Want to travel, do you intend to flee to the hills? Why don’t they be British hills? The countryside is something the United Kingdom excels at. Of course, England is known for her “green and lovely land,” but Scotland and Wales, which are also close by, are equally beautiful in the bucolic stakes. You’ll never be far from a national park in the United Kingdom, no matter where you are. We’ll look at the greatest national parks in the UK to visit.
South Downs National Park
The South Downs, the UK’s newest national park, is also one of the region’s most popular, given its closeness to London. The park runs from Winchester in the west to Eastbourne in the east, and is only an hour’s rail trip from the capital. The South Downs Way, a fabulously scenic hiking and bicycling track dotted by a series of quaint old pubs where you may easily spend the night, connects them all – across rolling green hills, through ancient woodlands, and along world-famous white cliffs.
Peak District National Park
The Peak District, the United Kingdom’s first national park, will celebrate its 70th anniversary in 2021. It’s a breathtakingly wild pocket of nature tucked between Manchester and Sheffield in the United Kingdom’s midsection, noted for everything from beautiful limestone valleys to majestic stately homes (including the Chatsworth House, a.k.a. “The Palace of the Peaks”). The park is divided into two sections: the Dark Peak, which is taller and more wild; and the White Peak, which is famed for its deep valleys and gorges. Castleton caves, the only area in the world where the semi-precious mineral Blue John is mined, are part of the latter’s complex of caverns and grottos.
The Broads National Park
The Broads National Park is sometimes compared to Venice, not because of the marble palaces and baroque bridges, but rather because of the seemingly infinite rivers that weave all directions. They stretch for 125 kilometres, passing through charming hamlets, bright meadows, and ancient monasteries. This quiet marsh, which is also home to some of Britain’s rarest birds and butterflies, is best visited over several days by boat.
Cairngorms National Park
The most popular national park in Scotland is also the largest in the United Kingdom, covering 1,748 square miles. It’s a climber’s paradise, including five of the UK’s six highest summits. But, with Aviemore, a popular ski resort, right inside its borders, it’s also a refuge for hiking, cycling, and even skiing. The charming settlements of Kingussie and Newtonmore, both surrounded by aromatic pine trees, are ideal starting points for exploring this vast national park.