Cliffs disappearing into the Sea at Bullslaughter Bay, Pembrokeshire National Park, Wales

Britain’s National Parks

To celebrate National Parks Fortnight, we wanted to give you a run-down of Britain’s 15 National Parks, from Cairngorms in the Scottish Highlands to the South Downs in Sussex and Hampshire, to inspire your next staycation.

Whether your idea of a holiday is to relax on a beach, to get active, or to find a peaceful spot to spend time with your family, Britian’s National Parks are the perfect destinations for everyone. We have a huge range of landscapes, activities, and locations waiting to be discovered on our doorstep!

Book a staycation with us before April 30th and be in with a chance of winning an Annual Family National Trust Pass!

Reflection of trees on a body of water
Brecon Beacons | Unsplash

Name: Brecon Beacons National Park
Location:
Wales
Size:
520 Square Miles

Highest Point: Pen Y Fan, 886m
In the Brecon Beacons you’ll find internationally recognised dark skies, nature, beautiful scenery, and adventure in abundance. Made up of four somewhat confusing areas, Black Mountain, Fforest Fawr, Brecon Beacons, and the Black Mountains. Yes, you read that right, the Brecon Beacons are a part of the Brecon Beacons, but the Black Mountain isn’t in the Black Mountains. Just three hours from London, and an hour from Cardiff, Swansea, and Newport, Brecon Beacons National Park is a great place for stargazing, on a clear night you can see the Milky Way!
Find out more here.

How Hill, Broads National Park
Broads National Park | Unsplash

Name: The Broads
Location: England
Size: 120 Miles
Highest point: How Hill, 12m  
The Norfolk and Suffolk Broads are the largest protected wetland in Britain and display enchanted waterways and endless skies Home to over a quarter of Britain’s rarest wildlife, the broads are not a natural phenomenon like the other parks. They are the result of 12th century peat digging fields that flooded! Hire a yacht and explore the broads at your own pace or join one of the many mini cruises and experience the wonders of nature and man combined.
Find out more here.

Heather covering the side of a peak in the Scottish Highlands
Cairngorms National Park | Unsplash

Name: Cairngorms National Park
Location: Scotland
Size: 1,748 Square Miles
Highest Point: Ben Macdui 1,309m
Britain’s largest national park, and home to 4 or it’s 5 highest peaks and biggest native forests, Cairngorms National Park is just 2.5 hours north of Edinburgh. Spectacular landscapes of wild mountains, heather moorlands, magnificent forests, wetlands, and rivers. In the winter and spring months, head here for all your snow sport needs, Skiiing, snowboarding, and ski touring. In the summer and autumn, Cairngorms is a great place for hiking, biking, and watersports thanks to the many fresh-water lochs and rivers. If you’re feeling adventurous, climb Ben Macdui, the highest peak in the UK National Parks, but watch out for the Big Grey Man, local folklore says he has been known to roam the peak for decades.
Find out more here.

Dartmoor National Park | Unsplash

Name: Dartmoor
Location: England
Size: 368 Square Miles
Highest Point: High Willhays, 621m
With 450 miles of paths to explore, on foot or wheels, wild open moorlands, deep valleys, thousands of archaeological sites, and rare wildlife, there’s something for every time of visitor in Dartmoor National Park. The setting of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Hound of the Baskervilles, and Spielberg’s War Horse, Dartmoor has options for the wild side in all of us, try outdoor swimming in Bellever Tor and Woods. Wild camping is actively encouraged here!
Find out more here.

Exmoor National Park | Unsplash

Name: Exmoor
Location: England
Size:
267 Square Miles
Highest Point:
Dunkery Beacon, 519m
Situated neatly between the northern parts of Devon and Somerset, Exmoor is truly a sight to behold. Towering sea cliffs, high moors, tumbling streams, deep valleys and even an Atlantic Rain Forest. Take it easy in Exmoor by watching for wild red deer, exploring the charming villages, or stargazing at night (Exmoor is Europe’s first International Dark Sky Reserve). Or amp up the adrenaline and try your hand at mountain biking, hiking, watersports or even horseback riding! Exmoor has 34 miles of coastline to entice you, and some of it is so remote it’s only accessible by boat. We think that makes Exmoor a perfect candidate for a socially distanced Staycation!
Find out more here.

Sunrise on Scafell Pike, Lake District
Lake District National Park | Unsplash

Name: Lake District
Location: England
Size:
912 Square Miles
Highest Point:
Scafell Pike, 978m
Newly accredited with UNESCO World Heritage status, the Lake District is a perfect arrangement of wide glacial lakes, rugged mountains, and incredible scenery. A wide range of activities await you here, water sports galore on one of the many lakes, we recommend kayaking on Lake Windermere, more walks and hikes than you can shake a stick at – our favourite is the Old Man of Coniston and Brim Fell circular that has you scrambling up the side of the mountain. It’s easy to see why so many visitors from the UK and overseas flock to the Lakes every year.
Find out more here.

Conic Hill. A tinyfigure of a person stands on the side of a hill in front of a wide expanse of water.
Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park | Unsplash

Name: Loch Lomond & The Trossachs
Location: Scotland
Size: 720 Square Miles
Highest point:
Ben Lomond, 974m
Where the lowlands and the highlands meet, Loch Lomond and the Trossachs make up an incredible varied landscape of rugged mountains, peaceful lochs, and rolling lowlands. Home to a wide range of wildlife, this is a great destination for nature lovers of any age. Witness history for yourself with the many castle ruins and small villages that are dotted throughout the National Park. For the more adventurous among you, there are options for hiking, biking, camping, and even wild swimming. We recommend visiting Rob Roy’s Bathtub at the Falloch Falls to take a dip.
Find out more here.

a wild horse grazing on grass in front of some tress with twisted branches in Matley Wood, New Forest UK.
New Forest National Park | Unsplash

Name: New Forest
Location: England
Size:
219 Square Miles
Highest Point:
Pipers Wait, 129m
Despite its name, the New Forest is neither a forest, nor is it new. ‘New Forest’ means ‘new hunting ground as named by William the Conqueror 1079. Used in the 18th century for timber for the fleets, the New Forest is now home to rare wildlife, open heathlands, ancient woodlands and incredible coastal views to the Isle of Wight. Here you will find many wild horses strolling around, sometimes on the roads, as if they own the place, and maybe they do.
Find out more here.

North York Moors National Park | Unsplash

Name: North York Moors
Location: England
Size:
554 Square Miles
Highest Point:
Urra Moor, 454m
A sweeping moorland landscape, with the largest continuous expanse of heather moorland in Britain, loads of dales, deep woodlands and a dramatic 26-mile Jurassic-age ‘Dinosaur coast. Spend time here uncovering the secrets of wild Britain, from amazing wildlife to glittering starry skies. You could even pop along to the oldest Goosebury Show in the country! Held on August 3rd in Egton Bridge (COVID permitting).
Find out more here.

Northumberland National Park | Unsplash

Name: Northumberland
Location: England
Size:
410 Square Miles
Highest Point:
The Cheviot, 815m
Some call Northumberland National Park ‘England’s last great wilderness, given its mostly wide-open moorland bounded by Hadrian’s Wall in the south and reaching up to the Scottish borders. Northumberland National Park certainly is home to England’s cleanest rivers, clearest air, and darkest skies. Enjoy the history, heritage, wildlife and scenery of the ancient unspoiled landscape.
Find out more here.

Castleton, Hope Valley
Peak District National Park | Unsplash

Name: Peak District
Location: England
Size:
555 Square Miles
Highest Point:
Kinder Scout, 636m
Dramatic rock edges, famous hills and wild moorlands are given a home in the Britain’s first National Park (established in 1951). The Mass Trespass, 1932, took place within what is now the boundary of the Peak District, a group of working-class pioneers paving the way for the countryside access that we have today. Explore the myriad of tunnels of the Monsal Trail, go wildlife watching and catch glimpses of white mountain hares, red deer, and , if you’re lucky the rare ‘mountain blackbird’ (the ring ouzel).
Find out more here.

Cliffs disappearing into the Sea at Bullslaughter Bay, Pembrokeshire National Park, Wales
Pembrokeshire Coast National Park | Unsplash

Name: Pembrokeshire Coast National Park
Location:
Wales
Size:
243 Square Miles

Highest Point: Foel Cwmcerwyn, 536m
Despite being one of the smallest of Britain’s national parks, it has one of the most diverse landscapes, and was primarily designated for its coastline. Awaiting you here are impressive cliffs, big sandy beaches, small sandy beaches, wooded estuaries, wild inland hills, harbours, coves, and several wildlife-rich islands close by. Unsurprisingly, it’s a great watersports destination. The whole area is easily walkable due to the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, one of the three long distance trails in Wales.
Find out more here.

Snowdonia National Park | Unsplash

Name: Snowdonia National Park
Location: Wales
Size: 823 Square Miles
Highest Point: Snowdon / Yr Wyddfa 1,085m
Snowdonia has not only largest National Park in Wales but it also has the highest peak in England and Wales. It also has a train that takes you to the top making Snowdon / Yn Wydda Britain’s most accessible peak at 1,085m! The rest of the National Park includes stunning vistas, amazing opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, swimming, and even white-water rafting at Bala. The history of the area is evident throughout the park, with medieval castles and prehistoric monuments popping up all over.
Find out more here.

Ditchling Road, Brighton
South Downs National Park | Unsplash

Name: South Downs
Location: England
Size:
260 Square Miles
Highest Point:
Black Down, 280m

Britain’s youngest national park and the only one in the south east of England, is the South Downs. Stretching 87 miles from Winchester to Eastbourne, this rolling hillscape offers incredible views of chalk hills, wooded areas, valleys, the white cliffs of the Seven Sisters and Beachy Head, and fantastic picnic spots. With the highest point being 280m, the South Downs is the perfect national park for less active visitors.
Find out more here.

Name: Yorkshire Dales
Location: England
Size:
841 Square Miles
Highest Point:
Whernside, 736m

Rolling hills, wild landscapes and tranquil vistas come together to make u[ the fascinating Yorkshire Dales National Park. Sandwiched between the Lake District to the west and the North York Moors to the east, the Yorkshire dales completes the picture of Wild Britain in Northern England. Our favourite spot to visit in the Dales is a small village called Hawes. With a charming pub, delicious bakery and a babbling stream running along the edge, Hawes is home to the world-famous Wensleydale Creamery. A visit here never ends without the purchase of a wheel (or 3) of cheese!
Find out more here.

To read more about the amazing destinations and holiday types we have in the UK, head to our British Isles page. You can see all of our latest offers including staycations here!