Step outside and celebrate the beauty of the great outdoors during National Parks Week. The UK’s National Parks offer some of the most unique and naturally stunning landscapes, so here’s our guide to 15 of the most beautiful outdoor areas in Britain.
Snowdonia National Park, Wales
Amazing landscapes and a range of outdoor activities make Wales’ largest National Park a popular choice with thousands of visitors every year. The area is home to 26,000 people, half of which speak the Welsh language, as well Snowdon – the highest mountain in England and Wales – and the largest natural lake in Wales.
Cairngorms National Park, Scotland
The largest of Britain’s National Parks, Cairngorms is also home to our highest mountain range, making it an ideal spot for climbing, mountain biking and hiking.
North York Moors National Park, North Yorkshire
With one of the largest expanses of heather moorland in the UK, the purple heather, open moors and stunning coastline with cliffs and beaches combine to make the North York Moors truly spectacular. Peaceful woodlands and tranquil fishing villages with heritage sites including a steam railway can all be found less than an hour away from York.
South Downs National Park, Sussex
Covering 1,600 square kilometres, the South Downs National Park has a vast landscape combining rolling hills, busy market towns and the famous white cliffs at Seven Sisters that offer panoramic views. There’s a wealth of visitor attractions and an abundance of natural beauty to be discovered in this impressive location.
Exmoor National Park, Devon
Craggy cliffs, stretches of moorland, valleys and farmland are just a few of the different types of landscapes you can expect to experience in Exmoor National Park.
Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales
Boasting an International Dark Sky Reserve and dramatic mountain landscapes, this beautiful National Park is less than an hour from Cardiff, so it’s easy to explore the Welsh countryside within easy reach of the city.
New Forest National Park, Hampshire, Wiltshire, Dorset
Perfect for long walks and bike rides, the New Forest combines heathland and woodlands with trees over 1000 years old. Ponies, cattle and pigs graze the open spaces of this beautiful park close to Southampton, Bournemouth and Salisbury.
The Broads National Park, Norfolk
The stunning mosaic of landscapes at the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads includes 7 rivers and over 60 broads, so it’s no surprise that Britain’s largest protected wetland is home to some of Britain’s rarest wildlife.
Dartmoor National Park, Devon
Winding trails, cycle paths, deep wooded valleys and open spaces make Dartmoor the perfect place to visit whether you’re looking for a tranquil escape or to get active and explore the great outdoors.
Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, Scotland
Breathtaking views await at Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, with dramatic mountain landscapes and 22 lochs to gaze across. It’s the perfect place to visit for hillwalking, climbing and boat trips, and is less than an hour from Glasgow.
Northumberland National Park, Northumberland
With over 700 miles of paths and trails to explore, Northumberland National Park is the perfect place to visit to enjoy the tranquillity of the great outdoors. A selection of wildlife and captivating landscapes make the park ideal for nature lovers, and with the darkest skies in England, star gazers can take in views of the Milky Way.
Peak District National Park, Derbyshire
Contrasting landscapes in the north and south of Britain’s first National Park make it a unique destination to visit. With 200 square miles of open space, walkers, cyclists and horse riders can enjoy the park’s combination of heather moorland hills, dramatic rock edges and limestone dales and rivers.
Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, Pembrokeshire
This stunning area is the only fully coastal National Park in Britain, with a tremendous stretch of cliffs, harbours and beaches offering beautiful views and the chance to spot dolphins and basking sharks off the coastline.
Yorkshire Dales National Park, Yorkshire
Home of Yorkshire’s three peaks – Ingleborough, Whernside and Pen-y-ghent – the Yorkshire Dales is a popular location for those looking to climb to the summits of the best-known hills in the area. With beautiful valleys, rivers and waterfalls and situated just an hour from Leeds and York, this idyllic location offers something for everyone.
Story and photos from www.alamy.com
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