Europe's National Parks: Best of England

Visit the country's most popular protected areas
Staff Writer


Newlands Valley and Derwent Fells in the English Lake District

Englad's ten national parks dot the country and comprise some of the most amazing natural places in all of Europe. Here are some highlights from the most popular parks.

Lake District National Park
Size: 885 square miles
Location: Cumbria County in the north-west of England

This protected area is home to Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England at 3,209 feet, as well as Wastwater, the country's deepest lake. Ascent of Scafell Pike usually takes between 2-4 hours and can be done at your own pace. If you're more interesting in cycling, take a ride through Whinlatter and Grizedale Forests, where routes are available for beginner and advanced cyclists.

Yorkshire Dales National Park
Size: 680 square miles
Location: Northern England, straddling the central Pennines in North Yorkshire and Cumbria

In this park, you can find wildflowers that bloom nowhere else on Earth as you tackle long-distance routes such as Dales Way (80 miles). Guided theme walks, led by groups such as Dalesbus Ramblers and Friends of Settle-Carlisle Line, are also available on Saturdays and Sundays.

Peak District National Park
Size: 555 square miles
Location: Centralnorthern England, southwest of Sheffield

This area is known as a backpacker’s paradise with three different trails and 202 square miles of open access land. Adventurous trekkers can try Pennine Way National Trail. At 268 miles, it begins in Edale and crosses Kinder Scout—the highest point in the Peak District at 2,087 feet. For a unique treat, make your way down Titan Cave. At 464 feet, it’s the deepest shaft of any known cave in Britain. The park center will provide the necessary equipment and a guide; all you need are warm clothes. 


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