Things to do | Sightseeing | National parks


Putting the "great" in the great outdoors

There are 15 National Parks in Britain and they contain some of the nation's most beautiful and inspiring landscapes. They attract around 100 million visitors every year who flock to enjoy the leisure opportunities the parks provide.

You’ll find some of Britain’s best walking, cycling and horse riding locations and a whole host of other adventure activities. Add to these 15 national trails and nearly 50 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and you’ll find you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to exploring Britain’s famous countryside. The 15 National Parks are:


South West: Dartmoor | Exmoor
These two areas of moorland are beautiful, expansive, wind-scoured and truly wild. You can camp wild on Dartmoor and both are superb for walking and hiking, have unique species of pony and are excellent areas for horse riding.

South East: New Forest | South Downs
The New Forest National Park is celebrated for its ancient woodland and heathland first given protection by William the Conqueror nearly 1,000 years ago. Ponies graze on wild heaths speckled with purple heather and wild deer flit beneath gnarled oak and beech trees. To the east of the New Forest lie the South Downs, an area stretching 100 miles from the edge of Winchester to Beachy Head. It’s best known for its famous rolling downlands that lead to the white, sheer cliffs at Seven Sisters and Beachy Head.

East: The Broads
This great, flat expanse of Eastern England punctuated by wide expanses of water is one of the most important wetland areas in Europe. Its 125 miles of waterways are best navigated by boat and our peppered with great pubs, historic churches and distinctive windmills.

Heart of England: Peak District
Britain's first national park and Europe's busiest is a diverse landscape, comprising heather-sprayed moorland, murky limestone caves, gentle hills and gritstone outcrops. It straddles several counties in central northern England, is a centre for rock climbing and is the landscape that inspired Jane Austen.

North West: Lake District
From 16 sparkling lakes and England’s highest mountains, to sheltered valleys and salty seascapes, Cumbria and the Lake District have inspired and captivated generations of visitors and famous writers and poets such as William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter. 但是,它的魅力远不止是优美的风景。 该地区拥有丰富的遗产和充满活力的现代文化氛围,同时,美食佳酿声誉日隆。

North East: Northumberland | North York Moors | Yorkshire Dales
Listen to the call of the upland birds, saunter through picturesque villages of honey sandstone, build sandcastles or sit and watch the world go by. All around are the signs of past generations - historic abbeys, embattled castles, churches, crosses and ancient trackways. Northumberland National Park stretches from Hadrian’s Wall to the Scottish border while the North York Moor spread westwards from the east coast of Yorkshire. The Yorkshire Dales park straddles the central Pennines in the counties of North Yorkshire and Cumbria and is a favourite destination for walkers, cyclists and horse-riders.


Central Highlands: Cairngorms
Explore one of the last real wildernesses in Europe, home to red deer, osprey and golden eagle. Its mountains, glens and shimmering lochs have inspired generations of visitors and for many its stark grandeur is the quintessential Scottish landscape.

Central: Loch Lomond and the Trossachs
The ‘bonnie bonnie banks’ of Loch Lomond as immortalised in song and verse are a true taste of the Scottish Highlands just under an hour from Glasgow. Take a steamer across the loch, climb lofty Ben Lomond, visit Rob Roy’s grave or try local whisky at the Loch Lomond Distillery.

威尔士 (Wales)

North: Snowdonia
Wales’ famous uplands are known for their craggy mountains, brooding natural landscapes and grey-green slate villages. You’ll also find secluded valleys, Snowdonia’s famous heritage steam railways and some of Britain’s most imposing castles.

South: Brecon Beacons
The Brecon Beacons National Park is an area of spectacular landscape that covers 542 square miles in Mid Wales. Stretching from Hay-on-Wye in the east to Llandeilo in the west, it includes four ranges of mountains; the Black Mountains, the Central Beacons, Fforest Fawr and the Black Mountain (Mynydd Du). Don’t miss the charming village of Crickhowell and Abergavenny, renowned for its food festival.

South East: Pembrokeshire
Britain's only truly coastal national park is a sweeping crescent of jagged cliffs, sandy beaches, wooded estuaries and wild hills, a place of sanctuary for wildlife and a centre for water sports. You’ll also find Britain’s smallest city, the charming St David’s, and the 186 mile Pembrokeshire Coast Path that boasts some of Britain’s best sea views.


The 15 national trails of England and Wales provide walkers, cyclists and horse riders with around 2,500 miles (4,000km) of long distance paths extending through Britain’s countryside.

They have been constructed by joining existing paths and trails together to give maximum access to outdoor spaces traversing some of the finest natural landscapes in England and Wales, including national parks and ‘areas of outstanding natural beauty’. 苏格兰有4条名为“长途路线”的类似步道。

For anyone interested in cycling, walking or horse riding, the trails provide a fantastic leisure resource and are well worth a visit.

Visit the National Trails site.



Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) landscapes range from coastline to water meadows, and there are 40 in England and Wales (35 in England, 4 in Wales and 1 which straddles the border) and 9 in Northern Ireland.

If it is natural beauty you seek, areas of outstanding natural beauty are bound to please.

  • 城市休闲
    • Giants Causeway Source:© Andras-J (Flickr)


    • View of the City from banks of the River Clyde, Glasgow, Scotland Source:© Britainonview / - Britain on View

      格拉斯哥殊有苏格兰时尚之都的美誉,拥有艺术装饰风格的啤酒屋、时尚的商店和文化中心、30 多家艺术馆与博物馆,每年还有众多的表演艺术活动与节日。

    • Wales Millennium Centre Source:© Britainonview / David Angel


    • Tate Liverpool Source:© e-peps (Flickr)


    • Views to Tower Bridge from the south side of the River Thames at night, London, England Source:© Britainonview / James McCormick
      London City Guide


  • 户外活动
    • Ring of Brodgar, Orkney Source:© Shadowgate (Flickr)


    • Sunset in Cornwall Source:© midlander1231 (Flickr)


    • Royal Pavilion at night, Brighton Source:© Britainonview / - Britain on View

      布赖顿有英格兰最受欢迎的海滨城市之称,历史悠久、环境典雅、不落俗套, 是休闲度假的理想去处。

    • Mountain Y Garn in Snowdonia Source:© Richard0 (Flickr)


    • The Cotswolds Source:© Christopher Chan (Flickr)


  • 历史遗迹
    • Thermae Bath Spa is Britain's original and only thermal bath spa set in the busy city of Bath, England © Britainonview / Jon Spaull Source:VBimages - 21974131


    • Shakespeares birthplace © floato (Flickr)

      East Gate Clock Tower, Chester Source:© Britainonview / Ingrid Rasmussen


      古老、活力、传统、令人激动,切斯特是英国最佳度假胜地之一。 切斯特拥有古老的建筑、世界一流的足、咖啡文化以及丰富的娱乐设施。

    • Eton College, Windsor Source:© Reverend Dan

      温莎,拥有悠久历史、高档购物用餐佳所、运动、休闲活动和众多盛事的旅游胜地。 拥有 13 个景点,包括温莎城堡、伊顿公学和乐高城(Legoland)。

    • York Minster Source:© Nick Garrod