Park
If you’re a lover of rambling and have a week to dedicate to exploring, the South Downs Way makes up 100 miles of terrain that takes you all the way to Beachey Head in Eastbourne. Much of the route takes in pretty coastal areas such as Cuckmere Valley – where you might even spot the odd English pub or a ice-cold cider in the summer heat.
5) Spot some burial sites at Northumberland National Park
Archaeology buffs shouldn’t miss the chance to come to Northumberland National Park which is filled with period treasures that’ll excite any history aficionado. Some of these include Turf Knowe, a burial site that dates from the Bronze Age as well as the Cochrane Pike hut circles that are amazing to see.
6) Discover a redwood, or two, at New Forest National Park
The New Forest National Park is best known for its interestingly named trails such as the Sensory Trail. Here you can get up close with nature including imposing Redwoods and Douglas firs that call this wonderful National Park home.
7) Visit the biggest National Park in Cairngorms
The largest national park in Britain, Cairngorms National Park stretches over a whopping 1,748 square miles – pretty huge, right! The park’s other claim to fame is that you will find five out of six of Scotland’s highest peaks here, which enthusiasts challenge each other to climb!
8) Discover the wilderness of Wales in the Brecon Beacons National Park
Wales is a beautiful country on the west coast of the UK and the perfect place to discover the natural beauty, picturesque charm and delicious food that makes Wales so special (see more on Wales in our ‘Best Experiences You Must Have In Wales, right here’).
Stretching from Abergavenny to Llandeilo, the Brecon Beacons National Park is a favourite place to experience the tranquil wilderness of Wales. The park covers 519 square miles and features the 100 mile Beacons Way trail that’s less than 1 hour or so from the capital city, Cardiff.
9) Collect sea-shells on top of Snowdonia
Snowdonia National Park was formally established in 1951 and spans miles of gorgeous terrain in rugged North Wales. For many visitors here, the main highlight is a trip up Mount Snowdon itself where you can still try and collect fossilised sea shells on its summit (due to the area once being at the bottom of the ocean).
See other facts on visiting the UK, right here.
10) See (and boat across) the lakes at the Lake District National Park
Officially proclaimed a park in 1951, the Lake District National Park is one of the most famous and not just for Beatrix Potter! If you have six days, or so, to spare then the Alfred Wainwright Memorial Walk has the claim to fame that it winds past every lake, mountain, and valley in the park – a perfect way to see the diversity of the beautiful region.