Trek your way through national parks in the U.K.

Loch Lomond in Scotland Photo by K. Mitch Hodge from Unsplash
Loch Lomond in Scotland Photo by K. Mitch Hodge from Unsplash

Trek your way through national parks in the U.K.

by Stacy Roman
Stripes Europe

If you’ve been missing your favorite national park in the States, there are plenty of options in Europe to discover. In fact, the United Kingdom is home to 15 unique and spectacular national parks. Not bad for a landmass area smaller than the state of Minnesota. Lace up your boots, grab your water and hit the trails at one of these five favorites.

Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales
Tucked away in southern Wales, Brecon Beacons is made up of four distinctly different districts. Traverse the mountain plateaus in search of hidden waterfalls, or stroll through the idyllic pastures and meadows in between. Stay the night and discover why the park was bestowed the rare honor of being named an International Dark Sky Reserve.

Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, Scotland
Home to one of the largest and deepest lakes in Great Britain, Loch Lomond is often viewed as the delineating line between central Scotland and the Scottish Highlands. Comprised of nature reserves and more than 20 mountain peaks, Loch Lomond and the Trossachs are popular with hikers and hillwalkers. Climb to the summit of Ben Lomond for breathtaking panoramas, or hike through the park along the West Highland Way – one of Scotland’s long-distance hiking routes.

A trail alongside a ranch in North York Moors National Park | Photo by Chris J. Walker from Unsplash 

North York Moors National Park, England
Centrally located along the northeast coastline of England, the North York Moors National Park offers rocky plateaus and stretches of jagged North Sea coastline. With ancient ruins, crumbling abbeys and castles dotting the hillsides, it’s easy to see how enchanted literary greats such as Lewis Carroll and Bram Stoker were with the area. During the spring, the green moorland gives way to vibrant purple heather blooms.

Peak District National Park, England
Although the name may be a bit of a misnomer, the Peak District National Park is home to beautiful rolling green hills and curious rock formations. A great place for novice hikers and cycling, there is also plenty to explore beneath the surface. The infamous “Devil’s Arse” cave and Speedwell cavern give glimpses into the area’s complex cave system and mining history.

Snowdonia National Park, Wales
Situated along the northwest coast of Wales, Snowdonia National Park boasts more than 14 craggy peaks and 100 lakes in its vast area. Take an adventure and enjoy the jaw-dropping scenery while horse trekking along the paths. Hike your way to the top of Mt. Snowdon — the tallest peak in Wales — and gaze across the Irish sea into Ireland on a clear day. Or get to the summit a little faster by riding the historic and iconic Snowdon Mountain Railway.

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