UK National Park Guide

I think you’ll agree that one of the best things about the UK is our stunning countryside.  Luckily for us, we’re never far away from somewhere beautiful and steeped in culture to go on an adventure or even just get outside for some fresh air and relaxation.

The 15 protected areas, often referred to as Britain’s breathing spaces, are full of natural beauty, wildlife and historical monuments.

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Quick Guide



This heather filled moorland is full of rich archaeological importance with medieval villages and stone circles dating back many years. It is also the only National Park in England in which you can go wild camping, allowing you to really explore and make the most of the 368 square miles of beauty on foot or bike.


Made up of moorland, ancient woodland and breathaking cliffs over the Bristol Channel, you can experience some of the best walks in Europe. Stumble on your new favourite pub or afternoon tea, and glimpse some wild red deer or Exmoor ponies in their natural habitat. Dunster Castle is also a fabulous day out, beginning with a steam train ride and leading to subtropical gardens and an ancient castle to explore.

New Forest

Due to the diverse landscape, this national park is home to a variety of animals and plantlife. Some of the trees are over 1000 years old! The woodland is perfect for a adventure, or why not try horse riding for the whole family.

Peak District

As the first National Park in Britain, the Peak District attracts millions of visitors each year. Home to a variety of landscapes from hills and cliffs to dales and rivers, it has something for everyone. There are 34 miles of family friendly walks for when all you need is to get some fresh air and exercise with stunning views too.

The Broads

Over 7 million visitors make their way around the 7 rivers and 60 broads to see some of our rarest wildlife, medieval churches and a Roman fort every year. This can be done on foot or by boat, and the activities along the way are endless.

Yorkshire Dales

Perfect for visiting all year round, this stunning park has outstanding scenery with vast rolling hills, historical castles and charming little villages with characterful, cosy pubs to warm up in after a winter walk. The home of Wensleydale cheese also provides a number of market towns with unique and varied offerings.

North York Moors

This diverse landscape showcases English countryside at its finest. The beautiful tranquil moorland with masses of purple heather juxtaposed with the dramatic coastline leaves visitors in awe. Visit one of the many traditional villages for artisanal treats or have an English seaside break near Robin Hood’s Bay. Author James Herriot claimed that the view from Sutton Bank is the “finest in England”.

Lake District

Incredible rural area of mountains and lakes in North West England which has recently been made a World Heritage Site. Great for boat trips, walks, and photo opportunities. This beautiful park has been the inspiration for countless poets and authors such as Beatrix Potter. You can visit a number of attractions based on her life and work.


Expanding from the Scottish border down to Hadrian’s Wall, this is known as the most peaceful location in England with remarkable mountain walks and the largest internationally protected Dark Sky Park area in Europe. The lack of pollution here allows the best view of the heavens you can get in England. Take your binoculars and see the milky way like you’ve never seen it before!

South Downs

This park includes the famous white cliffs at Seven Sisters, a perfect location for a summer trip with enchanted villages and energetic market towns to explore within the lovely countryside. Or if you’re feeling adventurous, this is the perfect place to try gliding!




The most expansive National Park in Britain has so much to offer. The mountain range is ideal for climbing or hillwalking in summer, and in winter you can find unrivalled views while skiing the slopes. It is also home to alluring, clean rivers and lochs next to ancient pine forests, a dream for picnics and family day trips.

Loch Lomond and the Trossachs 

Lochs and rivers aplenty and with 21 Munros (Scottish mountains over 3000ft) to hike, this national park provides some of the most fantastic and dramatic views across the water you can find in the British Isles. If hiking isn’t for you then you can take a tranquil boat trip around the park or find out more about Gaelic culture and its influence on the landscape.



Pembrokeshire Coast

This spectacular 620 square kilometre coastline has everything from dolphin and seal watching, cycling and walking trails, horse riding, canoeing, or castles and prehistoric tomb visits. And with beaches to rival your favourite holiday destination it will have something to suit you.

Brecon Beacons

This mountain range encompasses the highest in South Wales, Pen y Fan. Visit one of the many walking trails available for all abilities and see the unique geology, energetic waterfalls and gorgeous Welsh mountain ponies.


823 square miles in size, Snowdonia is a huge mountainous region in North Wales with gorgeous small villages, rivers and waterfalls, and sandy beaches perfect for picnics, hikes and historical castle visits.


Did you know…

1. The first area to be established as a National Park was the Peak District in 1951. The most recent addition was the South Downs in 2010.

2. UK annual public spending towards National Parks is less than £1 per person of the total population.

3. More than half of people living in the UK are an hour away from a National Park

4. The Broads is the UK’s biggest protected wetland. As it is made up of 200 miles of waterways, the only way to explore most the area is by hiring a boat.

5. Mt. Snowdon is the highest point in England and Wales, towering over Snowdonia National park at a breath-taking height of 1085 metres.

6. In England National Parks cover 9% of the land area, in Wales it’s 20% and in Scotland it’s 7%.

7. The Lake District is home to England’s largest and deepest lakes. Windermere is 10.56 miles long, and Wastwater has a surface 200 feet above sea level and a bottom 50 feet below sea level.

8. The Yorkshire Dales are equivalent to 33,572 football pitches.

9. National Parks are mainly owned by private owners including farmers and organisations like the National Trust who are dedicated to preserving the landscape and heritage.

10. Dartmoor has the most ancient monuments in the park with a total of 1058


If you're interested in visiting one (or all!) of these fantastic locations give our Reservations Team a call on 0161 440 6735 to see what we can do for you!

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