Mountains, moorlands, woods and wetlands – Great Britain’s 15 National Parks are areas of protected countryside, the country’s ‘breathing spaces’ that everyone can enjoy. And these ideas for free days out with the kids may provide the perfect excuse!
Here’s a breakdown of some fantastic events and activities for kids, which the whole family can enjoy while visiting one of the UK’s National Parks this summer.
The Rothiemurchus Estate, located just outside Aviemore at the heart of the Cairngorms National Park, offers a Foot Safari with a Rothiemurchus Ranger among its many activities. It’s your chance to inspect the plants and animals of this magnificent ancient forest (01479 812345).
England: North West
Pack up your watercolours with your picnic and set up your easels at a choice spot in the Lake District. Check out these recommendations for the perfect viewpoints for creative inspiration and emulate some of the great British artists of the past. (01539 724555 / lakedistrict.gov.uk).
There are more than 65 miles of quiet, scenic lanes and off-road trails for cyclists of all abilities to enjoy in the Peak District National Park. Plenty of hire options are available if you don’t have your own wheels (01629 816200).
England: North East
Get hi-tech for your treasure hunt fun and go geocaching in and around the Northumberland National Park. There are around 50 caches hidden, plus 20 more along Hadrian’s Wall in the area of the Once Brewed National Park Centre (01434 344396).
Have fun whatever the weather at The Moors Centre in the North York Moors National Park. There is an indoor climbing wall and an outdoor play area, an exhibition and gallery area, plus tearooms for that essential pit stop! (01439 772737).
Take a picnic and head out to one of the 17 beautiful waterside locations in the Brecon Beacons, such as the Craig-y-nos Country Park or the Castle Meadows, where you can put your feet up after enjoying free entry to Abergavenny Castle and museum (01874 624437).
Bitterns are one of our rarest species of birds. The black and white-striped chicks of the Great Crested Grebe ride on the backs of their parents and everyone loves a kingfisher! Be a bird brain and proud of it with some twitching at The Broads National Park (01603 610734).
England: South West
Get starry-eyed at Exmoor National Park. It has been designated an International Dark Sky Reserve – the second location in the world to be awarded this status. Download your Dark Skies Pocket Guide and be the first in the new wave of ‘astrotourists.’(01398 323665).
Bronze Age pony hoof prints have been discovered on Dartmoor, and the famous ponies still exist there today. See them for yourself in Dartmoor National Park and learn more about them at the Dartmoor Pony Heritage Trust Visitor Centre (01626 833234).
England: South/South East
Take an easy-access walk to visit the ancient twisted yew trees at Kingley Vale, a few miles North West of Chichester in the South Downs National Park. These giant specimens are some of the oldest living things in Britain! (01243 558700).
What activities can you recommend in your local National Park? Do share your comments below.
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