UK National Parks

Location of National Parks in the UK

UK National Parks Map - © http://www.nationalparks.gov.uk

The UK is home to 15 National Parks located across England, Wales and Scotland; visitors will find scenic areas of meadows, moorlands, woods, wetlands, mountains offering some truly inspiring landscapes. The National Parks contain some of the finest and most breathtaking scenery in the UK. From the scenic Peak District and Lake District in England to the mountains of Snowdonia to the fine coastal scenery on the Pembrokeshire Coast in Wales to the lochs and mountains in the Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park in Scotland, the parks offer visitors plenty to see and explore.

What Are National Parks?
National Parks are protected areas owing to their cultural heritage, wildlife and scenic countryside. The protected areas aim to ensure that wildlife and nature are protected and people can continue to benefit from nature whilst preserving it. The parks aim to conserve and enhance the cultural heritage, wildlife and natural beauty of the areas and promote opportunities of upstanding an enjoyment of the special qualities of the National Parks by the public.

Special qualities of National Parks include their history and archaeology, geography and geology, landscape and views and biodiversity and rare species. Additionally the history and traditions of the people who have lived there makes the areas special.

People both live and work in the National Parks and the villages, towns and farms that are located here are protected along with the landscape and wildlife. National Parks are open for visitors who can enjoy the special qualities and scenic beauty of the areas.

The first National Parks were established back in 1951 with the Peak District, Lake District, Dartmoor and Snowdonia and over the years others have been added with the most recent the South Downs being added back in 2010.

List of UK National Parks
The UK currently has 15 National Parks, there are 10 in England, 3 in Wales and 2 in Scotland. The parks along with year of designation are outlined below:

England’s National Parks include: Dartmoor (1951), Exmoor (1954), Lake District (1951), New Forest (2005), North York Moors (1952), Northumberland (1956), Peak District (1951), South Downs (2010), The Broads (1989) and Yorkshire Dales (1954).

Wales’s National Parks include: Brecon Beacons (1957), Pembrokeshire Coast (1952) and Snowdonia (1951).

Scotland’s National Parks include: Cairngorms National Park (2003) and Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park (2002).

Facts & Figures:
In England, the 10 National Parks cover 9.3% of land.
In Wales, the 3 National Parks cover 19.9% of land.
In Scotland, the 2 National Parks cover 7.2% of land.

Additionally Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) cover approx 18% of land in England and Wales, 13% of land in Scotland (National Scenic Areas) and 17% of land in Northern Ireland.

Internationally there are around 113,000 National Parks and similarly protected areas that cover around 6% of the earth accounting for 149 million square kilometres.

South Downs National Park

Guide to South Downs National Park more

Lake District National Park

Guide to Lake District National Park more

Peak District National Park

Guide to Peak District National Park more

Dartmoor National Park

Guide to Dartmoor National Park more

Exmoor National Park

Guide to Exmoor National Park more

New Forest National Park

Guide to New Forest National Park more

Northumberland National Park

Guide to Northumberland National Park more

North York Moors National Park

Guide to North York Moors National Park more

Yorkshire Dales National Park

Guide to Yorkshire Dales National Park more

Brecon Beacons National Park

Guide to Brecon Beacons National Park more

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park

Guide to Pembrokeshire Coast National Park more

Cairngorms National Park

Guide to Cairngorms National Park more

Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park

Guide to Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park more
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