Best of British: National Parks

Published: July 11, 2018

Best of British: National Parks

To ensure that select stunning regions, and the wildlife that live there are protected they are given national park status. In the UK we have 15 of them up and down the country and each is a true treasure. Not just reserved for the countryside, these national parks include towns and villages which make them a draw for tourists from around the world who yearn to discover what they have to offer. So, let's take a look at these fabulous areas that are filled with culture, heritage and beautiful countryside.

 

Brecon Beacons

Wales

Closest parks: Erwlon Caravan and Camping Park, Poston Mill Park, Townsend 

Whether you're walking or cycling, there's trails to suit all abilities at the Brecon Beacons. As you whizz or saunter though you'll be able to catch glimpses of welsh mountain ponies, red kites and impressive mountain ranges. If your interest lay a little closer to the ground then explore the rock formations at the Global Geopark and for something really special, turn your eyes to the sky at after nightfall – as an International Dark Sky Reserve you'll have a clear view of the stars (weather permitting of course).

 

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The Broads

Norfolk

Closest park: The Old Brick Kilns

A trip to Britain's largest wetland is ideal for a relaxing getaway. With over 125 miles of waterways to discover, you'll be able to walk or cycle on some beautiful routes. Catch glimpses of some of the rarest wildlife in the country or stop for a spot of fishing. If architecture if your thing, you'll love exploring the Roman fort, medieval churches and windmills that are used for drainage.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Cairngorms

Scotland

Closest park: Riverview Caravan Park

Not only is Cairngorms the largest of the National Parks, but it's also great for those who fancy a bit of adventure. As well as hillwalking, cycling and climbing, there's also the chance to partake in some winter sports – so grab your skis and head to slopes! If you're looking for something a little more serene, then soak in the dramatic landscape, babbling rivers and spectacular lochs.

 

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Dartmoor

Devon

Closest parks: Dornafield, Woodovis Park, Ross Park

Taking a trip to Dartmoor will leave you feeling close to nature. As well as spotting the well-known Dartmoor ponies, keep an eye out for stone circles, fragrant heather-covered moorland and medieval villages. Dartmoor is the only national park to allow wild camping and is also home to the longest stone row in the world, which is a must-see for archaeology fans.


Exmoor

Somerset & Devon

Closest parks: Waterrow Touring Park, Stoward Farm Meadows, Old Oaks Touring Park

There's a real mixture of landscape to explore at Exmoor, from shoreline to woodland, moorland to valleys and farmland – it's a real treat. Take a step back in time as you make your way through ancient woodland carpeted in bluebells, and keep an eye out for wild red deer and Exmoor ponies too. Exmoor is also an International Dark Sky Reserve so if there's not a cloud in the sky be sure to watch for shooting stars.


Lake District

Cumbria

Closest park: Riverside Caravan Park

The largest national park in the UK, the Lake District is also a World Heritage Site and joins icons such as the Grand Canyon and Great Barrier Reef. Home to England's highest mountain and longest lake, there's plenty to do including sailing, boat cruises, swimming and rambling. When you see just how stunning it is, it will come as no surprise that it served as inspiration for some of the most-loved literary writers like Beatrix Potter, Thomas Hardy and William Wordsworth.


Loch Lomond & The Trossachs

Scotland

Closest park: Riverview Caravan Park

Water-lovers will be truly spoilt for choice with 22 large lochs, 21 Munros and over 50 streams and rivers. Take to the water in a canoe or boat trip and get stuck in to this fascinating region. For those that like to stay on land, you'll be benefit from climbing and hillwalking as you traverse some of the most scenic mountains in the country.

 



New Forest

Dorset, Hampshire & Wiltshire

Closest parks: Shamba Holidays, Green Hill Farm Caravan and Camping Park

A sublime meeting of land and sea, the New Forest is undoubtedly one of the most magical destinations in the UK. Filled with ancient trees, wide-open heathland and rich with wildlife, there's a varied landscape waiting for you to cycle, walk or ride through. With plenty of quaint towns to peruse, you'll love the meeting between nature and maritime.

 

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Northumberland

Northumberland

Closest park: Ord House Country Park

Sitting underneath Europe's largest area of protected night sky, you'll find the tranquil hills and mountains of Northumberland national park. Popular for the remains of Hadrian's Walls, it's also home to wild mountain goats, craggy mountains and relaxing walks.


North York Moors

North Yorkshire

Closest park: Riverside Caravan Park

Take a trip to the North York Moors and you'll be welcomed by one of the largest expanses of vibrantly purple heather moorland in the UK. Stretching from hills to rugged coastline, this national park is brimming with history. Hop on the steam railway, experience artisan crafts or take a trip to the historic town of York – it's less than an hour away.


Peak District

Derbyshire, Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Staffordshire, South Yorkshire & West Yorkshire

Closest Parks: Riverside Caravan Park, Plassey Holiday Park, Long Acres Touring Park

The UK's first national park, this huge expanse of land is a hub of interesting wildlife, species of heather and different types of stone. Whether you're exploring the dales or climbing the rock edges, you'll be treated to some stunning views. There's 34 miles of family-friendly pathways so be sure to load up the bikes and pack your walking boots.


Pembrokeshire Coast

Wales

Closest parks: Erwlon Caravan and Camping Park, Cenarth Falls

For maritime enthusiasts Pembrokeshire Coast is a real haven. The only fully coastal national park is cradled by a snaking coastline filled with coves, beaches and harbours. With the water comes fantastic wildlife spotting opportunities – dolphins, basking sharks and a host of seabirds thrive in the area. Travel inland slightly and you'll be able to explore prehistoric tombs, castles, Iron Age Hill Forts and Celtic crosses.

 

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Snowdonia

Wales

Closest parks: Trawsdir Touring Caravan & Camping Park, Beaconsfield Holiday Park, Oxon Hall

Famous for being home to the highest mountain in Wales, Snowdonia national park also boasts 23 miles of sand-dune backed beaches and enigmatic coastline. Feel free to explore the cinematic mountains, valleys and historic castles that are dotted around the area. Not for the faint of heart is the world's fastest zipline or try your skills and ride the waves at Surf Snowdonia, the 300m lagoon.

 

 

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South Downs

South East England

Closest parks: Concierge Camping, Tanner Farm Park

This picture-perfect area contains the world-famous white cliffs at Seven Sisters. With the chalky coastline comes a variety of market towns, historic estates and quaint villages that benefit from an almost untouched way of life. The idyllic woodlands are filled with wildflowers that attract butterflies, birds and other beautiful insects.

 

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Yorkshire Dales

North Yorkshire, Cumbria & Lancashire

Closest park: Riverside Caravan Park

Foodies will love tucking into locally produced food and drink from the Yorkshire Dales. Home to the famous Wensleydale Cheese, this national park also boasts farms and villages that are happy to serve up provincial treats. The landscape is sublime and you'll find traditional barns and drystone walls dotted around the green rolling moors.

 

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