The United Kingdom, being one of the best destinations in the world for tourism, never ceases to amaze people with amazing sights. Among them are the National Parks. The UK’s National Parks welcome over 100 million visits every year.
Within the United Kingdom, there are fourteen national parks of which ten are in England, three in Wales and two in Scotland. There is one further area in England with “equivalent status”. Of the ten national parks in England, five are in the North, two in the Southwest, one in the East, and two (the most recently designated) in the South. They cover 10.7 percent of England and 19.9 percent of Wales. They touch only sixteen English counties and there is no national park in the southern Midlands. You can take a tour of these parks, whilst expecting good hotel deals Scotland.
National Parks in England
- Peak District: The central location of this park provides for the coincidence of the northern limit of many lowland species, such as the stemless thistle and nuthatch and the southern extent of many northern upland species, such as the mountain hare and globe flower. It is located at the southern end of the Pennines, known as the backbone of England.
- Lake District: England’s largest national park has geology providing a dramatic record of nearly 500 million years, with evidence of colliding continents, deep oceans, tropical seas, and kilometer-thick ice sheets. The area has the largest and deepest lakes and highest peaks in England.
- Dartmoor: This is the largest and widest area of open country in the south of England. Almost half of the park is moorland, and within it are four separate national nature reserves, including the 366 hectare East Dartmoor Woods & Heath.
- North York Motors: Boasting archaeology dating from the end of the last ice age, the park contains the largest Iron Age hill-fort in the North of England, Roman forts, castles and abbeys, moorland crosses and important early industrial sites. The area is also famous for its fossils, from ammonites to dinosaur footprints.
- Yorkshire Dales: The park straddles the central Pennines. At the Millstone Grit-capped Three Peaks it rises to over 2,300 ft, contrasting with its deep cut valleys (dales) from which it derives its name.
- Exmoor: The majority of Exmoor’s rocks were formed during the Devonian period of geological history between about 410 and 360 million years ago, the most prominent being old and new red sandstones, Devonian slates, shales and limestone. The park rises to 519m at Dunkery Beacon and boasts 55 km of coastline towards which flow a number of rivers, most notably the River Lyn.
- Northumberland: With a population of around 2,000 people, this is the least populated of all the national parks in England and Wales. Rising to 815m at The Cheviot, the park contains over 1,100 km of paths for walking, cycling and horse-riding.
- The Broads: Britain’s largest nationally protected wetland, the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads is considered to be the eleventh member of the national park family. The Broads was not established as a national park, but was described at the time as having a ‘status equivalent to that of a national park’. It has since adopted the title ‘national park’ and is a member of the UK national parks family.
- New Forest: This is England’s smallest national park. The park is home to five types of deer, all species of British newt, all three native species of British snake, the UK’s largest breeding population of the Dartford warbler, the rare Southern Damselfly with thirty colonies, thirteen native species of British bat and the New Forest cicada, rediscovered in 1962.
- South Downs: The most recently designated national park in the United Kingdom is a line of hills that run from Winchester in the west to Eastbourne in the east. The park has the highest population of any national park in the UK which at 107,929 is bigger than the next two largest combined (Lake District: 42,000 and Peak District: 38,000).
National Parks in Wales
- Snowdonia: The largest national park in Wales, it includes the highest mountain in Ireland, England and Wales, and Wales’ largest natural lake. The area is steeped in culture and local history, where more than half its population speak Welsh.
- Pembrokeshire Coast: The only UK national park recognized primarily for its coastline. It is an ecologically rich area recognized as of international importance for a wide range of high quality habitats and rare species.
- Brecon Beacons: The last of the original ten national parks to have been designated in the 1950s, the park straddles the divide between rural mid Wales and industrial South Wales.
National Parks in Scotland
- Loch Lomond and The Trossachs: The fourth largest park in the United Kingdom, includes Munros (including Ben Lomond, Ben Lui, Beinn Challum, Ben More and two peaks called Ben Vorlich) and Corbetts. There are two forest parks (Queen Elizabeth Forest Park and Argyll Forest Park), and two national nature reserves. What’s more? There are amazing hotel deals Scotland when you visit.
- Cairngorms: The largest national park in the United Kingdom, the heart of it is the eponymous mountain range, the Cairngorms, but these mountains form only one part of it, alongside other hill ranges such as the Angus Glens and the Monadhliath, and lower areas like Strathspey and upper Deeside.