National Parks in Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and England

List of National Parks in the UK

The National Park System of Great Britain was created to preserve the unique landscapes and ecosystems of England, Scotland, and Wales. Currently (2010) the system includes 16 parks, of which 10 are located in England, 2 in Scotland and 3 in Wales. Parks in the UK are managed by the National Parks Authority. In Northern Ireland, which is not part of the UK, but is part of the United Kingdom, there are no national parks at the moment.

Below is a list of national parks in the UK.

Contents

England

Name Original name Surface Area, km² Year of attainment
1 Broads The Broads 303 1988
2 Dartmoor Dartmoor 956 1951
3 The Yorkshire Dales Yorkshire Dales 1769 1954
4 North York Moors North York Moors 1436 1952
5 Northumberland Northumberland 1049 1959
6 New Forest New Forest 580 2005
7 Lake District Lake District 2292 1951
8 South Downs South Downs 1641 2010
9 Rocky Edge Peak District 1438 1951
10 Exmoor Exmoor 693 1954

Scotland

Name Original name Surface Area, km² Year of attainment
1 Loch Lomond and the Trossachs Loch Lomond and The Trossachs (Loch Laomainn is nan Tròisichean) 1865 2002
2 Cairngorms Cairngorms (Mhonaidh Ruaidh) 4528 2003

Wales

Name Original name Surface Area, km² Year of attainment
1 Brecon Beacons Brecon Beacons (Bannau Brycheiniog) 2142 1957
2 Pembrokeshire Coast Pembrokeshire Coast (Arfordir Penfro) 620 1952
3 Snowdonia Snowdonia (Eryri) 1351 1951

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National Park Tourism in the United Kingdom

National parks in the United Kingdom (Welsh: Parciau Cenedlaethol, Scottish Gaelic: Pàircan Nàiseanta) are mainly in England and Wales; two recent additions exist in Scotland. There are no national parks in Northern Ireland.

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There are also slightly less stringent designations: the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and the National Scenic Area in Scotland.

Understand that national parks are devolved to each country in the United Kingdom, which has its own policies and mechanisms. Collectively, the United Kingdom has fifteen national parks: ten in England, three in Wales, and two in Scotland. These parks are not true national parks according to the internationally accepted IUCN standard, but they are areas of exceptional landscape where housing and commercial activities are limited.

All fifteen national parks have two statutory goals:

To preserve and enhance the natural and cultural heritage of the area, and To promote understanding and use of the public features of the national park. Scottish National Parks have two additional statutory goals:

To promote the sustainable use of the area’s natural resources and To promote the sustainable economic and social development of the area’s communities. All national parks in the UK are members of National Parks UK, which promotes the UK National Parks family and facilitates the training and development of staff and members in all parks.

Each park is managed by its own National Park Authority with two “statutory objectives”:

to conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the area, and to increase opportunities for people to understand and use the special qualities of the park. Despite the name, national parks in Britain are very 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 part of the landscape. In the UK, national parks can include large cities and villages, as well as land uses such as agriculture and forestry, which are often an integral part of the landscape. Land in a national park remains largely in private ownership, so access to land is generally subject to the same restrictions as in other parts of the country.

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National parks in the United Kingdom have no entrance fees, and there may only be a road sign indicating that you are entering a park.

National Parks 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
Broads Moored at Barton Broad - geograph.org.uk - 690479.jpg England
Cairngorms Balmoral Castle 2.jpg Scotland
Dartmoor Tor saddle in the evening.jpg England
Exmoor Somerset 2008036.jpg England
Lake District Barf LD.jpg England
Loch Lomond and the Trossachs Loch Lomond Balloch Castle.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- geograph.org.uk - 18320.jpg England
Yorkshire Dales West edge of the Yorkshire valleys. England

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

National Scenic Area (NSA) is the national landscape designation used in Scotland. There are 40 designated NSAs. They are considered nationally important because of their outstanding scenic landscapes. The National Scenic Area is equivalent to the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty designation used elsewhere in the UK. Since 2003, a superior National Park designation has been introduced. There are 2 national parks in Scotland.

name Photo Country
Anglesey Walking bridge over creek on Anglesey coastal path - geograph.org.uk - 396831.jpg Wales
Antrim Coast Antrim coastline - Panoramio.jpg Northern Ireland
Antrim Glens ** Glenariff.jpg. Northern Ireland
Ardnamurchan Achaten water Ardnamurchan.jpg Scotland
Arnside and Silverdale Road between Arnside and Silverdale - geograph.org.uk - 1760381.jpg England
Assynt – Coygach Scotland Inchnadamph Bone Caves.jpg Scotland
Ben Nevis Ben Nevis.jpg. Scotland
Binevenagh Binevena - geograph.org.uk - 1553504.jpg Northern Ireland
Blackdown Hills Blackdown Hills, Hillside and Steele - geograph.org.uk - 1243896.jpg England
Cannock Chase Abraham Valley, Cannock Chase - geograph.org.uk - 407107.jpg England
Causeway Coast Causeway Coast.jpg. Northern Ireland
Chichester Harbour Chichester Harbour entrance - geograph.org.uk - 1350202.jpg England
Chilterns Historic view of the chasm in the Chiltern Hills - geograph.org.uk - 1353511.jpg England
Clwydian Range Moel Arthur, Sir Ddingbeach 02.JPG Wales
Cornwall Shore path DSC 8967.jpg. England
Clwydian Range From Leckhampton Hill via Birdlip - geograph.org.uk - 1551014.jpg England
Cranborne Chase Cranbourne Chase - geograph.org.uk - 129283.jpg England
Cuillin Hills Quillin Hills from Ord Road to Tokawayg - geograph.org.uk - 967676.jpg Scotland
Dedham Vale Cmglee Manningtree River Stour.jpg England
Deeside Deeside Way - geograph.org.uk - 453020.jpg Scotland
Dee Valley Dee River Valley from Ponzysilthe - geograph.org.uk - 370078.jpg Wales
Dornoch Firth Dornoch Firth - geograph.org.uk - 52109.jpg Scotland
Dorset Durdle Door, Dorset (2004) .jpg England
East Devon England
East Coast Stewartry 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
Howard Hills (see Ashdown Forest) England
Kilektor Scotland
Isle of Wight England
Isle of Mull Scotland
Sillie Islands England
Jura Scotland
Kent Downs England
Kintail Scotland
Knapdale Scotland
Knoydart Scotland
Tongue Kyle Scotland
Kyles of Bute Scotland
Lagan Valley Northern Ireland
Lecale Coast England
Leaderfoot Scotland
Lincolnshire Wolds England
Lleyn Wales
Loch na Keel Scotland
Loch Rammoch Scotland
Loch Shiel Scotland
Loch Tummel Scotland
Lochnagar Scotland
Lunga Scotland
Lynn Lorne Scotland
Malvern Hills England
Mendip Hills England
Moidart Scotland
Morar Scotland
Morne Northern Ireland
Nidderdale England
Neath Leaman Scotland
North Arran Scotland
North Devon (see Devon) England
North Norfolk Coast England
North Pennines England
North Uist Scotland
North Wessex Downs England
NorthumberlandCoast England
North West Sutherland Scotland
Quantock Hills England
Gullion Ring Northern Ireland
River Earn Scotland
Tye River 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 Loch 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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*In Great Britain, the word “harbor” (American English) is spelled “harbor.”

** In Scotland and Northern Ireland the term “glen” is used instead of the word valley, which is more specific.

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