Wildlife Sanctuaries in UK

Lake District National Park, Snowdonia National Park, Peak District National Park, Dartmoor National Park, Yorkshire Dales National Park, Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, Exmoor National Park, Northumberland National Park, North York Moors National Park, and more.

The fifteen breathtaking national parks in United Kingdom are home to many valued landscapes of Wales, Scotland, and England. These national parks also shelter protected farms, cultural heritage, historical sites, rustic villages, and even markets that readily attract all kinds of travelers to encounter their thriving ecology.

Each national park and wildlife sanctuary in UK makes for a dedicated piece of populated area with a major portion of land owned privately, where the individuals settling in the villages and towns or farming the land participate in preserving the landscapes as well as wildlife of the place.

These national parks propel all kinds of tourists including wildlife enthusiasts, nature lovers, history buffs, and architecture enthusiasts. Tourists visiting these national parks usually spend time enjoying nature walks, boating, canoeing, mountain climbing, cycling, shopping souvenirs, fishing, and spotting rare wildlife species like ospreys, wild ponies, and native red squirrels.

Here is a list of wildlife sanctuaries in UK:

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Lake District National Park, England

The Lake District National Park is one of the largest national parks in United Kingdom covering an area of 2,290 km2 in the administrative county of Cumbria, England. This UNESCO World Heritage site is a postcard panorama of craggy hilltops, ancient woodlands, mountain tarns, a wealth of wildlife and glittering lakes.

The park encapsulates 16 lakes, including the largest, Windermere, more than 150 high peaks, with England’s tallest peak: 978-meter Scafell Pike. The park has a wide range of activities like camping, boating and trekking and attractions like 5,000 year old stone circles, Roman roads and classic country estates. Some of the scenic highlights are the magnificent views from Sphinx Rock, the beautiful Newlands Valley, and the dramatic drive over Kirkstone Pass.

Best time to visit: April to October.

Timings: 9am to 5.30pm.

Highlights: 5,000 year old stone circles, Roman roads and classic country estates.

Snowdonia National Park, Wales

Covering 2,130 km2 of diverse landscapes, Snowdonia national park was the first one to be designated out of the three initially declared national parks in United Kingdom. Snowdonia boasts the Bala Lake, the largest natural lake in Wales, the highest mountain in England and Wales called the Yr Wyddfa, wooded valleys of oak, ash, rowan and hazel as well as rich wildlife.

The rugged mountain landscapes stimulate the possibilities for climbing, hill walking, fishing, and sightseeing.  Snowdonia is an area steeped in culture and local history with a wealth of picturesque villages like Betws y Coed and Beddgelert. In opposition to the national park of many other countries, the park consists of both public and private lands.

Best time to visit: June to August.

Timings: 9:30am to 5pm.

Highlights: Picturesque villages.

Peak District National Park, England

Established in 1951, the Peak District was one of the first officially declared national parks in United Kingdom. Spanning around 555 square miles of area, this national park is broadly split into three distinct landscapes, White Peak, the Dark Peak and South West Peak. The park’s boundary marks on key entrances and its logo feature a millstone made up of the famous gritstone of the Dark Peak.

The park has charming towns and villages, soothing countryside and the freedom to escape from the crowded cities. Nature lovers can enjoy pastureland, reservoirs, varied wildlife and habitats while it offers camping, climbing and caving to thrill-seekers.

Best time to visit: Last two weeks of August and the first week of September.

Timings: Open 24 hours.

Highlights: Pastureland, reservoirs, varied wildlife and habitats.

Dartmoor National Park, England

The 954 square kilometers of area of the Dartmoor National Park  is highly diverse with open moorlands, deep river valleys, granite tors, mysterious hut circles and standing stones with a rich history and rare wildlife.

This national park is a wonderful and exhilarating place to explore the highest tors on foot, hack over the moor on horseback, tackle the steepest hills on your bike, brave a cold dip while wild swimming, go for kayaking and climbing or enjoy a slothful day fishing its very special atmosphere. History lovers can explore curious geology and fascinating archaeology of the castle ruins of Bronze Age, Iron Age hill forts and learn about local myths and legends.

Best time to visit: April.

Timings: 10am to 4pm.

Highlights: Fascinating archaeology.

Yorkshire Dales National Park, England

The Yorkshire Dales national parks in United Kingdom covering 2,179 square kilometres was designated in 1954. It's known for its extraordinary and spectacular waterfalls and ancient broadleaved woodland, finest limestone scenery in the UK, an underground labyrinth of caves, the diversity of its wildlife, its rich cultural heritage and wonderful opportunities for outdoor activities.

It's far away from city lights and will be amazing for stargazing and enjoy the stepped skylines. Three highest Peaks of Dales called Pen-y-Ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough are a hiking challenge to take on. Malham Cove is one of the best known limestone formations which has a white cliff face standing at a colossal 260 feet and was featured in the BBC’s Seven Natural Wonders series.

Best time to visit: March-April or September-October.

Timings: Open 24 hours.

Highlights: Extraordinary and spectacular waterfalls.

Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, Scotland

Loch Lomond is a very famous lake in the Trossachs National Park, which is popular for its water based recreation and sporting activities. The surrounding expanse of this place is used to be the home for red deer and oak woodlands.

You will be able to marvel at the rolling countryside and ancient luss villages along with your loved ones. If you are an adventure lover, then you can stroll along the footpaths as well as head out on cycle trails criss crossing craggy Ben Lomond Mountain.

Best time to visit: Spring, summer and early autumn.

Timings: Open 24 hours.

Highlights: Ben Lomond Mountain.

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, Wales

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park happens to be a national park that is situated along the Pembrokeshire Coast in West Wales. Being established in 1952, the park is among the three coastal national parks in the United Kingdom.

The best way to explore the breathtaking sights of this national park is to head out on walking tours. The visitors can also spend some time taking part in some of the exhilarating recreational activities offered by the park, like wildlife watching, water based adventure sports, and relaxing walks.

Best time to visit: July through September and June to September.

Timings: 9am to 5pm.

Highlights: Wildlife watching, water based adventure sports.

Exmoor National Park, England

Exmoor national park in England is named after River Exe and happens to be adorned by unique landscapes of woodland, lush green valleys, farmlands and moorlands.

The beauty of this national park has been shaped by people and nature over centuries in the past. Tourists love to spend time taking part in various activities at this place such as Walking on Exmoor tours, Stargazing, Horse Riding, Road Cycling, Mountain Biking, Canoeing, Fishing.

Best time to visit: Spring.

Timings: Open 24 hours.

Highlights: Stargazing, Horse Riding, Road Cycling, Mountain Biking.

Northumberland National Park, England

Northumberland National Park in England is a unitary authority and historic country that borders Cumbria to the west, Scottish borders to the north and County Durham and Tyne and Wear to the south. During your visit, you can spend time exploring the nearby areas of the wildlife sanctuary in the UK and well as take part in a number of things.

Some of the sought after places that you can visit in the course of your stay are Sycamore Gap, Linhope Spout, Lordenshaws, Brocolitia Roman Temple, and The Cheviot. You can also take part in some of the fun filled activities like active outdoors tours, cultural and heritage tour, nature tours, learning tour of the park.

Best time to visit: May or June.

Timings: 10am to 5pm.

Highlights: Cultural and heritage tour.

North York Moors National Park, England

North York Moors National Park happens to be an upland area in North Yorkshire, England, having the largest expanse of heather moorland in the UK. The national park was designated in the year 1952.

This special place is forged by nature and has been shaped by generations. In the course of your visit, you will be welcomed by pristine views of nature. Tourists love to head out on nature tours to the nearby woodlands to experience the serenity and tranquility of the wildlife sanctuary in UK. You can also head out for local exploration tours to the markets and towns.

Best time to visit: Summer and early autumn.

Timings: Open 24 hours.

Highlights: Pristine views.

Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales

Spread across an area of about 519 square miles, Brecon Beacons National Park is one of the most beautiful national parks in United Kingdom, showcasing an amalgamation of enchanting habitats and landscapes including verdant valleys, open hills, mystical forests, flat-topped mesas, and shimmering streams.

The entire landscape is packed with long standing stones, dolmens, ancient people, and prehistoric tracks. The unique topography of the Brecon Beacons National Park makes the place suitable for enjoying a wide range of adrenaline-fueled activities, such as horse riding, mountain biking, kayaking, sheep rearing and hand gliding. The park also has independent craft shops and galleries from where you can shop for handcrafted local souvenirs.

Best time to visit: May to September.

Timings: Anytime.

Highlights: Souvenir shopping, farm shops, bakeries, underground adventures, golf, fishing, spa.

The Broads National Park, England

Considered to be the largest protected wetland of England, The Broads National Park offers picturesque waterways, which shelter rare wildlife. The national park is home to villages, markets, and a variety of preserved habitats like grazing marshes, fen, and woodlands.

The unmatched ecosystems and rich history of the park attract tourists to interact with the flourishing community of flora and fauna contained here. The visitors coming to the park get the chance to indulge in a plethora of fun-filled and thrilling water and land activities, including boating, fishing, sailing, cycling, and nature walks.

Best time to visit: June to September.

Timings: Anytime.

Highlights: Navigable waterways, windmills, water sports.

New Forest National Park, England

Home to the largest deciduous woodland of the UK, the New Forest National Park is an amalgamation of a widespread forest and lowland heath area. This bewildering national park shelters some of the oldest trees in the country, with the Knightwood Oak dating back to 500 years and a yew tree dating back to 1,000 years.

The park is inhabited by around 500 to 600 common people, who graze their pigs, sheeps, ponies, and cattles here with legal permission. One of the major attractions of the New Forest National Park is the New Forest pony, which originates from Welsh pony and crossbred with Highland, Dartmoor, and Exmoor pony.

Best time to visit: March to early June.

Timings: Anytime.

Highlights: Charming pubs, maritime heritage, historic villages, horse riding, golf.

South Downs National Park, England

Accessible via the 99-mile prehistoric South Downs Way route, South Downs National Park is counted among the newest national parks in United Kingdom.  On your way to the national park, you will come across dozens of rustic villages, historic towns, prehistoric formations, colourful wildflowers, intriguing plants, and beautiful butterflies.

The breathtaking landscapes of the park shelter bustling market towns, gold and green hills, magnificent wildlife, and rustic pubs. Shaped by natural phenomena as well as human use, this landscape is considered to be an important source for unparalleled biodiversity and ecology. South Downs National Park also offers the visitors plenty of recreational activities like horse riding and cycling.

Best time to visit: May to October.

Timings: Anytime.

Highlights: Country pubs, historic estates, hidden villages, ancient woodlands, chalk grasslands.

Cairngorms National Park, Scotland

Spread across a whopping area of around 1,748 square miles, Cairngorms National Park makes for the largest national park and wildlife sanctuary in UK. This Scottish national park is home to 5 of the country’s six highest peaks, arctic landscapes, shimmering rivers, primeval Caledonian forests, and windswept mountains.

Wildlife enthusiasts visiting the park can experience jungle safari here and enjoy spotting exotic animals including Golden Eagles, the Scottish Crossbill, Capercaillie, otters, and water voles. While you are at Cairngorms National Park, you can also indulge in exhilarating sports like skiing, fishing, mountain biking, hiking, canoeing, and sailing.

Best time to visit: Mid February to October.

Timings: Anytime.

Highlights: Whiskey tourism, Highland Folk Museum, historic sites, mountain sports.

People Also Ask About United Kingdom

  1. What is the UK's largest national park?

    Spread across an area of around 4,528 square kilometers, the Cairngorms National Park makes for the largest national park in the UK. It has double the area of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs and is 40 percent larger in comparison to the Lake District. This huge park is home to umpteen varieties of habitats, landscapes, wildlife, and also people.
  2. Are national parks free in the UK?

    Yes, the national parks in the United Kingdom offer free of cost entry to public visitors.
  3. What is the oldest national park in the UK?

    The most ancient national park in the United Kingdom is the Peak District National Park, which was established back in 1951. This age-old historically rich national park is packed with a plethora of national monuments, storybook villages, majestic abbeys, and stately homes.
  4. Which UK National Park has the most visitors?

    Lake District National Park is considered to get the highest number of national as well as international visitors per year. This beautiful national park is estimated to receive around 2.2 million visitors every year.
  5. How do you get to Lake District National Park?

    The nearest airports to Lake District National Park are in Manchester and Glasgow. After you arrive at any of these two cities, you can take a cab to finally reach the national park.
  6. How long does it take to walk up Snowdonia?

    There are six suggested paths to walk up to Snowdonia and each one will take you around 6 to 8 hours. The popular path is the Llanberis Path, which is the longest trail but offers a comparatively less strenuous climb.
  7. Which is better: Lake District or Peak District?

    Both Lake District and Peak District boast charming scenic beauty and a tranquil environment. That said, if mountains and water bodies attract you more, you should pick Lake District and if you are more enchanted with intriguing caves and rolling hills, you must head to Peak District.
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