The top ten UK national parks holiday cottages

The top ten UK national parks

Julie Smith 02 July 2021

With 15 different national parks dotted all around the UK you’ll never have too far to travel before reaching one of these wonderful outdoor spaces. All have been identified as being important to our national heritage and given special protection to preserve their natural beauty. 

National parks are also available for everyone to make the most of the great outdoors so whether you fancy seeking out some wonderful plants, flowers and indigenous wildlife or spotting stars in the UK darkest night skies, it’s well worth getting out and exploring them.  

Here at Brecon Beacons Holiday Cottages we love the dramatic landscape of the Brecon Beacons but how does this beloved National Park compare to others around the UK? Each National Park has its own unique identity and special characteristics so we have pored over the data, comparing various different factors, to rank the top 10 National Parks and crown an overall winner.  

The top 10 National Parks are:

  1. Snowdonia
  2. Yorkshire Dales
  3. Lake District
  4. Brecon Beacons
  5. Peak District
  6. Cairgorms
  7. South Downs
  8. Loch Lomond and the Trossachs
  9. Northumberland
  10. North York Moors

Discover these wonderful National Parks

1: Snowdonia

Snowdonia is home to the highest peak and the largest natural lake in Wales. It covers 2176 square kilometres and is the UK’s most biodiverse national park. 

2: Yorkshire Dales

The Yorkshire Dales National Park was made a Dark Sky Reserve in 2020 and with rugged countryside that's peppered with pretty villages, wildflower meadows and country pubs it attracts 9.5 million visitors a year.

3: Lake District

A designated World Heritage site, the Lake District is the most visited of all the UK national parks and is best known for its glistening lakes, dramatic peaks, and waterside towns where you'll find an array of AA-rated restaurants.

4: Brecon Beacons

The Brecon Beacons are made up of six different counties - more than any other UK national park. The tranquil countryside here is filled with waterfalls, mountains, and underground caverns with nine different Brecon Beacons castles to explore.


5: Peak District

The Peak District is one of the UK's oldest national parks and it was awarded this special status in April 1951. It's best known for steep limestone valleys and moorland peaks which attract 8.75 million visitors each year.

6: Cairngorms

Located in the heart of the Scottish Highlands, the Cairngorms are the UK's largest national park at a whopping 4,528 square kilometres. They are also home to the highest point within the UK's national parks - Ben Macdui at 1,309 metres high. 

7: South Downs

The chalky hills of the South Downs National Park stretch across the counties of Hampshire, East Sussex and West Sussex. With more permissible footpaths to follow than any other national park, the South Downs are a perfect choice for a walking holiday.

8: Loch Lomond and the Trossachs

The most-visited national park in Scotland is Loch Lomond and the Trossachs which is home to the famous loch along with dramatic peaks and peaceful woodland. At 1174 metres, Ben More the the highest point in the national park.

9: Northumberland

With 12 different Dark Sky Discovery sites and International Dark Sky Park status, Northumberland is the best national park to go stargazing in. The tranquil countryside is a haven for native British wildlife and Northumberland National Park attracts 7 million visitors each year.

10: North York Moors

One of two national parks in Yorkshire, the North York Moors encompasses a variety of different landscapes including 42 kilometres of heritage coastline, 8,600 acres of forest and 44,000 hectares of beautiful heather-clad moorland. 

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Discover the Brecon Beacons

If you fancy discovering the dark skies, waterfalls, castles and mountains of the Brecon Beacons, we have a range of characterful cottages in some of the loveliest locations of the Welsh national park. Browse our full range of holiday cottages to find your perfect base for exploring the Brecon Beacons National Park.

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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