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United Kingdom national parks

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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.

Lesser 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, but access facilities (gates and signs etc) are often better inside the park.

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 parks[edit]

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 Veil of Snow - Sgwd yr Eira.jpeg Wales
Norfolk Broads Moored on Barton Broad - - 690479.jpg England
Cairngorms Ben Macdui from Derry Cairngorm.jpg Scotland
Dartmoor Saddle tor evening.jpg England
Exmoor Somerset 2008036.jpg England
Lake District Barf LD.jpg England
Loch Lomond and The Trossachs Sunset in The Trossachs, Scotland.jpg Scotland
New Forest New Forest, Hampshire (460998) (9455070055).jpg England
Northumberland Northumberland National Park.jpg England
North York Moors Cleveland-Way-North-York-Moors.jpg England
Peak District Mam Tor.jpg England
Pembrokeshire Coast Pembrokeshire Coast National Park 03.jpg Wales
Snowdonia Snowdon massif.jpg Wales
South Downs Coastguard Cottages - - 18320.jpg England
Yorkshire Dales The Western Edge of the Yorkshire Dales.jpg England

National scenic areas and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty[edit]

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 A footbridge across a creek on the Anglesey Coastal Path - - 396831.jpg Wales
Antrim Coast Antrim Coast - panoramio.jpg Northern Ireland
Antrim Glens Glenariff.jpg Northern Ireland
Ardnamurchan Achateny Water Ardnamurchan.jpg Scotland
Arnside and Silverdale The road between Arnside and Silverdale - - 1760381.jpg England
Assynt - Coigach Scotland Inchnadamph Bone Caves.jpg Scotland
Ben Nevis Ben Nevis.jpg Scotland
Binevenagh Binevenagh - - 1553504.jpg Northern Ireland
Blackdown Hills Blackdown Hills , Hillside and Stile - - 1243896.jpg England
Cannock Chase Abraham's Valley, Cannock Chase - - 407107.jpg England
Causeway Coast Causeway coast.jpg Northern Ireland
Chichester Harbour Entrance to Chichester Harbour - - 1350202.jpg England
Chilterns A Historic View across the Gap in the Chiltern Hills - - 1353511.jpg England
Clwydian Range Moel Arthur, Sir Ddinbych 02.JPG Wales
Cornwall Coast path DSC 8967.jpg England
Cotswolds From Leckhampton Hill across towards Birdlip - - 1551014.jpg England
Cranborne Chase Cranbourne Chase - - 129283.jpg England
Cuillin Hills The Cuillin Hills from the Ord to Tokavaig road - - 967676.jpg Scotland
Dedham Vale Cmglee Manningtree River Stour.jpg England
Deeside Deeside Way - - 453020.jpg Scotland
Dee Valley River Dee Valley from Pontcysyllte - - 370078.jpg Wales
Dornoch Firth Dornoch Firth - - 52109.jpg Scotland
Dorset Durdle Door, Dorset (2004).jpg England
East Devon Looking west from the end of Seaton promenade - - 1406558.jpg England
East Stewartry Coast Rough Firth - - 1806562.jpg Scotland
Eildon and Leaderfoot EildonScottsView.jpg Scotland
Fleet Valley Water of Fleet estuary from Cardoness Castle - - 23060.jpg Scotland
Forest of Bowland Stocks Farmhouse.png England
Garvellachs Garvellachs Tidal Flow (RLH).JPG Scotland
Glen Affric Alltbeithe - Glen Affric YH - - 919756.jpg Scotland
Glen Lyon 2011 Schotland Glen Lyon vee 6-06-2011 18-20-06.png Scotland
Glen Strathfarrar Loch Beannacharan - - 446641.jpg Scotland
Glencoe Buchaill Etive Mor - panoramio.jpg Scotland
Gower Three cliffs bay gower rb 200507.jpg Wales
Harris Ardhasaig with Clisham, Isle of Harris (13567370923).jpg Scotland
High Weald High Weald Landscape Trail nearing New England Wood - - 2500885.jpg England
Howardian Hills (see Ashdown Forest) One Of The Howardian Hills - - 266668.jpg England
Hoy and West Mainland The Old Man of Hoy, Orkney - - 8878.jpg Scotland
Isle of Wight Alum Bay - panoramio (2).jpg England
Isle of Mull Tobermory waterfront.jpg Scotland
Isles of Scilly Panorama south of St Martin's, Scilly - - 1719061.jpg England
Jura Eilean nan Leac, McCormaig Isles and Jura - - 1342182.jpg Scotland
Kent Downs BluebellWood9923Ranscombe.JPG England
Kintail Walking towards Saileag - - 1047789.jpg Scotland
Knapdale Loch Arail - - 239882.jpg Scotland
Knoydart Reflection off Loch an Dubh Lochain, Knoydart.JPG Scotland
Kyle of Tongue Ben Loyal and the Kyle of Tongue, Sutherland (3-06-2011, 19-25-02).jpg Scotland
Kyles of Bute Kyles of Bute - - 616059.jpg Scotland
Lagan Valley Northern Ireland
Lecale Coast England
Lincolnshire Wolds England
Lleyn Wales
Loch na Keal next Mull TyLochNaKeal20030826r20f14.jpg Scotland
Loch Rannoch Loch Rannoch Landscape.jpg Scotland
Loch Shiel Loch Sheil April 2006.jpg Scotland
Loch Tummel LochTummel.jpg Scotland
Lochnagar Lochnagar from Meikle Pap - - 476818.jpg Scotland
Lunga, Treshnish Isles Puffins, Lunga.jpg Scotland
Lynn of Lorn Scotland
Malvern Hills England
Mendip Hills England
Moidart Scotland
Morar Scotland
Mourne Northern Ireland
Nidderdale Scar House Dam, Nidderdale - - 121004.jpg England
Nith Estuary River Nith estuary.jpg Scotland
North Arran Lochranza deer with castle in the background - - 2148075.jpg 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 Compass Hill Cliffs Canna - - 2539248.jpg Scotland
Solway Coast, Cumbria England
South Devon (see Devon) England
South Lewis Scotland
South Uist Machair Machair at Kilpheder - - 645584.jpg Scotland
Sperrin Northern Ireland
St Kilda Main village with scattered cleits, St Kilda.jpg Scotland
Strangford Lough, County Down Strangford Lough (01), August 2009.JPG Northern Ireland
Suffolk Coast England
Suffolk Heaths England
Surrey Hills England
Tamar Valley England
Trotternish OM Storr 2004.jpg Scotland
Upper Tweeddale in Scottish Borders Farmland, Manor Valley - - 198958.jpg Scotland
West Wiltshire Downs England
Wester Ross Moored boats in Plockton Bay - - 338554.jpg Scotland
Wye Valley Wales/England
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