This page celebrates the many National Parks this country has and gives you some ideas on where to stay.
- Brecon Beacons
- Lake District
- Loch Lomond and The Trossachs
- New Forest
- Norfolk Broads
- North Yorkshire Moors
- Peak District
- South Downs
- Yorkshire Dales
Cliffs, crags, gorges, caves and waterfalls give the Yorkshire Dales some of the finest limestone scenery in Britain. The national park’s 1,100 square miles and 20 dales are watched over by the ‘Three Peaks’ – Ingleborough, Whernside and Peny-y-Ghent.
Each dale has its own character, patterned with dry-stone walls, barns, stone-built villages and flower-rich hay meadows. Bleak heather-clad fells lie above these pastoral valleys.
Among the many natural wonders are Malham Cove, in Malhamdale, with its tarn and limestone pavement, and the cascading Aysgarth Falls, in Wensleydale. Freeholders’ Wood is one of many ancient woodlands.
Walkers can take on the Dales Way and the Pennine Way and there are plenty of challenges for cyclists and horse riders. Or stroll classic dales villages such as Askrigg and Linton. Caving is popular and there are show caves for visitors.
The park’s wildlife includes black grouse and skylark, red squirrels, rare butterflies and important ferns and flowers. History is highlighted by the ruins of Bolton Abbey and Bolton Castle, prehistoric field systems and the lead mines of Swaledale.
Find a B&B in the Yorkshire Dales
Click on the town name to see which Bed and Breakfasts are available in, or near, the Yorkshire Dales area.
- Bed and Breakfasts Ilkley
- Bed and Breakfasts Ingleton
- Bed and Breakfasts Ripon
- Bed and Breakfasts Skipton
The Brecon Beacons National Park is its own ‘mountain range’ of six main sandstone peaks, with Pen y Fan the highest at 2,907 feet. It 520 square miles is made up of four regions – the Black Mountain to the west, the Fforest Fawr (Great Forest) and the Brecon Beacons in the centre, and the Black Mountains in the east.
Much of the park is grassy moorland grazed by Welsh mountain ponies and sheep. It is famed for its variety of waterfalls, including Henrhyd, and its caves, such as Ogof Ffynnon Ddu. The western section has been declared a Geopark and the entire park is an International Dark Sky Reserve.
For long-distance walkers there is the 100-mile Beacons Way crossing the park and cyclists can enjoy the Taff Trail, from Brecon to Cardiff. A popular walk is the Taf Fechan ridge walk, known as the Beacons Horseshoe. The park also supports climbing, watersports, hang-gliding and caving.
Neolithic remains, Bronze Age burial cairns, Iron Age hill forts, Roman settlements and Norman castles illustrate the park’s fascinating history.
Find a B&B in the Brecon Beacons
Click on the town name to see which Bed and Breakfasts are available in, or near, the Brecon Beacons area.
- Bed and Breakfasts Abergavenny
- Bed and Breakfasts Brecon
- Bed and Breakfasts Builth Wells
- Bed and Breakfasts Merthyr Tydfil
Dartmoor is an archaeologist’s delight and a landscape lover’s paradise.
The national park covers 600 square miles of high, boggy plateaux and open moorland and heath, divided by the River Dart. The stark, granite uplands, with their tors, give way to the soft, wooded river valleys and their fast flowing streams.
Dartmoor’s history is immense. There are prehistoric stone rows dotting Bronze Age field systems and Bronze and Iron Age hut circles leading up to hillforts. Ancient clapper bridges cross the streams and the moor’s mining heritage is evident.
Ponies, cattle and sheep graze the moor and find their way into many of the villages.
Drewsteignton, North Bovey and Lustleigh have traditional thatched cottages and medieval stone farmhouses. Ashburton boasts streets of slate-hung houses and Moretonhampstead has an unusual row of 17th century almshouses. The picturesque towns of Ashburton, Tavistock, Ivybridge and Okehampton encircle the park…and there is Castle Drogo, England’s newest castle.
Footpaths and bridleways abound – the Two Moors Way links Dartmoor to Exmoor – and there is angling in reservoirs and rivers, along with canoeing.
Find a B&B in Dartmoor
Click on the town name to see which Bed and Breakfasts are available in, or near, the Dartmoor area.
- Bed and Breakfasts Bovey Tracey
- Bed and Breakfasts Dartmoor
- Bed and Breakfasts Newton Abbot
- Bed and Breakfasts Okehampton
Exmoor is a place of great beauty and tranquillity, with scenery of rocky headlands, ravines, caves and waterfalls, which stops suddenly at the highest sea cliffs in England, overlooking the Bristol Channel. Its hilly, heather-clad moorland and tree-clad valleys cover 430 square miles.
The South West Coast Path runs along Exmoor’s coast. Other long-distance routes include the Two Moors Way and the Exe Valley Walk. There is also some first rate mountain biking and horse riding and the fast-flowing rivers offer fishing and canoeing.
Among the smaller rivers is Badgworthy Water, associated with R.D. Blackmore’s romantic novel Lorna Doone.
Exmoor’s woodlands contain ancient trees that have won special status. This mosaic of habitats is home to deer, rare plant life and butterflies, merlin and Exmoor ponies.
Lynton and Lynmouth and their traditional stone and slate buildings make up the largest settlement, while in the Vale of Porlock there are villages of colour-washed cob, stone and thatch.
The park’s history is illustrated by Bronze Age burial mounds and stone circles, Iron Age hillforts, Roman forts, the harbour at Porlock Weir and the medieval Dunster Castle.
Find a B&B in the Exmoor area
Click on the town name to see which Bed and Breakfasts are available in, or near, the Exmoor area.
- Bed and Breakfasts Dulverton
- Bed and Breakfasts Dunster
- Bed and Breakfasts Exmoor
- Bed and Breakfast Lynmouth
- Bed and Breakfasts Minehead
The biggest of England’s national parks, the Lake District has the country’s highest mountains, deepest valleys and longest lakes. Its 30-mile radius encompasses glacier-etched, tree-clad valleys, meadowland, ancient woodland and challenging ridges and peaks. Scafell Pike is the highest, at 3,210 feet. There are also many miles of gentle lakeside strolls. Look out for red squirrels, roe deer and buzzards.
Cruises on the lakes offer amazing views. Those on Windermere allow you to leave the boat and explore Ambleside, Wray Castle, the National Park Visitors’ Centre and Bowness. Keswick, overlooking Derwentwater, is a long-standing favourite with tourists, along with Grasmere.
The Lake District inspired writers and artists, including Wordsworth, Beatrix Potter, Turner and Ruskin. Its fascinating and sometimes violent history is told by Castlerigg’s Neolithic stone circle and the Roman fort, at Hardknott.
The park is also great mountain biking country. Whinlatter Forest and Grizedale Forest have many routes for all abilities. There is also walking and cycling on the Keswick Railway Path and more relaxed travelling on the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway.
Find a B&B in the Lake District area
Click on the town name to see which Bed and Breakfasts are available in, or near, the Lake District area.
- Bed and Breakfasts Ambleside
- Bed and Breakfasts Broughton in Furness
- Bed and Breakfasts Kendal
- Bed and Breakfasts Windermere
NORTHUMBERLAND NATIONAL PARK
England meets Scotland on the north-west border of this national park, which has been described as England’s most remote. Its popular claim to fame is Hadrian’s Wall but anyone who has walked the Cheviot and Simonside Hills and the Whin Sill and marvelled at the views, will challenge this.
The park has some of the best preserved sections of Hadrian’s Wall, including Housesteads Fort, and the National Trail running alongside gives walkers improved access to this World Heritage Site. The Pennine Way crosses the park, part of almost 700 miles of walking routes.
The fine landscapes are complemented by the lack of human intrusion, making them even more attractive to those seeking rugged tranquillity. Ancient woodland, forest, bog and heather are home to curlew and red squirrel.
Villages that show off the park’s special qualities include Alwinton, with stone houses on the green, and Elsdon and its defensive works harking back to the area’s turbulent past. There are fortified towers and Iron Age forts, including Yeavering Bell, at Kirknewtown.
Visitors can also enjoy rock climbing, canoeing and riding.
Find a B&B in the Northumberland National Park
Click on the town name to see which Bed and Breakfasts are available in, or near, the Northumberland National Park area.
The Peak District has ‘something for everyone’ as a national park. There is walking, climbing, cycling, caving, angling, horse riding and a wild, unspoilt landscape. One of the routes includes four old railway tunnels.
The park can be divided into three: the White Peak, in the centre, with its deep valleys and undulating limestone landscape; the moorland and millstone grit of Dark Peak to the north, dominated by Kinder Scout, and the softer moor and grassland of the South West Peak, with its plentiful wildlife. Some rare species to be seen include twite, short-eared owl and the intriguing Derbyshire Feather Moss.
The Derwent Valley is home to classic parkland and great houses including Chatsworth and Haddon Hall. Then there’s traditional well dressing at Tissington and other villages, memories of the plague at Eyam and the caves of Castleton. The area’s industrial heritage is remembered through former cotton mills and lead mines. Ancient history is brought to the fore at Mam Tor Iron Age hill fort and the Arbor Low stone circle.
Find a B&B in the Peak District National Park
Click on the town name to see which Bed and Breakfasts are available in, or near, the Peak District area.
- Bed and Breakfasts Ashbourne
- Bed and Breakfasts Bakewell
- Bed and Breakfasts Chesterfield
- Bed and Breakfasts Matlock
- Bed and Breakfasts Macclesfield
- Bed and Breakfasts Leek
The Snowdonia National Park has some of the most awe-inspiring scenery in Britain. Reaching south from the mighty Conwy Castle to the glorious River Dyfi, the park is 830 square miles of rugged peaks, steep river valleys and many lakes. It is dominated in the north by Snowdon – at 3,560 feet, the highest mountain in Wales and England – and by Cadair Idris in the south.
The park’s nine mountain ranges are complemented by 40 miles of coastline with magnificent beaches and the Dyfi, Mawddach and Dwyryd estuaries. There are ancient forests, Iron Age hill forts, Roman forts, 13th century castles and picturesque villages such as Betwys-y-Coed and Beddgelert.
Great walking includes the Wales Coast Park and the North Wales Path and the Aber Falls family walk. There is the famous Snowdon mountain railway from Llanberis, and the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland narrow gauge railways also offer stunning views. The park has exciting mountain biking and horse riding.
There are 17 nature reserves in the national park. Rare wildlife includes otters and polecats, raven and osprey.
Find a B&B in Snowdonia National Park
Click on the town name to see which Bed and Breakfasts are available in, or near, the Snowdonia National Park.
THE NORFOLK BROADS
This mysterious network of waterways, shallow lakes, woodland, fen and marsh is a very special wetland that bursts with wildlife.
The backbone of the Broads is five rivers – the Ant, Thurne, Waveney, Yare and Bure – that reach across Norfolk and Suffolk from Norwich to the seaside towns of Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft. Off these are around 60 broads, lakes and dykes giving 125 miles of navigable waterway, which connect the Broadland communities including Wroxham, the ‘capital’ of the Broads, Stalham and Potter Heigham. The broads themselves are the flooded remains of peat pits dug in medieval times. The surrounding reedbeds, woods and bog are home to otters, kingfishers, bitterns, marsh harriers, swallowtail butterflies and fen orchid.
Motor and sailing cruisers can be hired for holidays, along with day boats, and there are trip boats. You can also row, canoe and dinghy sail. There is also some great walking. There are many miles of footpaths and wooden walkways over the marsh to viewpoints and bird watching hides. Cycling is another popular activity…and the Broads is an angler’s paradise.
Find a B&B near the Norfolk Broads
Click on the town name to see which Bed and Breakfasts are available in, or near, the Norfolk Broads area.
NORTH YORKSHIRE MOORS
Nature and history work together to make the North Yorkshire Moors National Park an inspirational place. Its landscapes of moorland, woodland, dales and coast are a foil to ruined abbeys, ancient churches and an industrial heritage.
The largest continuous expanse of heather moorland in England is set off by ancient woodland before coming to a halt at tall cliffs overlooking the North Sea. Robin Hood’s Bay and Staithes are two picturesque villages on this Heritage Coast.
Curlew and lapwing, rare butterflies and plants are found on the moor, heath and bog and rivers and streams. The park has two National Nature Reserves.
Walkers, cyclists and horse riders have the Cleveland Way and the Moor to Sea Network to tackle among the 1,400 miles of paths and tracks.
The park’s history runs from the last ice age to the bunkers of the Cold War, including the stunning Rievaulx Abbey and Terrace. The North Yorkshire Moors Railway gives another slant on the moors’ heritage.
There are visitors’ centres at Danby and at Sutton Bank, which boasts the ‘finest view in England.’
Find a B&B near the North Yorkshire Moors
Click on the town name to see which Bed and Breakfasts are available in, or near, the Yorkshire Moors area.
- Bed and Breakfasts Ampleforth
- Bed and Breakfasts Coxwold
- Bed and Breakfasts Helmsley
- Bed and Breakfasts Pickering
- Bed and Breakfasts Scarborough
- Bed and Breakfasts Thirsk
- Bed and Breakfasts Whitby
The Pembrokeshire Coast is the only one of Britain’s 15 national parks that is mainly coastal – nowhere is further than ten miles from the sea. Its rugged cliffs, sandy beaches, rocky coves, heath and woodland have made it internationally important.
The spectacular Pembrokeshire Coast National Trail running nearly 200 miles from St Dogmaels south to Amroth is a grandstand for the visitor. It is part of nearly 600 miles of walks, bridle ways and cycle tracks.
There are seven National Nature Reserves within the park. The cliffs and the islands of Skomer, Skokholm, Ramsey and Grassholm support large colonies of nesting seabirds. These include manx shearwater and gannet. Porpoises, dolphins, sunfish and basking sharks can be spotted from the cliffs and grey seals come ashore. Waders and wildfowl enjoy the estuaries and inlets.
The park’s history is told by prehistoric tombs, Celtic crosses, castles and medieval churches. There are discovery trails around Tenby, Newport, Porthgain and Nevern. Castell Henllys is a reconstructed Iron Age hill fort and Carew Mill is a restored tidal mill.
Find a B&B near the Pembrokeshire Coast
Click on the town name to see which Bed and Breakfasts are available in, or near, the Pembrokeshire Coast area.
The New Forest has a rare, beautiful, yet fragile landscape made up of woodland, heathland and river and coastal habitats. It was created by William the Conqueror to chase the deer and wild boar.
Some of the park’s oaks are around 600 years old, part of the greatest concentration of ancient and veteran trees in northern Europe. The heather-clad heathland makes way to grassland and waterlogged bogs, or mires. Thousands of ponies, cattle, sheep, donkeys and pigs are put out to graze it. There is a rich wildlife including the Dartford warbler, sand lizard and smooth snake. The wetlands support unusual plant life.
The New Forest’s coastline – on the Solent – is a mix of shingle, saltmarsh, lagoons and mudflats.
There is a network of footpaths, bridleways and cycle tracks giving access to 120 square miles of park land, which has Bronze and Iron Age sites and hamlets of cob and thatch cottages. Lyndhurst, with its Queen’s House, is the ancient capital of the New Forest, while Brockenhurst has the oldest of the forest’s many medieval churches. Visit Beaulieu, Buckler’s Hard, on the Beaulieu River, and Lepe Country Park.
Find a B&B near the New Forest
Click on the town name to see which Bed and Breakfasts are available in, or near, the New Forest area.
- Bed and Breakfasts Lymington
- Bed and Breakfasts Lyndhurst
- Bed and Breakfasts New Milton
- Bed and Breakfasts Romsey
SOUTH DOWNS NATIONAL PARK
The South Downs National Park is a unique combination of glorious rolling downland, ancient woodland, river valleys and busy towns and villages. It covers 1,000 square miles and stretches from the cathedral city of Winchester eastwards to the market town of Lewes.
Winchester is the start of the park’s ‘backbone’ – the 100 mile long South Downs Way. This National Trail opens up to walkers, cyclists and horse riders classic chalk landscapes and superb views. These include the Western Weald, the wooded Weald of Sussex and The Solent and the Isle of Wight. The trail finishes at the stunning chalk sea cliffs of the Seven Sisters and Beachy Head. There are way-marked trails taking visitors across the park, which also has two country parks – near Waterlooville and Brighton.
Activities also include hang-gliding and mountain boarding and wildlife watchers can explore habitats that are home to deer and red kite.
The park has a rich agricultural, industrial and cultural heritage. There are Iron Age hill forts at Chanctonbury Ring, World War II defensive sites and the Georgian Uppark House. Visit Brighton Pavilion and Arundel Castle.
Find a B&B near the South Downs National Park
Click on the town name to see which Bed and Breakfasts are available in, or near, the South Downs National Park area.
- Bed and Breakfasts Alton
- Bed and Breakfasts Arundel
- Bed and Breakfasts Billingshurst
- Bed and Breakfasts Chichester
- Bed and Breakfasts Eastbourne
- Bed and Breakfasts Lewes
- Bed and Breakfasts Midhurst
- Bed and Breakfasts Petersfield
- Bed and Breakfast Waterlooville
- Bed and Breakfasts Worthing
LOCH LOMOND & THE TROSSACHS NATIONAL PARK
The Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park is a place of dramatic contrasts with its high mountains, rolling lowlands, lochs, rivers, moorland and forests. It stretches over 720 square miles and is made up of four areas – Loch Lomond, Argyll Forest, The Trossachs and Breadalbane.
Watched over by Ben Lomond, Loch Lomond is the largest expanse of freshwater in Great Britain. Argyll Forest lies beneath the ‘Arrochar Alps’ with a stunning view from the top of Glen Croe. The Trossachs’ wild glens and lochs are shown off from Duke’s Pass to Loch Katrine. Breadalbane is the land of giants – Ben Lui, Ben Challum, Ben More and Ben Vorlich.
Long distance walks include The West Highland Way and The Rob Roy Way. There are walks for all abilities and some fine mountain biking and horse riding. The park is a mountaineer’s paradise with great rock climbing and bouldering.
Watersports of all kinds on Loch Lomond and the lochs in the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park are complemented by white water kayaking on the rivers.
Wildlife watchers can spot golden eagle, osprey, deer and red squirrel and seals and porpoises in the sea lochs.
Find a B&B near Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park
Click on the town name to see which Bed and Breakfasts are available in, or near, the area of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park.
The Cairngorms is Britain’s largest national park, with a unique range of landscapes, wildlife and habitats. Its 2,400 square miles has five of Scotland’s highest peaks and the largest area of arctic mountain landscape in the British Isles. Deep, high valleys lead down to huge tracts of ancient, untouched woodland and the rivers Spey, Dee and Don.
The park’s vast array of wildlife includes golden eagle and osprey, pine marten, red squirrel and wildcat.
The lochs and rivers offer great boating, rafting, fishing and gorge walking. Walkers can enjoy many miles of local pathways, along with the East Highland Way and the Speyside Way and cyclists and mountain bikers are well catered for. The National Cycle Network crosses the area. Winter sports enthusiasts can base themselves around three Scottish Ski Centres, including Aviemore.
History in the park is told by remains of prehistoric, Celtic and Pictish times, castle ruins and the aftermath of the Jacobite uprising. Follow the Victorian Heritage Trail, visit the Queen’s holiday home, Balmoral Castle, explore Corgarff Castle…and look in on the many distilleries.
Click on the town name to see which Bed and Breakfasts are available in, or near, the Cairngorms National Park.
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