6 Best National Parks in Great Britain, UK (with Map & Photos)

Great Britain has long been famous for its colorful natural landscapes - in the south - valleys, mountains, lakes, in the north - heather slopes, dense forests and freshwater reservoirs, which are also called suckers (Loch Ness, Loch Lomond, etc.). It is not surprising that so many national parks have been organized on the territory of the country. Each of the parks is interesting in its own way and is a great alternative for recreation outside the city. Whether you are in London, Glasgow or Edinburgh, take a day to explore the unique nature of Great Britain, rugged and majestic, vibrant and varied. In our selection, we have collected 6 of the most remarkable UK National Parks. Our review will tell you about the unique beauties of each of them, in addition, we, as always, do not forget about the practical part and tell you how to get there,

Northumberland


Northumberland National Park is located in the county of the same name in the northeast of the country, bordering on one side with England, and on the other with Scotland. This location provided the park with a unique landscape, in the north - more severe and similar to the Scottish, in the south - more green and saturated with colors. The famous landmark of the park is Adrianov Val, which divides the park in half. Adrianov Val is a system of fortifications, built sometime by the ancient Romans, it was a kind of border that separated the Roman possessions from the barbarian ones. The shaft stretches 120 km from the Irish to the North Sea. And today, many objects of that time have been preserved in these places, these are forts, and fortresses, and the ruins of monasteries. All these architectural landmarks are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Of course, the park is remarkable not only for man-made creations, but also for its majestic nature. For example, Mount Cheviot is located here. The nature of the origin of this mountain is volcanic, and at an altitude of 900 meters there is a crater of an extinct volcano. Who would have thought that a volcano could be found in the UK! Overall, Northumberland Park is great for hiking and offers mountain biking, rock climbing and horse riding. There are several tourist centers in the park, you can also book an overnight stay in advance. Most tourists make sure to stay overnight as the area is famous for its night sky views.

There are 10 main routes in Northumberland Park: Hatpool, Black Grouse, Wally College, Barrowburn, Buzzard, Falstone, Greenlee, Lynhop, Simonside and Turwall. You can get to the park by high-speed trains from London, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

UK National Parks
Northumberland, UK National Parks

Lake District


The Lake District is considered one of the most visited national parks in Great Britain, and all because of its picturesque landscapes. Much of the Lake District is located in a deep valley surrounded by mountain ranges. There are many lakes in the valleys, incl. and the largest in England. Further, in the foothill area, woodlands begin, and the higher you go to the mountains, the more severe the territory becomes, it becomes covered with heather wastelands and ends with mountain peaks. Incidentally, it is here, in the Lake District, that the tallest mountain in England, Scofal Pike, is located.

The main routes of the park have been developed taking into account the visit to the water area, it is not for nothing that the name of the park is translated as “lake land”. Here you can go hiking, canoeing, rock climbing. You can also explore the park by mountain bike. There are several ways to get to the Lake District. Firstly, trains run here from major cities in Great Britain: from London or Glasgow to Oxenholme, Penrith and Carlisle, from Manchester to Windermere. Also, cities such as Ambleside, Windermere, Coniston and Keswick are connected to major cities by bus routes (in the summer the number of buses increases).

National Parks in UK
Lake District, UK National Parks

Peak District


Despite its self-explanatory name "rocky edge", Peak District does not have mountain peaks and sheer cliffs as such. For the most part, the territory of the park consists of small hills and hills covered with heather, ferns and other northern plant species. In addition to the hills, the Peak District is rich in rivers and the bodies of water that they form. Quite large rivers of Great Britain, such as the Trenta, Mersey and others, flow here. The National Park is adjacent to metropolitan areas such as Manchester and Sheffield, so the Peak District is not a hard-to-reach area. On the contrary, the park is considered one of the most visited in the UK.

On the territory of the park you can go hiking, cycling, horseback riding, and camping. Tourist centers are located in the townships of Bakewell, Castleton, Derwent and Ideil. You can get to the Peak District by trains from Manchester or Sheffield. From London, take the Megabus bus (line 440 stops at Matlock, Bakewell and Buxton). From Manchester and Nottingham you can also take the Transpeak bus.

UK National Parks
Peak District, UK National Parks

Loch Lomond and Trossachs


Loch Lomond and Trossachs Park is an amazing natural park in Scotland, where in all its beauty and grandeur lies the northern nature of the region with its reservoirs, forests, heather fields and valleys. The main attractions of the park are the lakes located here, incl. the largest Lake Loch Lomond, and the smaller, but no less famous - Loch Ness, where the Loch Ness monster is rumored to live. In fact, the existence of the monster has never been proven, however, the site has become a popular tourist attraction thanks to this bike.

Activities in the park include hiking, cycling, horse riding and rock climbing. The opportunity to play golf can be considered an exotic pastime; the relief of the park includes vast fields.

You can stay in the national park for a few days, there are special places for camping here, so it's hard to find the best place for a weekend in Scotland. On lakes, incl. on Loch Lomond and Loch Ness, you can go canoeing, windsurfing, swimming, water skiing, fishing and other water sports. In addition, there is another water attraction for tourists on Loch Lomond - a water bus, the routes of which allow you to explore the lake from different ends. You can get to the park on your own from Glasgow by train to the village of Balloch. Travel time is no more than 40 minutes. A large number of excursions to Loch Lomond and Trossachs are arranged from Edinburgh, you just have to contact any tourist office.

National Parks in UK
Loch Lomond, UK National Parks

Snowdonia


Snowdonia is one of the first national parks to be established in the UK. The park is located on the territory of modern Wales, and got its name from the highest Welsh mountain - Snowdon. What is Snowdonia? Snowdonia is an endlessly mountainous area with many peaks and peaks, and is perhaps the most popular destination for climbers, especially the Snowdon, Gliderai and Carneday ranges. But, of course, there will be something to do here for tourists who are far from climbing. There are many hiking and cycling routes developed in the park, in addition, you can get to the top of Snowdon without sports skills, since there is a funicular.

On its western side, Snowdonia borders the Irish Sea, and the coastline of the park has a unique ecosystem, akin to the Curonian Spit - vast dune areas are protected by the state.

Getting to Snowdonia by public transport will take several steps. First, it will be necessary to fight the administrative center of Wales - the city of Cardiff - by train from London, Manchester or Birmingham. Then change to National Express buses in the direction of Beitus-y-Coed, Llanberis or Aberdowie, depending on the part of the park that you plan to explore.

UK National Parks
Snowdonia, UK National Parks

Brecon Beacons


Another national park in Wales is Brecon Beacons, famous for its mountain ranges. The name of the park is translated as "Brecon Lighthouses", and the lighthouses just mean the mountain peaks of these places. In addition to the mountains themselves, the park is famous for its karst caves, waterfalls, starfalls and the ruins of ancient temples, fortresses and monasteries. The town of Brecon itself, which has preserved the flavor of the Middle Ages in its architecture, is also considered remarkable in this regard. Genrigid is considered one of the highest waterfalls in the park; its height is about 27 meters. And the sky above the park is considered one of the cleanest and unpolluted by industrial waste, so it is believed that here in the park, every night you can watch magnificent starfalls. Romantic, isn't it?

You can get to Brecon Beacons by bus from Cardiff or Swansea (stops in the town of Brecon). Cardiff itself is connected by regular rail links with London, Manchester and Birmingham.

UK National Parks
Brecon Beacons, UK National Parks

The national parks of Great Britain have preserved the unique nature of the region in an almost untouched form, so whichever park you choose for your trip, you will discover the true beauty of Great Britain everywhere. In addition, a visit to one of the national parks is a great idea to diversify your leisure time, and city landscapes - natural landscapes. If you are planning to visit the UK in the near future, then you will probably be interested in our articles on preparing this kind of trip: