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The National Parks of England and Wales


The most spectacular and dramatic areas of the country in England and Wales were given the status of "National Parks" by Parliament, following a report written by John Dower in 1945. They were established to protect the countryside and provide space for outdoor recreation.

Below are some very brief descriptions. Expect a lot more when you get there and you won't be disappointed.


Northumberland
Description: Located where England meets Scotland. It consists of deep valleys, forests, grass moorland and the sharp 'Simonside Mountains' which offer great views for walkers. Hadrian's Wall can be found here and the popular walking route 'The Pennine Way'.

Lake District
Description: There are 880 square miles of moorland and fell, as well as the 16 lakes which give the area its name. Boating, walking and climbing are all popular activities in the area. There are 1,800 miles of public rights of way. The central area features the wild and rugged 'Scafell Pike'.

Yorkshire Dales
Description: Famous for its limestone pavements, cliff gorges, streams, waterfalls, and underground streams. The area is popular for caving and walking with routes such as 'The Dales Way', 'Ribble Way' and 'The Pennine Way'.

North York Moors
Description: Large areas of open heather moorland, forests in the south east, spectacular views over hills, deep dales and high cliffs at the coast. Features the 'Cleveland Way', a popular walking route.

Peak District
Description: Covers an area of 542 square miles. In the centre is 'White Peak', a limestone peak surrounded by 'Dark Peak' made of millstone grit. There are large areas of heather covered peat moorland. The area of Edale is the starting point for 'The Pennine Way'.

The Broads
Description: The Broads are made up of five rivers, woodlands, fens and marshes. They are actually the flooded remains of medieval peat pits, and probably the best way way to see the Broads is by boat. Bird watching is a popular activity, as there are many miles of footpaths and wooden walkways over the marshes, leading to purpose built hides. Marsh Harriers and Bitterns can be found here, as well as swallowtail butterflies and the Norfolk hawker dragonfly.

Dartmoor
Description: Contains two huge high and boggy areas separated by the 'River Dart'. This is the wildest open space in southern England. There are rocky areas and wooded river valleys, popular for fishing and horse riding. Home to the famous 'Dartmoor Ponies'.

Exmoor
Description: Features 265 square miles of heather covered commons. Where it meets the coast there are magnificent cliffs, waterfalls and wooded ravines. There are plenty of good walks and fishing is popular. The area is famous for its herds of Red Deer.

Brecon Beacons
Description: The Beacons are the most southerly mountains in Britain. In the area are spectacular caves, waterfalls, forests, and to the west of the Beacons are the 'Black Mountains'. High level walking is popular, with the ridge walks offering excellent views over the area.

Pembrokeshire
Description: A beautiful area in West Wales, featuring rugged cliffs, wide bays and small islands and open moorland. Wild flowers flourish in the mild climate, and there are colonies of seabirds and seals. The area is popular for sailing, surfing, diving and there is a 180 mile coast path for walkers.

Snowdonia
Description: Famous for its rugged mountains and deep valleys. There are rivers, lakes, waterfalls, forests and woods. The coastal areas feature wide sandy bays, popular for fishing and sailing.


Locations of the National Parks of England and Wales -  Copyright 2000 Gary Bradley
Locations of the National Parks



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  2006 G. Bradley. All Rights Reserved