The Brecon Beacons National Park will inspire you with its serene and beautiful mountains with high peaks and fabulous ridge walks, hidden waterfalls and fern-filled gorges. Buzzards and Red Kites, soaring majestically overhead, will look down on your slow earth-bound progress through this magnificent landscape; the mountains are their land and you are a privileged visitor - enjoy!
The Norfolk and Suffolk Broads is Britain's largest protected wetland and third largest inland waterway. It's also home to some of the rarest plants and animals in the UK. You don't have to be on a boat to enjoy all that the Broads has to offer. There are over 300 km of footpaths through some of the area's most attractive landscapes - nature trails, circular walks and long distance footpaths suitable for anything from a gentle stroll to a strenuous hike.
The Cairngorms National Park is home to Britain's highest and most massive mountain range; its biggest native forests; spectacularly clean rivers and lochs; moorland and farmland and a stronghold for Britain's wildlife. Walking can be challenging, but there are also many options including old drove roads and passes that enable a less experienced walker to experience the grandeur of this landscape.
Dartmoor is south west England's greatest wilderness. Rising out of the South Devon landscape this brooding upland of solid granite dominates its surroundings and demands respect from walkers who venture onto its northern high moors. The silhouettes of the distinctive Dartmoor tors are a constant feature of the landscape. The lower edges of Dartmoor offer beautiful woodland walks in steep sided valleys. (See also Devon section for guides which include Dartmoor walks)
Exmoor, although one of Britain's smallest National Parks, provides a wonderful moorland walking experience. This sandstone upland includes wild moorland and rolling heather clad hills, but also has a softer side. The plateau is fissured with steep wooded combes, providing a sheltered climate in which small villages nestle. The northern coastline has dramatic cliffs and offers fine coastal walking.
Visually, the Lake District National Park is stunningly beautiful with its dramatic peaks reflecting in shimmering lakes. Here is a walker's paradise beyond compare in England. Explore the many fells with their contrasting character and scenery, take a lakeside stroll through tranquil woodland or wander along picturesque river valleys and visit charming villages. In springtime the fresh green fells are radiant, in autumn the burnished colours sublime. (See also Cumberland section for guides to the Lakeland fringes).
The National Park encompasses around 720 sq miles of some of the finest scenery in Scotland. It is a place of contrasts from rolling lowland landscapes in the south to high mountains in the north, and has many lochs and rivers, forests and woodlands. Loch Lomond is the largest body of freshwater in mainland Britain. Queen Elizabeth Forest Park and Argyll Forest Park are fantastic places for walking, with many excellent woodland trails.
The New Forest has a unique landscape that has been shaped over the centuries by grazing ponies, cattle and pigs which roam free. Majestic woodlands, rare heathland and a spectacular coastline provide fabulous opportunities for walking. There are many possible walks to take you into the woods, by sea, over heath or by rivers and streams. Experience the colours of changing seasons and the diverse flora and fauna.
England's wildest and most remote National Park. Here you will find solitude walking the grassy Cheviot Hills and exploring the beautiful Breamish and Harthorpe valleys and lovely Coquetdale. (See also Northumberland county section for guides to this area)
The North York Moors rise to a moorland plateau of wide empty horizons, just to the north of Teesside. Where this plateau meets the eastern coast spectacular high cliffs plunge into the North Sea. Along the southern edge are tranquil dales of shady woodland. To the north are the Cleveland Hills and the high moors of Bransdale, Baysdale, Westerdale and Glaisedale.. In late summer the moors are vibrant with purple heather and provide an amazing landscape.
The Peak District was Britain's first designated National Park and remains the most popular in terms of visitor numbers. The geology of this beautiful upland region has created two distinct landscapes. The southern area, known as White Peak takes its name from the limestone which dominates the scenery. Here there are glorious dales to explore. The northern area, known as Dark Peak with its gritstone outcrops is a wilder area of open moorlands and green valleys. Here the walking is harder, but the sense of wilderness is more acute.
The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park boasts one of the most magnificent coastlines in the world and there is a National Trail allowing you to follow it on foot for a spectacular 300 km from Amroth in the south to St Dogmaels in the north. The Park also provides abundant wildlife for you to spot from its 950 km of public footpaths and bridleways, and plenty of fascinating history at places such as St Davids and Carew Castle.
Snowdonia is renowned for being a very special place for walkers. From the peaks of the mountains and the hundreds of lakes to the forests, rivers and the coastal areas, Snowdonia's varied terrain and magnificent views are sure to inspire everyone! Nine mountain ranges cover half of the Park and include many peaks that are over 3000 feet. Apart from the beauty and charm of its high mountains, Snowdonia has inspiring natural and semi-natural habitats. It is a delightfully varied landscape of steep river gorges, waterfalls, passes, green valleys and miles of coastline and sandy beaches. (See also North Wales section for further titles)
The South Downs is one of England's newest National Parks, officially designated on 31st March 2010. The Park covers an area of 1,600 square kilometres stretching along a chalk ridge from Winchester in the west to Beachy Head in the east, a distance of 160 km. To the north are the greensands and clays of the Weald.
The South Downs landscape is both beautiful and varied, from the spectacular white chalk cliffs at Beachy Head and Seven Sisters to tranquil ancient woodland, rolling downland and the sweeping heathlands of the Weald.
The Yorkshire Dales is truly a paradise for the walker, where lush green limestone pastures share the same hallowed space as heather moorland bedecked with gritstone edges and outcrops. The great valleys of Swaledale, Wensleydale, Ribblesdale and Wharfedale each have their own unique character and are a joy to explore on foot.