Celebrating National Parks Week: 5 of the Best
National Parks Week is the National Parks family's annual celebration of Britain's most scenic, treasured landscapes, and the incredible biodiversity that populates them. It runs from Monday 25 to Sunday 31 July 2016.
Fittingly, the theme of this years celebration is adventure, which is something we here at Vango are able to appreciete. whether it's a tranquil walk through a forest rich with the smell of pine or a gruelling trek to the peak of one of Britains most challanging mountains, everyone has their own spirit of adventure. Here are just a few places that you will be able to find yours...
Cairngorms is Britains largest National park, containing its highest mountain range and biggest native forests. With crystal clear lochs and dramatic mountain peaks, there’s nowhere else quite like the Cairngorms National Park. To celebrate National Park Week there's a whole host of activities to partake in; show your spirit of adventure by building bug homes, pond dipping or going on a muddy treasure hunt!
The surrounding farmland of the Cairngorms is a biodiverse hub for some of the UK’s most unique and fascinating wildlife; it’s the only place you will be able to see the habitat of the majestic Golden Eagle, the only place you can see the rare Scottish Wildcat in its natural environment, and – if you’re lucky – maybe get a peek at one of Britain’s most rare and elusive animals, the Red Squirrel!
Dartmoor National Park comprises of a whispy heather covered moorland, strinking granite tors, stone circles and medieval villages. There’s no shortage of things to do at Dartmoor regardless of what type of adventurer you are: come to experience the tranquillity by getting away from it all, or come to push yourself to your very limits with a variety of activities including climbing, cycling and canoeing.
Oh, did we forget to mention? Dartmoor is the only National Park in England to allow wild camping! Nothing quite compares to sleeping against such a remarkable backdrop, and as this is the only place in England you can do so make sure you get your fill. There are restrictions on where you can and can’t camp however, so make sure you check out the map before your journey!
The Lake District comprises of high fells, deep glacial lakes and thriving rural communities. It has oft been a place of inspiration for writers and visitors alike, with its spectacular landscape being a huge influence on the works of Beatrix Potter and Alfred Wainright. Fun fact: It also inspired John Cunliffe to create childrens literary character Postman Pat! (Disclaimer: we are unable to confirm or deny if this was also the casefor his black and white cat.)
The Lake District is home to England’s highest mountain, Scafell Pike. Don’t let this title intimidate you; there are two clear routes to the peak of the mountain, both of which can be easily accomplished by novice walkers! The Lake District is also a popular spot for many aquatic activites, including boat trips, sailing, canoeing and swimming.
Loch Lomond & The Trossachs
You’re never far from a breath-taking view of the Scottish countryside in Loch Lomond & The Trossachs, with 22 large lochs, 21 Munros and roughly 50 rivers and streams at your disposal. This National Park is a hill climbers dream, and includes many of Scotlands most famous Munros including Ben A’an, Ben Venue and Ben Lomond.
Loch Lomond & The Trossachs are marking National Parks Week by launching a new campaign called ‘Respect Your Park’ – this initiative aims to promote resbonsible camping, including messages about noise, safe fires, fishing, and perhaps most crucially, littering. Littering is a big concern in many of these parks, and this campaign aims to raise awareness of the impact that littering has on our environment.
Litterbugs be warned: there’s a rumour that if you litter around the Loch, Nessie will emerge from the water and snatch you up, never to be seen or heard from again. Scrary as she may be, Nessie is a staunch environmentalist. So don’t mess.
Pembrokeshire Coast is quite different from the other parks mentioned on this list. It’s Britain’s only fully coastal National Park, with 418km of cliffs, beaches, harbours and coves to keep you busy. If you plan on walking the Pembrokeshire Coast Path we suggest you strap on some sturdy walking boots and pack plenty of food for yourself – the route stretches over 186 miles in total!
While it's quite a trek, it’s worth the blisters to bring you in touch with the glorious scenery of the Coast, as well as the many plants, animals and birds that live in this protected habitat. There are many authentic towns and villages to explore on your adventure, that are ideal for exploring and recuperating in along the way.
All images used in this blog courtesy of http://www.nationalparks.gov.uk/
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