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6 Best National Parks in the UK to Visit This Summer

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Wondering what are the best national parks in the UK for a nature-inspired summer getaway?

Ever since the pandemic, most of us have been forced to stay in and experience how nature heals itself. Now as things have gradually come back to normal, everyone is itching to get out there and explore. With the summer sun shining bright, it is a good time to get out there and be in nature, admire it closely, and create memories of a great summer holiday in the UK. Explore some nature-oriented vacations, we suggest visiting National Parks in the UK for this summer holiday.

6 Best National Parks in the UK to Visit This Summer:

If you are looking for summer destinations, we have compiled a list of some of the best national parks in the UK.

1. Cairngorms National Park:

If you are traversing through Scotland this summer, the Cairngorms National Park deserves a visit. If you are a keen hiker, this national park has five of the UK’s highest peaks, so a great location to go on assisted mountain climbing adventures. For non-hikers, there are a lot of other activities to do in Cairngorms National Park like canoeing, cycling, fishing, riding, and even the first bungee jumping bridge in the UK.

Cairngorms National Park

If you choose a summer getaway full of adrenaline instead of a relaxing vacation in the UK, the largest national park in Britain is a place to explore. Along with its rich cultural history, this National Park is home to mountain hares, wild cats, Scottish Crossbills, rare lampreys, dotterels, and other species. 

2. Exmoor National Park:

Towering cliffs by the sea, deep valleys, and flowy streams with glimpses of wild deer, can you picture yourself in this quaint setting? Exmoor National park is among the smallest national parks in the UK, but the flourishing beauty makes up for the size. It has a unique landscape of moorland, woodland, farmland, and rugged coastline. An experience that you cannot miss is stargazing in this Dark Sky Reserve – but that happens post-October. But don’t worry, there are enough activities to do in Exmoor National Park for the summers.

Exmoor National Park

Explore the ‘Little Switzerland’ wooded valley of Lynmouth or hunt for some fossils in the Valley of the Rocks. You can head to the coast for a seaside relaxation or mountain biking around more than 200 monuments.  

3. Brecon Beacons National Park:

Among the three national parks in Wales, Brecon Beacons National Park has plenty of family-friendly attractions for tourists. The park is bustling with remnants of history and culture. Trail walks, exploring the waterfalls, vintage train rides, paragliding, windsurfing, canoeing, camping, there’s so much to do at this national park in the UK.

Brecon Beacons National Park

With picturesque views everywhere, you can explore this part of Wales in so many different ways. You can cruise through the Brecon canal, take your kids to the adventure farm, enjoy the pet barn and spend a jolly good time with them. The enchantingly beautiful hills and valleys are home to otters, great crested newts, marsh fritillary butterflies, bats, and reed warblers. You can even opt for a botanical trail to find wildflowers, mosses, fungi, and rare trees.

4. Lake District National Park:

When we talk of the best National Parks in the UK, how can you not mention the Lake District? Attracting over 16 million visitors per year, it is the most popular national park in Britain. With 16 lakes in its vicinity, mountain valleys, and a coastline, it has every element of a nature-inspired vacation. It is no surprise that poet William Wordsworth found his inspiration here. Even driving here through the country roads will freshen you up. In terms of wildlife, it is a paradise for rare animals and birds. Red squirrels, Herdwick sheep, badgers, voles, foxes, and shrews are some of the mammals you can spot here. 

Lake District National Park

The scenic landscape and the cute little villages, offer stunning locations and activities to do around here. Go paddleboarding, boating, or beat the heat with some swimming in the lakes. With all your creative juices flowing, you might craft your own stories within nature. This park is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and consider a summer vacation here as a gift that you will give yourself. 

5. Peak District National Park: 

Amidst the highlands, this park is close to Derby, Manchester, and Sheffield, thus easily accessible from London. This national park charms with its quaint little villages, magnificent homes and historic country home. There are some interesting places to visit in Peak District including some Hollywood film sets. You can also enjoy several activities here, from offroad cycling to exploring the mysterious caverns.

Peak District National Park

There are several campsites within the park which offer lovely views of the natural beauty. Sleep under the stars and wake up to the sounds of chirpy birds make this summer getaway in the UK a complete detox from the chaos back home. Mountain hares, harvest mice, short-eared owl, alders, and white-clawed crayfish are some of the protected species you can see here. 

6. New Forest National Park:

A comparatively smaller national park in the UK, the New Forest National Park has the largest resource of natural woodland in Britain. What was once a royal hunting ground for King William I and his noblemen, now sees a wide range of birds, deer, reptiles, and some more rare flora and fauna. The park has wonderful trails to immerse in the tranquil surroundings by walking or cycling around the forest. You can even explore this forest on a horseback. Exploring areas of Ashuruat, Roydon Woods, and Arboretum can be the nature therapy you need. You can also go back in time to the English heritage by visiting Hurst Castle. Or if you are keen on history and art, there are museums and art galleries here too.

New Forest National Park

So put yourself out there, quite literally, to embrace nature and its wonderful creations. All of these parks offer so much more than just nature through their activities. The kids sure won’t be disappointed. Spending some quality time in the natural habitat, observing some more, and getting a mix of adventure should rejuvenate you well.

We hope our list of national parks in the UK helps you choose one for your summer getaway with family this time.

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Now tell us, have you visited any of these national parks in the United Kingdom? If Yes, please share your experience with us in the comment section below!

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  • My family loves visiting national parks! We have a goal to visit all of them in the US. Once we do that, maybe we will move on to national parks in other countries, too! I want to take my boys traveling abroad once they are a bit older so we will have to give these parks a try.

  • I've actually never been to the UK but it's always been one of the top places I'd love to visit. And these parks look so pretty!

  • I think that UK is a unique country and has a lot to offer, not only cities, culture and history, but also a lot of places in the nature!

  • I can say that I have a knowledge of American national parks, but I know nothing of the English ones. I didn't even know there were any. Great to know!

  • Great list. We are so blessed here in the UK! My favourite is the New Forest and the Lake District. Both amazingly beautiful parts of the world.

  • Amazing! I would love to visit all these amazing national parks, that would be amazing...

  • These are all such beautiful parks. I haven't visited any but would love to see them all if I can. I do love going to different parks to explore.

  • It’s been so long since I’ve been to a national park. I need to take my son to one and teach him all about camping, hiking and sleeping in a tent. These national parks are stunning.

  • Each of these parks looks like they have so much to offer. I love visiting different national parks and would have a hard time choosing which of these to visit first

  • I love visiting national parks. I know that my husband and I were planning to visit some this summer with the kids. We want to do a lot of hiking with them this summer.

  • I didn't know there were so many national parks in the UK! They all look quite lovely in their own way, I don't know which I would pick to visit first, I want to see them all.

  • All amazing places to visit seem to be fun to visit, having a hard time deciding where to visit first.

  • I love visiting parks with my family. Thank you for this guide, I will take note when we come to UK.

  • So many gorgeous sights to visit and connect with nature! I love spending the summers outdoors and hiking through parks. Perfect place to make memories :)

  • Lovely post on the parks and I have bookmarked this as we have yet to go to any of these parks even though we have been to the Peak district and Lake district. I hope to visit these with my family next

  • These are all just beautiful places to go to in the UK! I just love the lake district, so relaxing

  • I love visiting parks, and I actually got my Master's Degree in Park & Resource Management. These sound like amazing places to visit in person.

  • I would love to visit and explore UK someday and perhaps visit these national parks as well. Thank you for the list.

  • I've always wanted to visit the UK. Going to the national parks seems like a fantastic idea!

  • Thank you so much for this list! We are looking to get out and about in nature more this year, and this is perfect for finding beautiful places.

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