Revealed: The Best National Parks in the UK

Cairngorms National Park

With National Parks Week just around the corner (22nd – 29th July) last minute UK rental provider Snaptrip is encouraging UK residents to enjoy a staycation at one of the 15 stunning national parks that can be found across the UK. With each having its own unique landscapes, wildlife and history, it can be hard to choose which one to visit, so Snaptrip has come to the rescue with its top six.

The Peak District – Britain’s first national park

Peak District Sunset

Pic: iStockphoto


Nestled between the cities of Manchester and Sheffield, the Peak District became Britain’s first national park in 1951, but when taking part in Snaptrip’s national park logo quiz this was surprisingly the most unrecognised national park in the UK!

An area of utter contrasts, you can take in dramatic heather moorland hills and rock edges in the north, and limestone dales and rivers in the south. With nearly 200 square miles of open access land and 34 miles of trails, this national park is perfect for those looking for a more active holiday whether that’s by bike, horseback or on foot.

Cairngorms – the last stronghold for British wildlife

Cairngorms National Park

Pic: iStockPhoto

If you’re a nature lover you should travel to the Cairngorms in North East Scotland, Britain’s largest National Park. Containing both the highest mountain range and largest native forest, this park is one of the last strongholds for British wildlife. On your daytime walk you could spot red squirrels darting through the forests, mountain hares bounding up the mountain range or golden eagles soaring overhead, a bird that over one quarter (26%) of the UK is desperate to see. You can also immerse yourself in Scottish heritage with a spot of whisky tasting at one of the world famous distilleries after a long day of wildlife watching.

Pembrokeshire Coast – Britain’s only fully coastal national park

marloes sands

Pic: iStockphoto

Are you looking for a park that the whole family can enjoy? The Pembrokeshire Coast in Wales has something for everyone. With 186 miles of perfectly preserved coastline there’s swathes of golden sand for kids and pets alike to play on, as well as a host of coastal wildlife to spot. The park also offers a multitude of castles, Castell Henllys Iron Age village and authentic towns to explore.

The Broads – Britain’s largest protected wetland

The Broads

Pic: iStockphoto

The only national park that’s completely man-made, The Broads was formed by the flooding of old peat diggings. The largest protected wetland in Britain, its home to over a quarter of our rarest wildlife. While it might feel like you’re on another planet when you’re floating down the seven rivers and 60 broads, you’re never far from civilisation; the River Wensum runs right into the city of Norwich which is just two hours from London.

Northumberland – largest area of protected night sky in Europe and the frontier of Roman Britain

Dunstanburgh Castle ruins

Pic: iStockphoto

If you’re looking for an out of this world experience, head to Northumberland to take in the largest area of protected night sky in Europe. On a clear night you can see the Northern Lights, the Milky Way and even the Andromeda Galaxy all with the naked eye. For an even more breath-taking experience, take a trip to the Kielder Observatory but make sure to book in advance. This national park is also perfect for history enthusiasts with Hadrian’s Wall, the frontier of Roman Britain and a World Heritage Site, snaking its way across the landscape.

North Yorkshire Moors – ‘The finest view in England’

North Yorkshire Moors

Pic: iStockphoto

Despite having the UK’s second most unrecognisable national park logo, this picturesque and tranquil national park is famous all over the world. With its dramatic landscapes, quaint coastal fishing villages and vibrant history, the North Yorkshire Moors is renowned for having inspired many literary greats. Follow in the footsteps of Bram Stoker, William Wordsworth and Lewis Carroll to find out what is so inspiring about this national park. The Moors can also boast to having ‘the finest view in England’ which can be taken in if you’re brave enough to tackle the 25% gradient of Sutton Bank.

To help you explore the UK’s national parks, Snaptrip has created an interactive guide so you can discover which one you should visit next: