The best national parks in the UK: Which one should you visit this summer?

With fifteen national parks in the UK, it’s no surprise that over a third of Brits choose to spend at least one summer holiday per year on their own soil, according to recent surveys. With an abundance of natural beauty on offer and an endless selection of activities that the whole family can enjoy, our national parks are well worth a visit this summer. But which one is best for you and your family? We’ve teamed up with Motorparks, who specialise in used Vauxhall cars, to help you make up your mind:

Dartmoor – Wild camping

This popular national park is an adventurers dream, being the only park in the UK that allows visitors to experience ‘wild camping’. With an array of walking and cycling routes available, there are plenty of opportunities for you to make the most of everything the National Park has to offer whilst taking in breath-taking views of vast moorland and discovering the area’s rich military history. With an almost endless choice of great spaces to camp, you can pitch your camping tent in a space that’s perfect for your needs.

Snowdonia – Hiking

Wales is known for its wild natural beauty and Snowdonia is the jewel in the crown. As well as being home to over 23 miles of unspoiled coastline, this region is a hiker’s paradise with the tallest mountain in Wales right on the doorstep. You’ll never be stuck for things to do, with sand dune backed beaches and rocky coves close-by to the impressive coastline, as well as steep river gorges and waterfalls. As a living working area, Snowdonia is steeped with culture and local history. The National Park houses picturesque villages with 26,000 local people – and over half of the population speak the Welsh language.

Northumberland – Natural beauty

Holidaymakers looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life should try Northumberland for a taste of unspoiled peace and quiet. Located between the Scottish border and the industrial North East of England, it’s home to the remains of the famous Hadrian’s Wall which date back to Roman times. Family holidays in Northumberland are incredibly popular due to the range of different activities on offer – there’s something to suit everyone here. You can even take a stroll along the Hadrian’s Wall path and walk amongst the wild goats which still roam the landscape.

This part of North East England is also known for its dark sky areas, where stargazers can enjoy the unspoiled beauty of a sky without light pollution. Its Dark Sky Park is protected from forms of artificial light to provide the truest stargazing experience – promoting astronomy in the region.

The Lake District – Sight-seeing

Cumbria is home to the UK’s most popular National Park and World Heritage site – The Lake District. The region also boasts England’s highest mountain, Scafell Pike, as well as tremendous views of some the most popular locations, such as Keswick, Derwentwater and Windermere. It’s no surprise it is the most visited National Park in the UK, with over 15.8 million annual visitors. With around 16 main lakes, you can take to the water on your canoes and kayaks, or go scrambling down some of their waterfalls. If the water isn’t for you, then give one of their walks a go – there are a selection of routes suitable for all ages and skill levels.

Cairngorms – Rare wildlife and plants

You’ll find Cairngorms national park up in the Eastern Highlands of Scotland. With 55 peaks standing over 900 metres, hikers will be in their element with the dramatic mountain landscapes – there’s plenty of walking routes available to choose from that showcase some of Scotland’s beautiful scenery.

Plant and wildlife lovers will enjoy the huge variety of different species that make their home here. When visiting Cairngorms, you can expect to come across a quarter of the UK’s rare and endangered species, including the wildcat, the capercaillie and the mountain hare.

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