07/12/2022

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15 Beautiful National Parks In The UK Worth Visiting

15 Beautiful National Parks In The UK Worth Visiting

Are you wondering what are the National Parks in the UK? The United Kingdom has abundant open space, gorgeous landscapes, rolling hills, stunning coastlines, and towering mountains, highlighting the country’s great forests, waterfalls, lakes, castles, and other historical landmarks.

If you are considering spending your vacation in the United Kingdom, choosing to base yourself in one of the country’s National Parks is an excellent option. Because so many parks’ attractions are free and open to the public, the United Kingdom’s national parks are beautiful places to visit any time of the year for various kinds of tourists without breaking the bank.

There are many options available to you, whether you want to take leisurely strolls or climb that damned ascent. Cycling paths, mountain biking trails, rock climbing, abseiling, canoeing, and kayaking are available for those looking for an adventure.

The national parks of the United Kingdom are home to a wide variety of animals, including the endangered red squirrel, golden eagle, osprey, kingfisher, and fallow deer. These parks are a veritable wildlife paradise. It is essential not to overlook the diverse ecosystem these national parks have produced for the flora, fauna, and insects.

The National Parks in the United Kingdom are practically paradises, and we ought to cherish and safeguard them for future generations.

National Parks in England

You won’t run out of things to do in any of England’s ten national parks, regardless of where you stay in the country. The national parks of England offer visitors the opportunity to participate in a diverse array of outdoor pursuits, take in breathtaking vistas, and come face-to-face with a wide variety of native plant and animal species. These parks range in terrain from the rugged terrain of Exmoor to the picturesque Lake District.

Peak District

Located centrally, Peak District is the oldest of the 15 National Parks in the UK, making it the most accessible from the rest of the cities and towns. The national park spans 555 square miles and is situated within five counties, Derbyshire, Cheshire, Staffordshire, Yorkshire, and Greater Manchester. 

My friend and I at Peak District
Beautiful National Parks in the UK: My friend and I at Peak District

Hiking is one of the main things to do, and there are plenty of beautiful walks in the Peak District that will keep you busy whatever season you visit, including visiting the highest point, Kinder Scout (636m). Other popular activities in the Peak District are cycling, rock climbing, and caving. 

Castleton village is excellent for hikers as it is home to Mam Tor mountain, one of the most famous viewpoints in Derbyshire. Hiking Mam Tor takes only 2 hours and is an easy hike for all the family. For adventurers, Castleton is also situated close to three of the best show caves and caverns in the UK, Speedwell Cavern, Peak Cavern, and Treak Cliff Cavern.  

For history buffs, Castleton is grand as the 11th-century ruins of one of England’s earliest Normal fortresses, Peveril Castle, lies in the hills above the village.

You can also do a lot of things here. Check out the 14 Best Things to do in Peak District

Tip: An autumn trip to the Peak District, when the leaves are changing colours and the trails are quieter than they are in the summer, is the ideal time for a three-day weekend getaway.

Lake District

The Lake District National Park is a place in Cumbria, North England, that is known for its stunning natural beauty. The Lake District is the most popular national park in the United Kingdom. It is home to sixteen breathtaking lakes and one hundred fifty magnificent peaks.

Stephen and I at Windemere Lake District
Beautiful National Parks in the UK: Stephen and I at Windemere Lake District

Because of the wide variety of activities available, Lake District is an excellent choice for a location to spend a weekend getaway. For those who would rather be in a more rural setting, there is an abundance of charming villages to choose from, in addition to the bustling towns of Grasmere, Windermere, and Keswick, all of which offer a wide variety of lodging options.

Read more about 13 Best Things to do in Lake District.

There are a large number of trails to discover, as well as a wide variety of activities, both on and off the water, to keep outdoor enthusiasts entertained. Boat cruises are available on Lake Windermere and Derwent Water, and the Ambleside waterfront is the location to visit for a variety of other water-based activities.

Check out the 12 Best Things to Do in Windemere Lake District. 

You could also go on a hike to the breathtaking Aira Force Waterfalls or take a ride on the Ullswater Steamers to enjoy the peaceful waters. Helvellyn, Scafell Pike, and the Langdale Horseshoe are three of the most popular hikes in the area, and hikers have a wide variety of options to choose from.

There are many walks that can be enjoyed around the many lakes, villages, and countryside that surround the area. If you prefer a more relaxed pace, there are many walks that you can take. If you enjoy driving through picturesque landscapes, you won’t be disappointed by the sights along the Keswick Loop or the Kirkstone Pass.

Additionally, the region has strong ties to literacy, and both Beatrix Potter’s and William Wordsworth’s former residences are fascinating places to explore. If you are taking a trip with kids, you should definitely check out the World of Beatrix Potter because it features delightful 3D models of Peter Rabbit and his friends. 

There is also an adventure playground at Brockholes, the Lakes Aquarium, which is located close to Windermere, and the Lake District Wildlife Park, which is located close to Keswick.

For those who are passionate about food, there are a number of restaurants in the Cartmel area that have earned Michelin stars, including the renowned L’Enclume, which is owned by Simon Rogan. Those who have a passion for food should also go to the gingerbread shop in Grasmere and sample the famous mint cake in Kendal.

Tip: It does not matter what time of year you visit, there is always a possibility that it will rain while you are there. Despite this, you shouldn’t let it discourage you. The hazy sky frequently contributes to the dramatic quality of the landscapes.

Dartmoor

The open Dartmoor National Park is the largest park in the south of England and is known for its bright and windswept landscape. The landscape of Dartmoor encompasses a total area of 368 square miles and is characterized by undulating moors, quiet villages, and swift-moving rivers. People from all over the United Kingdom travel to Dartmoor in order to take advantage of the tranquil strolls, scale the intimidating granite tors, and explore the abandoned castles and other historical sites.

Over the course of millions of years, Dartmoor is home to over 160 impressive tors. When you visit Dartmoor, you absolutely must climb to the top of these rocks to take in the breathtaking views that can be had from there.

Lydford Gorge is an impressive deep gorge that features White lady waterfalls that are 30 meters in height, making it one of the best places to visit in Dartmoor. Because there are not many lakes in Dartmoor, like there are in other national parks, you should go to Burrator Reservoir if you want to experience one. There, you can enjoy the peaceful waters and peaceful woodland walks.

The quaint medieval village of PostBridge, which dates back to the 12th century and is known for the picturesque Clapper Bridge, can be found in the middle of the national park. Pay a visit to the ruins of Okehampton Castle, which date back 500 years.

If you enjoy visiting historical museums, you should make it a point to stop by the Museum of Dartmoor Life. It houses a collection that spans 5000 years of Dartmoor life, beginning in the Bronze Age and continuing through the middle of the 20th century.

Visit Wistman’s Woods, a forest straight out of a fairytale, or Bellever Forest, a place with well-defined walking trails and the ideal atmosphere for getting lost in the forest, if you want to go for a walk in the woods. Meldon Viaduct is yet another attraction that is well worth going to see. It is an incredible iron and wrought bridge that provides breathtaking views of Meldon dam and reservoir.

Tip: The weather on Dartmoor is notoriously fickle. As a result, you should prepare for wind, rain, and mist all on the same day. Even if you are going during the warmest time of the year, it is important to remember to pack a warm layer of clothing, a windproof and waterproof jacket, and walking boots. 

In addition, there are large portions of the national park that have a poor mobile network. Purchasing the Ordnance Survey map of Dartmoor is a good idea if you plan on spending a lot of time wandering around the park (OL28).

North York Moors

Exploring the North York Moors National Park will reward you with breathtaking scenery and one of the most enjoyable things that can be done there is to stroll along the seaside communities and towns that dot the Yorkshire Coast. The towns of Staithes, Sandsend, Robin Hood’s Bay, and Ravenscar are among the most picturesque that you’ll find along the way. 

In Whitby, one can easily fill their time with a variety of activities, such as going to see the historic abbey ruins or taking a boat trip from the marina. 

The North York Moors is also a wonderful place to go hiking and engage in other types of outdoor activities. The Hole of Horcum is a fantastic hike that can be found close to Saltergate.

The quaint community of Goathland, which can be found close by, served as the setting for the filming of the television series Heartbeat, and the Harry Potter movies made use of the local train station. You can even take a ride on an old-fashioned steam train if you want to! 

Heritage steam train trips are offered by the North Yorkshire Moors Railway between Pickering and Whitby, with a stop in Goathland along the route. It is also recommended that you stop by the charming market town of Helmsley as well as the nearby Rievaulx Abbey.

Tip: A day trip will only allow you to see a few of the park’s highlights. To see the majority of what this national park has to offer, however, I would suggest spending at least two to three days there at a minimum—more if you want to do some hiking! 

The North York Moors are at their most beautiful at the end of August when the heather is in full bloom and the moors are covered in a sea of purple from head to toe.

Yorkshire Dales

One of the most stunning national parks in the UK is the Yorkshire Dales, which is over 841 square miles in size. Hiking is one of the best things to do in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, and the circular hike, which starts and ends in Malham village, is one of the hikes that best utilizes everything the Dales have to offer.

You will make stops at the Janet’s Foss waterfall, the Gordale Scar gorge, Malham Tarn (one of the two natural lakes in the Dales), and the enormous, 230-foot-tall Malham Cove made of natural stone. These sights are all situated along the path.

Harry and Hermione’s tent was set up on the limestone pavement at the top of Malham Cove during the filming of the Deathly Hallows, as die-hard Harry Potter fans will recall.

Aysgarth Falls, the highest single-drop waterfall in England, Hardraw Force, and Cotter Force are just a few of the options available to those who are interested in waterfalls. There is parking on-site, and each waterfall is easily accessible on foot.

A visit to Bolton Abbey, Jervaulx Abbey, or Bolton Castle is strongly advised for anyone with an interest in history.

Foodies can visit the Wensleydale Creamery to see how the famous Wensleydale Cheese is made, or they can travel to Dent or Masham to explore the region’s independent craft breweries. The Tan Hill Inn, the highest pub in Britain and close to Reeth, offers the opportunity to try something novel.

Tip: Spending three to five days exploring this national park will allow you to get the most out of its diverse offerings. Because so many attractions in the Yorkshire Dales are located outside, the best time to visit the region is during the spring and summer when the days are longer, warmer, and drier.

Exmoor

The terrain of Exmoor National Park can be discovered on foot and enjoyed while doing so. Dunkery Beacon is the highest point on the Exmoor landscape. From this vantage point, you have a view that extends to the coast at Minehead as well as across to Wales.

There are quaint little towns tucked away in deep valleys all throughout the park with thatched roof cottages, as well as an old market town called Dunster, which is known for its spectacular castle and yarn market.

Stunning cliffs can be found in the areas of Lynton, Lynmouth, and the Valley of Rocks. These cliffs descend directly from the high moor into the sea below. Houses in Lynton and Lynmouth are clustered together in close proximity to the steep valley, and a winding road leads all the way along the coast.

Tip: The fall, when the red deer are having their rut, is by far the most beautiful time of year to visit Exmoor. This is an amazing thing to see and hear as the stags emerge from their harem. When it isn’t autumn, Exmoor is the kind of place that you can easily explore over the course of a three-day weekend.

Northumberland

Hadrian’s Wall is located in the south, and the border with Scotland is located in the north. Northumberland National Park is the most northern of England’s National Parks, and it encompasses the entire region in between.

In comparison to the other national parks in the United Kingdom, Northumberland National Park has the smallest resident population. Due to the low population density, it is likely that this is an excellent national park for viewing wildlife.

It is worthwhile to pay a visit to the park’s hides in the event that you are successful in spotting this elusive local resident, as Northumberland National Park is one of the few locations in England where the native English red squirrel can still be found living in the wild.

Because of the park’s low population, Northumberland National Park is also an excellent location for observing the night sky and searching for stars and planets. The park has been designated as an official Dark Skies site, and there are many events that you can participate in to learn more about the subject.

There are over 1100 kilometres of public footpaths and permissive paths in this park, including the Hadrian’s Wall walk, which is a coast-to-coast walk that is 135 kilometers long, as well as sections of the Pennine Way. This park is a vast wilderness area. Canoeing, water skiing, and sailing are just some of the water sports that can be enjoyed at the Kielder Water National Reserve in Northumberland.

Walking along the coastal path, especially along Amble, Alnmouth, and Seahouses is a treat thanks to the path’s scenic setting. In addition, there are a number of stunning castles dotted along the coast, such as Bamburgh Castle, Alnwick Castle (Hello, Harry Potter fans! ), Dunstanburgh Castle, and Lindisfarne Castle, which is located on a tidal island.

Tip: Spring and fall are the best times to go exploring along the coast of Northumberland. However, fall and winter are the best times to view the night sky because there is less light pollution. Even though you can visit Northumberland at any time of the year, the weather can be quite unpredictable, especially in terms of wind and rain.

The Broad

One of the most distinctive water-based national parks in the United Kingdom is called the Broads National Park. In contrast to the majority of national parks in the United Kingdom, which are characterized by the presence of mountains and peaks, the Broads feature a landscape in which vast open plains and marshes meet the clear blue sky at the horizon and are broken up by channels of water.

The area of the Broads National Park is 117 square miles, making it the smallest national park in the United Kingdom. Out of this total, there are seven rivers and 63 broads that combine to make up 120 miles of navigable waterways.

The extraction of peat for use as fuel during the medieval era led to the formation of the lakes, which are also referred to as broads. Peat diggings became flooded over the course of several centuries, which resulted in the formation of a number of water channels. As a result, the landscape of the Broads is entirely unique, and it is home to a wide variety of different species of wildlife.

Wroxham is a picture-perfect village that is also recognized as the administrative center of the Norfolk Broads. Hoveton, Stalham, Horning, and Whitlingham are a few of the other picturesque villages in the area. Take a trip to the How Hill National Nature Reserve, which is situated along River Ant.

You can go on nature walks while you’re here and keep an eye out for different kinds of animals like birds and insects. You could also go on a ride on an electric boat through the waterways that last for half an hour. Discover the ruins of St. Benet’s Abbey, a monastery that dates back a thousand years and is located along River Bure.

Pay a visit to the quaint village of Ranworth, which is most famous for being the location of St. Helen’s church, also known as the Cathedral of Broads. Climb to the top of the tower to take in the panoramic views of the broads that surround you.

In addition, Broads is home to a plethora of windmills and windpumps, each of which contributes to the area’s already breathtaking scenery. The Horsey Windpump, the Thurne Mill, and the Berney Arms Mill are the three windmills that are most worth seeing. You can also get wonderfully lost paddling a kayak through the tranquil waterways here.

Tip: When you go to the Broads, bring some boots and binoculars with you because the walking paths are frequently muddy and the landscape provides a diverse opportunity to view local wildlife. 

The Broads is a destination that can be visited at any time of the year; however, if you are interested in going on a boating vacation, the best time to go is from spring to autumn, with summer being the most stunning time to go. Boating should be avoided during the winter months. The winter months are prime time for wildlife viewing along the coast, particularly birds and seals.

New Forest

The New Forest National Park can be found in Southern England, specifically in the counties of Hampshire and Wiltshire. It includes expansive stretches of verdant pasture land, beautiful heathlands, and wooded areas.

The New Forest has a long and interesting history; it was first mentioned in the Domesday Book, which was compiled in the 11th century; and it was frequently visited by kings and queens who enjoyed going on long walks and hunting for wild animals.

Today, the New Forest is well-known for the free-roaming ponies that can be seen roaming the pasture lands there, as well as for the other abundant species of wildlife that can be found there, such as donkeys, wild boars, caws, squirrels, and various species of birds.

There are hundreds of stunning hiking trails in the New Forest that will take you through the undulating hills and dense vegetation of the area. The Lymington Marshes Trail, the Lyndhurst Heath, the Solent Way, the Beaulieu Heath, and the Hatchet Pond trails are among the most popular walking routes in the New Forest.

For easy strolls through the woods, visit the Tall Trees Trail located on Rhinefield Ornamental Drive. If you’re into cycling, you won’t be disappointed either, and neither will anyone else. A variety of other activities are also available, such as fishing boat tours, water sports, golf, and more.

Explore the past at Hurst Castle, or get up close and personal with wild fallow deer at the Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary. Both of these attractions are located in Bolderwood. If you are going to be in the New Forest area during the summer, you should definitely stop by the Lavender Farm.

If you are looking for alternative options, you should go to Exbury Gardens and Steam Railway instead of going to Paultons Theme Park to spend the day in Peppa Pig World. Many families go to Paultons Theme Park.

Tip: A trip to the New Forest is perfect for unwinding in the great outdoors for anywhere from a weekend to a week. The months of spring through fall offer the most pleasant weather for travel.

South Downs

The most recent addition to the collection of national parks that can be found in the United Kingdom is the South Downs National Park in England. With 120,000 people, it is also the national park with the highest population density in the United Kingdom. 

There is something for everyone to do in South Downs National Park, whether you’re an adrenaline junkie looking to try your hand at hang gliding, a history buff interested in the many Iron Age remnants or wartime points of interest, or a hiker with an avid interest in exploring the park’s many trails.

The South Downs Way, which spans a distance of approximately 160 kilometers and passes through numerous picturesque villages as well as some of the most pristine farmland and woodland in the southern region of England, is the most well-known attraction in the area.

Ditching, Amberley, Lewes, Polegate, and Alfriston are among the most popular places to visit, but there are many other options available if you would like to stop in some of the charming coastal towns in the area.

Tip: Because a significant portion of the National Park is made up of farmland, it is highly likely that you will come across grazing herds. Walk around them whenever you can, but especially during the times of the year when they are lambing and giving birth.

Keep dogs under control at all times and shut gates behind you. Maintain the South Downs in the pristine condition that they should be in by adhering to the Leave No Trace principles.

National Park in Wales

Wales is home to three national parks, which together encompass a total area of 4,122 square kilometres. This accounts for approximately twenty per cent of the total land area in Wales. The first national park to be established in Wales was Snowdonia, which was followed by Pembrokeshire Coast in 1952 and Brecon Beacons in 1957.

Snowdonia

Snowdonia National Park is one of three national parks in Wales and is known as a “living park” because more than 26,000 people make their homes within its boundaries. The park encompasses a total area of 823 square miles and features a wide variety of breathtaking landscapes.

snowdonia landscape
Beautiful National Parks in the UK: Snowdonia National Park in Wales

Snowdonia National Park is not only the largest national park in Wales, but it also contains Wales’ largest natural lake and the highest mountain in the United Kingdom that is located outside of Scotland.

Betws y Coed and Beddgelert are just two examples of the picturesque villages that can be found in this region, and the fact that more than half of the local population is fluent in Welsh contributes to the area’s rich cultural and historical offerings.

There is a wide variety of potential candidates for the title of best walk in Snowdonia, ranging from the time-honoured ascent of Snowdon to the less strenuous river meander along Afon Artro. However, more first-timers will want to hike the Llanberis Path, which is the most well-known route that provides a gradual ascent to the summit of Snowdonia and spans 9 miles and 14.5 kilometers.

It can get quite crowded, so you might want to think about taking the Miners’ Trail, which starts at the parking lot at Pen y Pass and winds its way uphill to the summit over a distance of eight miles (13 kilometers). If you are planning on driving, you should get there early because the primary parking lots at Pen y Pass and Nant Peris get full very quickly during the primary season.

The magnificent castles of Conwy, Caernarfon, and Harlech can all be found within Snowdonia National Park in Wales. If you’re looking for something other than mountains and castles, the national park is home to a plethora of waterfalls as well. Mountain biking, abseiling, whitewater rafting, and ziplining are just some of the exciting activities that can be enjoyed in the Snowdonia region.

Check out our 6 Best Snowdon Walk Guide in Wales. 

Tip: Even in the middle of summer, the peak of the mountain can have thick fog and be quite chilly, so you should plan to spend at least one day there. However, you should be prepared for all kinds of weather and climates.

Pembrokeshire Coast

The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park is well-known for its picturesque landscapes, rich historical sites, and bustling towns and villages. Despite the fact that the park is one of the smallest in the United Kingdom, it encompasses hundreds of kilometers of coastline, which results in a wide variety of exciting activities available in the surrounding area.

Barafundle Beach in Pembrokeshire Wales UK
Beautiful National Parks in the UK: Barafundle Beach in Pembrokeshire Wales UK

Pembrokeshire Coast Path National Trail is a long-distance hiking trail that runs through nearly 300 kilometers of the enormous park and is a fantastic opportunity for outdoor enthusiasts and hikers to experience the great outdoors. Along the way, not only do travelers get to experience a wide variety of ecosystems and landscapes, but they also visit a wide range of historical sites.

The breathtaking seaside vistas and stunning gardens at Manorbier Castle make it well worth the trip, while Carew Castle offers an excellent walking path as well as free tours that provide insight into the lives of kings and knights from the past.

For those interested in birds and other wildlife, a visit to Skomer Island is a must between the months of April and July. During this time, the island is home to one of the most robust and easily accessible colonies of Atlantic Puffins.

Check out the 15 Best Things to do in Pembrokeshire, Wales (UK). 

Tip: At any time of the year, the weather in Wales can be unpredictable, so make sure to bring plenty of warm layers, a good rain jacket, and a sturdy pair of shoes. Pembrokeshire is the perfect place to spend a long weekend, but hikers who intend to spend some time on the trails should add additional days to their trip so that they have time to explore the rest of the National Park.

The Brecon Beacons

The Brecon Beacons National Park is one of the three magnificent national parks that Wales has to offer, and it is filled with breathtaking waterfalls, breathtaking vistas, castles perched on clifftops, sparkling lakes, and rivers. It is home to some of Wales’ most beautiful hiking trails.

Exploring the Brecon Beacons National Park is a thrilling experience for those who enjoy being on the edge of their comfort zone because there are numerous opportunities to get an adrenaline rush. Explore the caves or scramble over the rocks and boulders that are in the area. You need never worry about being let down.

Traveling from Rhosmaen to Llangadog along Black Mountain Road is sure to be one of the most memorable parts of any road trip you take. Sugar Loaf mountain is one of the most popular walks in the Brecon Beacons. It is a moderately difficult hike with a rocky ascent leading up to the peak.

You could also climb the well-known Pen y Fan, which is a challenging hike that encompasses a total distance of 11 miles and leads to the summit of the highest mountain in South Wales. Visit the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal, which is widely regarded as the most attractive canal in Britain, and take a leisurely stroll along its banks. Along the way, you should definitely take some pictures at Brecon Basin and Govilon Wharf.

The waterfalls in the Brecon Beacons are an attraction that should not be left off of your itinerary. There are a dozen waterfalls in the area, each with a distinct hiking trail. Sgwd Henrhyd, which is the highest waterfall in the park, is one of the park’s many waterfalls. Sgwd yr Eira, where you can walk behind the waterfalls, Sgwd Gwladus.

Visit the Red Kite Feeding Station in Llandeusant for an action-packed day trip. Here, approximately fifty red kites congregate each day for their feedings, which can be observed from the hides located around the area. You could also go to the Llangasty bird hide, which is located on a picturesque lake and offers numerous opportunities to observe wildlife.

Visit Dan-yr-National Ogof’s Showcaves Centre to take in the breathtaking underground landscapes. You may also visit either the Big Pit National Coal Museum or the Dolaucothi Gold Mine for an authentic underground experience. The Brecon Beacons National Park is one of ten locations around the world that have been designated as “Dark Sky Reserves.”

Tip: When traveling through Brecon Beacons National Park, visitors should bring paper maps and a compass with them because mobile network coverage is spotty at best. Additionally, due to the fact that some bars and eateries do not accept credit cards, you should bring cash with you.

National Parks in Scotland

The expansive highlands of Scotland is a land of unimaginable beauty. They are also a delight to explore because of their wild and free nature. As a consequence of this, any person who enjoys being outside will most likely leave having developed a deep appreciation for all of the breathtaking sights that are available. Loch Lomond, the Trossachs, and the Cairngorms are the two national parks that can be found in Scotland.

Loch Lomond and The Trossachs

Visit Loch Lomond, the largest freshwater lake in Scotland, located just 40 kilometers (25 miles) to the north of Glasgow to learn more about Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park.

At Loch Lomond, which is surrounded by towering mountains and is dotted with numerous small islands, there is an almost infinite number of activities to choose from. You could take a loch cruise from Tarbet, canoe out on the water in Luss, or go for a hike up Conic Hill for the views.

There are fun activities like Go Ape Adventure park, which has some of the longest ziplines in the UK. There are hiking trails and mountain biking routes that crisscross the hills of the Trossachs to the east of Loch Lomond.

Visit the Benmore Botanic Garden, which is located in the far western part of the park. This garden is home to a wide variety of plants from all over the world, including towering redwoods and Japanese maple trees with fiery red leaves (in autumn). You could even see a red squirrel, which is one of the most elusive and fascinating native animals in Scotland.

Tip: The Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park are open throughout the year and do not charge visitors any fees to visit. Stop by the visitor center in Balmaha or the one at the Forest Lodge close to Aberfoyle to get the most out of your trip. Both are located in the same general area.

Cairngorms

The Cairngorms National Park is the most extensive of the national parks in the United Kingdom, encompassing an area of 4,500 square kilometers. Cairngorms National Park is a park that is perfect for everyone. Whether you want to ride a funicular to the top of the Cairngorm mountains, observe wildlife, or relax in the stillness of lochs, this park has something for you.

Cairngorms National Park is home to a wide variety of plant and animal life thanks to its expansive land area. Mountains, lochs, woodlands, and heather moorland are just some of the natural features that can be found here.

In the summer, you can relax in the placid waters, in the fall you can go on hikes through the woods as the leaves turn from green to red and gold, and in the winter you can watch the entire park transform into a mystical winter wonderland. Because the snow remains well into the spring, it is an excellent destination for skiers.

Take the funicular railway up to the top of the Cairngorm mountains, where you can take in the breathtaking panorama in all directions. Discover the beauty of the Cairngorms by walking along the shores of one of the many lochs, such as Loch Morlich, Loch an Eilein, or Loch Pityoulish.

If you are an avid hiker, you are in luck because there are as many as 55 Munros (mountains in Scotland with an elevation of more than 1000 feet) that you can choose from to climb. Spend some time getting lost in the Caledonian forests of Aviemore, which include the Craigellachie Natural Reserve, Glenmore Forest Park, and Rothiemurchus. Choose from the Dalwhinnie, Glenlivet, or Speyside distillery if you are interested in touring a distillery and tasting different types of scotch.

Visit Loch Morlich Beach, ride the Strathspey Steam Railway, discover the open-air Highland Folk Museum, or go to the RSPB Loch Garten Osprey Centre for some adventures that are suitable for the whole family.

You can also visit the Cairngorm Reindeer Herd, which is located in Glenmore. In order to see reindeer in their natural environment, you will need to make reservations for a guided hill tour. There are currently up to 150 people who are free to roam the forests of the Cairngorms.

Tip: If you go there during the summertime, you might encounter a lot of midges (and they can get annoying and stingy). Therefore, you should bring insect repellents with you to prevent getting itchy rashes on your skin. If you have to drive in the winter, you should be aware that the roads and mountains may be icy. Ensure that your vehicle is equipped with snow tires. 

The Cairngorms is also an excellent place to view a variety of wildlife throughout the year, including red squirrels, ospreys, golden eagles, deer, and a variety of birds that migrate through the area at different times of the year. Always bring a pair of binoculars with you so you can better appreciate the view.

Beautiful National Parks in the UK worth visiting for an adventure pin
15 Beautiful National Parks in the UK Worth Visiting For An Adventure

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Everything Zany Dual Citizen Travel Blog

Everything Zany

Travel Blog

Everything Zany Travel Blog exploring the UK and beyond. Sharing travel guides, tips, history and culture. Our travel media brand is founded by travel and hotel industry expert – Ryazan Tristram, a Dual Citizen (British – Filipina) based in Birmingham, UK. Everything Zany is a reputable and award-winning travel blog. Our work and contributions have been featured in Huffington Post, CNBC, Discovery Channel, GMA, Readers Digest, and Lonely Planet. Our missions are to build a great travel community and resource of travel tips, visas and travel guides for travellers. Join us as we travel around the UK and beyond with a mission to share the best of the world.