The British National Parks bucket list: How many have you ticked off?

To celebrate English Tourism Week (which starts on 17th March), we’ve rounded up the most amazing things to tick off from each one of Britain’s gorgeous 15 National Parks. How many do you have the left to complete?

Brecon Beacons, Wales

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Stargaze in the Brecon Beacons, which is home to Wales’s first International Dark Sky Reserve due to its commitment to tackling light pollution. On a clear night you can see the Milky Way, major constellations and meteor showers.

Broads, Norfolk and Suffolk

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A trip in a canal boat tops the list of things to do in Britain’s largest protected wetlands, whose rivers and lakes feature some of the rarest plants and animals in the UK.

Cairngorms, Scottish Highlands

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Strap on your skis! The Cairngorms is home to three of Scotland’s five ski centres, including some of the highest mountains and steepest runs. Prepare for sensational views.

Exmoor, South West England

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Head out for a wildlife walk across the spectacular moorland and prepare to spot grazing ponies, red deer and a kaleidoscope of butterflies; Exmoor is one of the UK’s most important butterfly habitats.

Dartmoor, Devon

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With over 350km of bridleways and byways, one of the best ways to explore Dartmoor has to be by bike. The sport’s seen a massive increase in the area since the Tour of Britain visited in 2016.

Lake District, North West England

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Join 10,000 other would-be water babies every June for Europe’s biggest open water swimming event, the Great North Swim. Whether you’re amateur or advanced, there’s nothing quite like experiencing Lake Windermere (England’s largest body of water) by taking the plunge.

Loch Lomond and the Trossachs, Scotland

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Kayak the spectacular waters of Loch Lomond. At 24 miles long, it’s home to more than 30 islands – ideal for exploring – and its sheltered bays make for ideal conditions for beginners.

New Forest, South England

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Visit during autumn’s pannage season to witness pigs as well as New Forest ponies grazing the forest floor. The tradition, which sees domestic pigs being released into the forest, stretches back to the time of William the Conqueror, who founded the New Forest in 1079.

Northumberland

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Get up close and personal with the remains of Hadrian’s Wall, which was begun in AD122 by the Romans. Head to Sycamore Gap near Castle Nick for one of the country’s most photographed views, a lonely sycamore that stands amidst the crumbling walls.

North York Moors, North Yorkshire

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Take a break from yomping across the heather-strewn moors for a local brew at one of the park’s excellent pubs – Yorkshire is home to at least 160 independent craft breweries.

Pembrokeshire Coast, West Wales

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Walk along the beaches of Britain’s only coastal national park; the 186 miles of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path traverse through limestone cliffs and golden sands. Barafundle Bay is often voted one of Britain’s best.

Peak District, Central England

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Visit the jaw-dropping Chatsworth House in Derbyshire, known for its stunning Baroque architecture, impeccable grounds and rich, chequered history – Mary Queen of Scots was once imprisoned here.

Snowdonia

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Climb Snowdonia, the highest mountain in England and Wales – whether by your own steam (it measures 3,560ft) up Llanberis Pass or by the mountain train that chugs up from Llanberis, which is possibly the train journey with the best views in Britain.
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South Downs, South East England

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Head out for a walk through the gently rolling chalk grassland of Britain’s newest National Park (it opened in 2011) and winner of Countryfile’s National Park of the Year in 2017. The South Downs Way stretches for 100 miles from Winchester to Eastbourne, taking in such beauty spots as Devil’s Dyke.

Yorkshire Dales

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Take the train over the one of Britain’s most iconic structure, the famous Ribblehead viaduct, which can be found along the Settle to Carlisle railway line. Walks from the train station offer amazing views of the imposing Yorkshire Hills.

Feature by Miranda Thompson