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Travel topics > Natural attractions > United Kingdom National Parks

The National Parks (Welsh: Parciau Cenedlaethol, Scottish Gaelic: Pàircan Nàiseanta) of the United Kingdom are to be found in England, Scotland, and Wales. There are no National Parks in Northern Ireland.

Slightly less strict designations also exist: the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and the National Scenic Area in Scotland.


See also: Walking in the United Kingdom

Each park is operated by its own National Park Authority, with two "statutory purposes":

  • to conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the area, and
  • to promote opportunities for the understanding and enjoyment of the park's special qualities by the public.

Despite the name, National Parks in the UK are quite different from those in many other countries, where National Parks are owned and managed by the government as a protected community resource, and permanent human communities are not a part of the landscape. In the UK, National Parks can include substantial towns and villages, and land uses such as farming and forestry which are often integral parts of the landscape. Land within a National Park remains largely in private ownership, and so land access is usually subject to the same restrictions as elsewhere in the country.

National Parks in the UK have no admission charges, and there may only be a road sign to indicate that you are entering a park.

National ParksEdit

The United Kingdom has 15 national parks; of these, 10 are in England, three in Wales, and two in Scotland:

Name Photo Country
Brecon Beacons   Wales
Norfolk Broads   England
Cairngorms   Scotland
Dartmoor   England
Exmoor   England
Lake District   England
Loch Lomond and The Trossachs   Scotland
New Forest   England
Northumberland   England
North York Moors   England
Peak District   England
Pembrokeshire Coast   Wales
Snowdonia   Wales
South Downs   England
Yorkshire Dales   England

National Scenic Areas and Areas of Outstanding Natural BeautyEdit

National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the UK(2008)

Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the United Kingdom are 41 defined areas in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, designated originally by the Countryside Agency, on behalf of the government. The equivalent in Scotland is the National Scenic Area. Natural England was set up in 2006 to succeed the Countryside Agency in England, and is a government body responsible for the protection and improvement of the natural environment in England.

National Scenic Area (NSA) is a national landscape designation applied in Scotland. There are 40 designated NSAs. They are considered of national importance based on their outstanding scenic landscapes. National Scenic area is equivalent to the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty designation which is used in the other countries of the UK. Since 2003, the superior National Park designation has been introduced. There are 2 National Parks in Scotland.

Name Photo Country
Anglesey   Wales
Antrim Coast   Northern Ireland
Antrim Glens   Northern Ireland
Ardnamurchan   Scotland
Arnside and Silverdale   England
Assynt - Coigach   Scotland
Ben Nevis   Scotland
Binevenagh   Northern Ireland
Blackdown Hills   England
Cannock Chase   England
Causeway Coast   Northern Ireland
Chichester Harbour   England
Chilterns   England
Clwydian Range   Wales
Cornwall   England
Cotswolds   England
Cranborne Chase   England
Cuillin Hills   Scotland
Dedham Vale   England
Deeside   Scotland
Dee Valley   Wales
Dornoch Firth   Scotland
Dorset   England
East Devon England
East Stewartry Coast Scotland
Eildon Scotland
Fleet Valley Scotland
Forest of Bowland England
Garvellachs Scotland
Glen Affric Scotland
Glen Lyon Scotland
Glen Strathfarrar Scotland
Glencoe Scotland
Gower Wales
Harris Scotland
High Weald England
Howardian Hills (see Ashdown Forest) England
Hoy Scotland
Isle of Wight England
Isle of Mull Scotland
Isles of Scilly England
Jura Scotland
Kent Downs England
Kintail Scotland
Knapdale Scotland
Knoydart Scotland
Kyle of Tongue Scotland
Kyles of Bute Scotland
Lagan Valley Northern Ireland
Lecale Coast England
Leaderfoot Scotland
Lincolnshire Wolds England
Lleyn Wales
Loch na Keal Scotland
Loch Rammoch Scotland
Loch Shiel Scotland
Loch Tummel Scotland
Lochnagar Scotland
Lunga Scotland
Lynn of Lorn Scotland
Malvern Hills England
Mendip Hills England
Moidart Scotland
Morar Scotland
Mourne Northern Ireland
Nidderdale England
Nith Estuary Scotland
North Arran Scotland
North Devon (see Devon) England
North Norfolk Coast England
North Pennines England
North Uist Scotland
North Wessex Downs England
Northumberland Coast England
Northwest Sutherland Scotland
Quantock Hills England
Ring of Gullion Northern Ireland
River Earn Scotland
River Tay Scotland
Scarba Scotland
Shetland Scotland
Shropshire Hills England
Small Isles Scotland
Solway Coast England
South Devon (see Devon) England
South Lewis Scotland
South Uist Machair Scotland
Sperrin Northern Ireland
St Kilda Scotland
Strangford Lough Northern Ireland
Suffolk Coast England
Suffolk Heaths England
Surrey Hills England
Tamar Valley England
Trotternish Scotland
Upper Tweeddale Scotland
West Mainland Scotland
West Wiltshire Downs England
Wester Ross Scotland
Wye Valley Wales/England
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