There are 15 National Parks in the UK, containing some of the country’s wildest and most beautiful landscapes. Rugged coastline, sky piercing mountains, sparkling lakes and miles of rough moorland are all contained within their bounds. There are endless explorations to be made in each park, but here are some of our favourites.
Tour of the Tors, Dartmoor
Excitement in Dartmoor comes not from its giddy heights but its weird, rocky tor and moorlands laced with legend. This walk visits Greator Rocks and Hound Tor, allegedly formed when a hunter and his dogs interrupted a coven of witches, who promptly turned him and his dogs to stone.
Distance: 20km; Ascent: 661m
Craig Cerrig-gleisiad, Brecon Beacons
Just over the road from Pen y Fan is a little-visited but fascinating hill with sheer, thickly vegetated cliffs. Over 500 plant species grow here including Arctic Alpine species such as purple saxifrage at its southern limit in the UK. Head up to 734m Fan Fawr for a brilliant view of the park.
Distance: 13km; Ascent: 592m
Strumble Head, Pembrokeshire Coast
The entire Pembrokeshire coast line is a rising, falling, craggy adventure through coves and along cliffs where seals bob in the waves. This walk loops the north-westerly peninsula starting at the lighthouse before clambering over medieval forts and tor-crusted hilltops.
Distance: 13km; Ascent: 425m
Wildboar Clough, Peak District
Bleaklow has a reputation for being, well, pretty bleak. But that’s not entirely fair. This exhilarating Grade 2 scramble up Wildboar Clough follows the stream bed all the way to the summit plateau and from there, to the top itself.
Distance: 11km; Ascent: 463m
Diminutive it may be but 689m Cnicht is one of the best walks in Snowdonia, a rocky wedge that stands proudly out of the landscape. The route up its distinctive ridge is almost a scramble, but not quite. Tackle it by itself in an afternoon or tack on a traverse of the Moelwyn for something more meaty.
Distance: 14km; Ascent: 1006m
St Sunday Crag, Lake District
WIth views of the serrated Striding Edge and gleaming Ullswater, St Sunday Crag is one of the most perfectly positioned hills in the Lake District. This walk teams the short, sharp hike with an exploration of the Priest Hole, a natural shelter and summit of Fairfield.
Distance: 16km; Ascent: 1016m
The Cobbler, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs
Looking something like a gigantic jigsaw piece, the Cobbler is unmistakable. To reach its true summit you must ‘thread the needle’ through a small gap before scrambling up an airy pinnacle. Or you can simply watch others try. This is grand by itself but can also be extended to include neighbouring Munros, Beinn Narnain and Beinn Ime.
Distance: 18km; Ascent: 1781m
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Loch Lomond & The Trossachs
North York Moors
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