Paths, parks and countryside areas

Snowdonia

  • Distance or area: 2176 sq km
  • Type: National Park
  • Location: Wales

Hikers have a network of challenging mountain walks to try, which include six footpaths up Snowdon to feast on the stunning views from the summit. The paths can be testing and so more suited to experienced walkers. Those looking for something less tricky than a mountain climb are well served by the various treks through the hills of Snowdonia.

More information:www.snowdonia-npa.gov.uk

Breacon Beacons

  • Distance or area: 1344 sq km
  • Type: National Park
  • Location: Wales

Before the invention of sophisticated satellite systems British monarchs relied on a system of early-warning fires to alert them of an imminent invasion. In South Wales, the pivotal point of this network, visible across fifteen counties, was Pen Y Fan. Over time the beacon leant its name to the entire range of hills extending to either side of it.

More information:www.beacons-npa.gov.uk

Broads

  • Distance or area: 305 sq km
  • Type: National Park
  • Location: East of England

The Norfolk and Suffolk Broads is one of Britain’s finest wetlands. It is of international nature conservation importance covering an area of 303 square km, mainly within Norfolk, but with a small part in Suffolk. The dominant landscapes are expanses of water, grazing marshes, fens and wet woodlands.

More information:www.broads-authority.gov.uk

South Downs

  • Distance or area: 1624 sq km
  • Type: National Park
  • Location: South East England

In 2011, the most populated corner of Britain finally got the recreational refuge it was desperate for. The South Downs is the most visited of all the national parks, with 39 million visitors per year. Walkers are well served by the 100-mile South Downs Way, woodlands, countryside, coast and an impressive 3,000 kilometres of rights of way.

More information:www.southdowns.gov.uk

Yorkshire Dales

  • Distance or area: 1769 sq km
  • Type: National Park
  • Location: Yorkshire and Humber

Expansive, tranquil and often remote these limestone uplands with their distinctive crags and pavements straddle the Pennines in striking fashion. Situated in North Yorkshire and Cumbria in Northern England, the park protects some 1,769 square kilometres of some of the most beautiful terrain in the country.

More information:www.yorkshiredales.org.uk