There are fifteen national parks situated throughout the United Kingdom. These protected areas were created to conserve and showcase the natural and cultural heritage of the UK. And they comprise some absolutely stunning scenery, from the rugged majesty of the Lake District to the dramatic windswept seascapes of Pembrokeshire. Read on as we now take a closer look at five of these beautiful regions.
Lake District National Park
North-West England’s greatest scenic distinction lies in the Lake District National Park. There are sixteen major lakes including the magnificent Windermere. Towering above these are rugged fell mountains and a series of high peaks such as Scafell Pike. The area is a walker’s paradise with a series of paths wending their way up the high mountain passes. Picturesque hamlets and villages can be found scattered throughout this stunning region. There’s also more than 26 miles of coastline to explore.
Brecon Beacons National Park
The Brecon Beacons National Park extends from Dyfed to the Black Mountains. Like the Lake District, the landscape is dramatically beautiful, consisting of high moorlands, sheer mountainsides and rocky gorges. The actual ‘Beacons’, which are named after their use as sites for signal fires, rise to 2906 ft at Pen y Fan. Their windswept crests can only be reached by foot and the views from the summits are absolutely awe-inspiring. Relics from the Neolithic and Bronze Ages can be found within the park’s confines as well as inscribed stones dating from the 5th and 6th centuries.
Cairngorms National Park
Set in the heart of the Scottish Highlands, the Cairngorms National Park is the UK’s largest. Between the valleys of the Rivers Spey and Dee, the granite domes of the Cairngorms thrust upwards across the southern Highland region and on into the northern Grampian. There are nine peaks in this magnificent wilderness of over 4000 feet while at least a dozen more top 3000ft. Unsurprisingly, the region is perfect for walkers, especially in the south-western reaches of the Spey Valley and on towards the district of Badenoch.
Pembrokeshire Coast National Park
In terms of natural beauty, the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park is one of the most outstanding in Britain. It is a region of rugged sea cliffs, Blue Flag beaches and picturesque wooded estuaries, made accessible by a 186-mile coastal path that’s considered one of the best hiking routes in the world. The park is also an ideal habitat for a diverse range of seabirds such as Manx shearwaters and storm petrels. The island nature reserves of Ramsey, Skokholm and Skomer lie just off the coast and are open to the public.
The Snowdon massif forms the mountainous heartland of the Snowdonia National Park which, scenically, is one of the UK’s most glorious. It is a region of wild mountains, craggy peaks and high passes. Sheer precipices plummet into valleys that are graced by wood-fringed lakes and cascading waterfalls. At its centre is Snowdon, some 3650 feet above sea level and the highest mountain south of the Scottish border. This is ideal country for the climber as well as the walker. Some of the most inspiring sights are the passes of Nant Ffrancon and Llanberis. On the eastern border of the park, along the Conwy River Valley is Gwydyr Forest, home to the rare pine marten.
UK National Parks – Facts and Figures
Visit https://www.nationalparks.uk for more information.