We round up a selection of ideas for trips to one of the UK’s National Parks this year or next.
To celebrate National Parks Week we thought it was an ideal time to explore all the possibilities that the parks have for groups.
The UK has 15 National Parks: Brecon Beacons, Broads, Cairngorms, Dartmoor, Exmoor, Lake District, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs, New Forest, Northumberland, North York Moors, Peak District, Pembrokeshire Coast, Snowdonia, South Downs and Yorkshire Dales.
With each park offering a multitude of things to do, from walks, to historic attractions, we round-up a selection to inspire.
Visiting the National Parks
One of the best ways to see the North York Moors is onboard the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. Group packages are available, from Cream Tea trips to Pullman Dining visits, each taking in the various stations, such as Levisham Station and Newton Dale Halt, along the route, to the vast stretches of Greenland you’ll see from your carriage.
The Lake District has a wealth of things to enjoy, from boat trips on Lake Windermere (the Park’s largest lake), to animal attractions such as the Lakeland Bird of Prey Centre. If it’s history that takes your fancy, you’ll not be short of it with Lowther Castle and Muncaster Castle welcoming parties and an array of stone circles to discover.
If you’re exploring Scotland, the Cairngorms features snowy peaked mountains and ice-cold lochs. Whether it’s spotting wildlife or meandering around a Medieval castle, you’ll find plenty that attract a range of interests. Attractions include the Highland Folk Museum, Highland Wildlife Park, Loch an Eilein Castle and Corgarff Castle.
Dartmoor is known for its open moorlands and river valleys and groups will be able to make the most of a visit with an abundance of activities. Outdoor pursuits can include walking and cycle routes, plus llama trekking and horse riding. Those who enjoy their history can enjoy Dartmoor’s Heritage Trails which take in the surroundings with an educational twist. Plus, there are plenty of towns and villages to explore, from Ashburton to Buckfast and Widecombe-in-the-Moor for picturesque scenes.
Snowdonia is an idea for active groups who love a hike. With the mountain range offering an abundance of trails and walks, you’ll always be able to discover something new. Plus, there’s the Snowdonia Mountain Railway for those who’d like to enjoy the peak views without the hassle of trekking. Attractions include Conwy Castle, Cymer Abbey, Harlech Castle, the Welsh Highland Railways and Llechwedd Slate Caverns.
Pictured: The Norfolk Broads.
The Broads features seven different rivers and more than 60 broads, complete with rare wildlife, hidden walks, and spots for fishing. Attractions GTOs may like to look into include the Bure Valley Railway - Norfolk’s longest Narrow Gauge Railway, BeWilderwood – (a fun forest adventure particularly good for those with youngsters), Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens, and Great Yarmouth Hippodrome Circus for some live entertainment.
If you want to find out more about what all 15 National Parks offer, visit www.visitthebroads.co.uk.
Looking for a good walking trip? Take a read of our article featuring some unusual trekking trips.