The best of the UK’s national parks

To mark National Parks Week, we’ve rounded up the best ways to enjoy some of the country’s most celebrated landscapes, with expert’s tips, favourite campsites, activity guides – and our national parks picture quiz

Today is the start of National Parks Week, which is celebrating the UK’s 15 national parks with hundreds of events, from rangers’ walks and wildlife watching to river rafting and pony rides. You can go rafting or pony trekking in the Lake District, have a teddy bears’ picnic in the North York Moors or study the stars with an astronomer in the Brecon Beacons.

Who better to show you around the parks than the people who live, work and play in them? We’ve asked rangers from seven national parks to share their favourite beauty spots, places to eat, drink and stay – and in our local experts’ guides, kayakers, climbers, hikers and fishing enthusiasts recommend the best ways to get active in Britain’s great outdoors.

If you want to ditch the car, this two-part guide will help you explore these often remote areas by bus, train and bike – or even on horseback or by canoe. And if you really want to get away from it all and experience the tranquillity of the parks when all the day trippers have left, we’ve selected a stunning campsite within each of the 15 national parks.

If you’re visiting the Lake District, North York Moors or Yorkshire Dales national parks, you will find heaps of useful information on where to stay, cosy pubs, budget restaurants, family days out and much more in our county guides.

Finally, put your knowledge to the test – and enjoy stunning pictures of the country’s most treasured landscapes – in our national parks picture quiz.

National Parks Week runs from 28 July to 3 August. Events are listed on the national parks website


Georgia Brown

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Peaks and Downs: the best family-friendly breaks in national parks
England and Wales’ national parks date from a law passed 70 years ago. Our writer, who has walked all 13, picks fun breaks and youth hostels in each

Phoebe Taplin

09, Feb, 2019 @7:00 AM

Article image
UK days out with myths and legends
The British countryside is steeped in folklore and tales of mystery from down the centuries. All you need to explore the past is a map and your imagination, says Kevin Rushby

Kevin Rushby

31, Mar, 2015 @10:30 AM

Article image
The best of the UK seaside
Nostalgia, beaches and ice-cream come together in perfect harmony as 12 authors and locals choose their favourite places on the UK coast, with places to stay

10, Jun, 2017 @6:00 AM

Article image
10 of Britain’s best wild beach walks
Magnificent sands that, even in summer, are wide enough to swerve the crowds and enjoy lungfuls of salty air

Kevin Rushby

08, Aug, 2020 @6:00 AM

Article image
Summer breaks: 20 of the best self-catering stays in the UK
Seaside hideaway, Cotswold cottage or luxury cowshed ... We pick boltholes from Cornwall to the Highlands which still have availability this summer

Annabelle Thorpe

29, Jan, 2022 @7:00 AM

Article image
20 of the best indoor family activities for half-term
From the UK’s longest indoor ski slope to the Roald Dahl Museum, Rachel Dixon picks fun days out from her new book for children

Rachel Dixon

13, Oct, 2018 @10:00 AM

Article image
10 days out for kids this summer

The school holidays are well under way, and if the kids are driving you mad, check out our latest events and activities for children, from enchanted princesses to electric guitars

Nalini Sivathasan

27, Jul, 2011 @1:39 PM

Article image
What’s new on the UK coast this summer
Tree tents in Cornwall, beach cabins in Dorest and a thrilling cliff-side pathway in County Antrim are among the new highlights on the UK coast

Clare Gogerty

10, Jun, 2017 @9:00 AM

Article image
10 coastal campsites in the UK – that aren't already booked
A summer under canvas has never sounded so appealing but campsites are booking up fast. Here is a selection of small coastal pitches to try

Dixe Wills

25, Jun, 2020 @12:25 PM

Article image
Family Halloween and half-term events

Haunted castles, eerie woodland walks, hair-raising ghost rides and spooky activities for all the family – Gwen Pew rounds up her pick of Halloween events across the UK

Gwen Pew

24, Oct, 2012 @12:56 PM