National parks are areas of countryside that are protected and are often free to explore! Britain has 15 of them. Let's take a look at some interesting facts about a few...
What are national parks?
Combe Martin - Exmoor
The village of Combe Martin has some of the biggest sea cliffs in Britain and the port was once famous for silver mining and smuggling too... Arrr!
Burley Village - The New Forest
The village of Burley is famous for the wild ponies that graze throughout the New Forest. Visitors should be careful though... they don't call them wild ponies for nothing!
Beachy Head - South Downs
The Belle Tout lighthouse in Beachy Head was requested back in the 17th century to prevent shipwrecks. In 1999 the lighthouse was moved a whole 17 metres back, to save it from the eroding cliff edge!
Carew - Pembrokeshire Coast
Carew in Pembrokeshire is famous for the Norman invasion that took place there in the 11th century and is home to the Carew Cross and Carew Castle. Wales itself has many castles and when we say many, we mean there are over 600 of them!
Barton Broad - The Broads
The Broads are Britain's largest protected wetlands and where many people go for boating and learning to sail. A wetland is an area of land covered by water so if visitors to Barton Broads should remember one thing, it's DO NOT forget your wellies!
Dovedale - Peak District
Dovedale is famous for its stepping stones across the River Dove, which are popular for hopping across. Visitors to Dovedale might also want to hop across to the nearby town of Bakewell for one of their famous Bakewell Tarts... yum!
Brockhole Trail - Lake District
The Lake District was once home to Beatrix Potter who created well-known characters such as Peter Rabbit and Mrs Tiggy-Winkle. It is also home to Lake Windermere, which is England's longest lake at 10.5 miles long!
The Hadrian's Wall Walk - Northumberland
The Hadrian's Wall walk is perfect for budding historians as it allows them time to enjoy the excavated Roman forts and viewpoints along the path. Hadrian's Wall was constructed and protected by the Roman soldiers living in forts alongside it, but don't worry! There are no Roman soldiers living there today!
Balloch Castle - Loch Lomond and The Trossochs
The Balloch Castle parkland on the shores of Loch Lomond has remained very much unchanged since 1800, when the current castle was built. Popular features here are the Fairy Glen and the Secret Garden which add some magic and mystery to this beautiful natural enviornment.
Kinloch Laggan - Cairngorms
Kinloch Laggan in the Scottish Highlands is home to a red squirrel or two, as there are plenty in the natural forestry! Red squirrels are a nationally endangered species and the Scottish Highlands is one of the few places in the UK where our bushy-tailed friends feel safe!