If you're planning on heading for the hills soon, why not make them British hills? The U.K. is well known for its beautiful countryside, and there are plenty of national parks to choose from if you're looking for breathtaking views, wildlife, and unforgettable hikes.
England is renowned for its picturesque countryside, and there are few better ways to experience it than by visiting one of the nation's many beautiful national parks.
From the wild landscapes of Scotland to the rolling hills of Wales, the U.K. is packed with stunning scenery and plenty of opportunities for outdoor adventure.
The Lake District, England
The Lake District is one of England's most popular tourist destinations, and it's easy to see why. This stunning region is home to 12 of the country's largest lakes and England's tallest mountain, Scafell Pike.
The Lake District is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, with plenty of opportunities for walking, climbing, and other activities. But even if you're not the sporty type, it's worth visiting for the stunning scenery alone.
Located in northwest Wales, Snowdonia National Park is home to the country's highest mountain, Snowdon. At 1,085 meters (3,560 feet), it's a popular challenge for hikers and climbers.
But even if you don't fancy scaling Snowdon, there are some other activities to enjoy in Snowdonia. The park is also home to the Snowdon Mountain Railway, which takes visitors to the top of the mountain by train, and there are numerous other walking and cycling trails to explore.
The Yorkshire Dales, England
The Yorkshire Dales is a region of outstanding natural beauty in northern England. It's famed for its picturesque valleys, known as 'dales,' blanketed in wildflowers in the spring and summer.
The Yorkshire Dales is also a paradise for walkers, with over 1,600 kilometers (1,000 miles) of footpaths to explore. And if you're feeling adventurous, you can even try your hand at potholing, a popular activity in the region.
Duncombe Park, England
Duncombe Park is a country estate in North Yorkshire, England. The park is home to various wildlife, including red deer, pheasants, and ducks. The estate also has several historic buildings, including a 15th-century manor house and a 12th-century church.
Duncombe Park was initially owned by the de Merlay family, who built the manor house in the 15th century. The Duncombe family later bought the estate in 1620.
Lastly, it is a beautiful country estate full of history and wildlife. If you are ever in North Yorkshire, visit this amazing place!
The Cairngorms, Scotland
The Cairngorms is the largest national park in the U.K., covering an area of over 4,500 square kilometers (1,700 square miles). It's located in the Scottish Highlands and is home to its second-highest mountain, Ben Macdui.
As well as being a popular destination for walkers and climbers, the Cairngorms is also home to ski resorts, making it a great place to visit in winter.
Dartmoor is a national park in southwest England, covering an area of over 954 square kilometers (368 square miles). It's known for its wild landscapes dotted with granite tors (rock formations) and heather-covered moors.
Dartmoor is also home to fascinating archaeological sites, including Bronze Age burial mounds and Iron Age hillforts.
And if you're feeling brave, you can even try your hand at 'letterboxing,' a Dartmoor tradition in which participants navigate their way to hidden boxes using only a map and compass.
The Broads, England
The Broads is a network of connected rivers and lakes in eastern England, covering an area of over 303 square kilometers (116 square miles).
It's a popular destination for boating and fishing, and there are also plenty of opportunities for walking and cycling.
Northumberland National Park, England
Northumberland National Park is located in northeast England and covers an area of over 1,050 square kilometers (405 square miles). It's home to the Cheviot Hills, the highest range of hills in the U.K., and Hadrian's Wall, a World Heritage Site.
The Northumberland National Park is also an excellent place for stargazing; it was designated an International Dark Sky Park in 2013.
The Peak District, England
The Peak District is located in central England and covers an area of over 1,438 square kilometers (555 square miles). It's Britain's first national park renowned for its picturesque landscapes.
The Peak District is also a popular destination for walkers and climbers, with several footpaths and climbing routes to explore. And if you're feeling adventurous, you can even try your hand at caving; the Peak District is home to over 2,000 caves.
Loch Lomond and The Trossachs, Scotland
Loch Lomond and The Trossachs is a national park in Scotland, covering an area of over 720 square kilometers (280 square miles). It's located in the Highlands and is home to the country's largest freshwater lake, Loch Lomond.
The park is also a popular destination for walking and cycling, with some trails to explore. And if you're feeling adventurous, you can even try your hand at canoeing or whitewater rafting on the River Forth.
Things to Know When Traveling to the U.K. National Parks
- Check the weather forecast before you go - the U.K.'s weather can be unpredictable, so it's always best to check the forecast before you travel.
- Wear comfortable shoes - there's a lot of walking involved in exploring the U.K.'s parks, so make sure you wear comfortable shoes.
- Pack a picnic - the U.K.'s parks are perfect for picnics, so make sure you pack one before you go.
- Don't forget your camera - the U.K.'s parks are full of photo opportunities, so make sure you bring your camera.
- Have fun! - exploring the U.K.'s parks is a great way to spend a day, so make sure you enjoy yourself.
The U.K.'s national parks are some of the most beautiful and varied globally. From the wild landscapes of Dartmoor to the picturesque Peak District, there's something for everyone to enjoy.
So why not explore one of these amazing parks for yourself? You won't be disappointed.
Emma Parker Essays deal with her experiences in the United States and other global experiences, among other activities related to travelling and teaching in the world. She shares her adventures on her blog – iTravelinn.com.