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The UK's Best National Parks

08 Aug 2017

Now summer is here, it’s time to spend some quality time outdoors, so why not head into the countryside? Fortunately, the UK has some of the best National Parks in the world; with picturesque scenery, wild expanses, and untouched beauty – our National Parks are the perfect place for a weekend away.

If you’re ready for a summer of adventure, we’ve compiled a go-to list of the best National Parks in the UK so that your family can enjoy a great summer filled with adventure  away from the city and into the countryside .

Dartmoor National Park

dartmoor national parksource: Visit South Devon

Famed for its tors and hillside expanses, Dartmoor is the only National Park in England that allows wild camping, so where you pitch your tent for the night is really up to you!

When you’re there, look out for the Baskervilles - the park is the setting for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous novel The Hound of the Baskervilles. After walking the moors, you’ll no doubt be in need of some well-earned food and rest, there are plenty of villages that surround the landscape that serve excellent cream teas.

Less than an hour from Exeter and Plymouth, the park is easily accessed from London. What could be better than escaping the city with the kids for a weekend of camping adventures?

Lake District National Park

lake districtsource: Wikipedia

Home to England’s highest mountain, Scafell Pike at 978m (3,209ft), no list is complete without the inclusion of the Lake District.

There are 16 main lakes within the district, which makes the area perfect for watersports of all kinds. With sailing, canoeing, fishing and swimming to choose from, it’s time for you to take a dip in the water — hopefully it’s not too chilly! 

If the water doesn’t appeal to you, take the bikes with you and ride along one of the many cycling routes in the park – part of the famous coast to coast cycle route. From country lanes to cycleways and bridleways, there’s a route that will suit all ages and experiences. Or for the more adventurous, try the Whinlatter and Grizedale Forest routes for some off-road excitement.

Broads National Park

broads
source: Broads Authority

This is a truly dramatic landscape amongst natural beauty that will surround you from every direction; so much so that you’ll never want to leave this picturesque landscape.
Whitlingham Country Park is Norwich’s access to the Broads, and it’s here where you can explore ancient woodlands with a path that is also wheelchair accessible around Whitlingham Great Broad. 

If you’ve had enough of walking, why not take a trip on Ra? It’s Britain’s first solar-powered passenger boat! Don’t forget to take you camera when you’re on board as the Broads hosts a range of wildlife in the UK — see which animals you can spot!

Boasting a range of activities such as windsurfing, climbing and archery, the Outdoor Education Centre is a great option for kids with educational and fun activities to keep them entertained.. Or, if you’d like to take the trip across the Broads yourself, there are canoes you can hire to explore the winding waters. 

Cairngorms National Park 

Cairngorms National Park source: Visit Cairngorms

As the largest National Park in the UK, there certainly are many miles to explore in this vast landscape which is twice the size of the Lake District National Park. At 4,528 sq km, it’s even bigger than Luxembourg! The park is 47% wild land too, offering your children a fantastic opportunity to reconnect with nature and explore environments that may not be familiar to them. 

If you’re looking for some fun this summer, then look no further; Glenmore Forest Park is hosting Glenmore Summer Challenges right through the summer holidays until September 3rd! From the selfie challenge and the mini beast hunt to tree bingo and wild art, there’s something for everyone in the park. Head to the visitor centre, and don’t forget to collect a magnifying glass and activity map, so that the kids can truly begin to explore all of what the park has to offer!

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