National Park

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BEACHY HEAD

Beachy Head is a famous chalk headland and landmark, immediately to the west of the town of Eastbourne. There are fine views and walks along the cliffs, approx 500 feet above sea level. There is parking nearby and at Birling Gap further along the coast. Beachy Head has an interesting history and was used as a listening and lookout post during WW2. The cliffs are, however, extremely dangerous and the area has a high death-rate, through a combination of foolish accident and, unfortunately, suicide. Beachy Head lighthouse began operating in 1902.

The post code below is for the nearby pub.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Nr Eastbourne
County
East Sussex
Post Code
BN20 7YA
Main Historic Period
N/A
Useful Website Address
Tip/Nearby
Eastbourne, Seven Sisters Country Park
Primary Management
Local Authority
BEDD ARTHUR

Bedd Arthur, Beddarthur, or Arthur’s Grave is one of many sites in Britain associated with the burial of the legendary King Arthur. It is thought to be a small stone circle – actually vaguely elliptical in shape – now comprising 13 upright stones and 2 fallen ones. It is an unimpressive sight unless you are an enthusiast about these things and the stones are not large – about 2 feet (60cms) above ground. They seem to lean inward, leading to speculation that there was once a mound, or burial chamber, inside. It is a dramatic location, alongside an ancient trackway and overlooking the Carn Menyn outcrops, thought by some to be the main source of the Stonehenge bluestones. Some have even suggested that Bedd Arthur is a prototype Stonehenge.

Post code is nearby.  Access by foot only, wearing suitable clothing.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Nr Mynachlog-ddu
County
Pembrokeshire
Post Code
SA66 7RY
Main Historic Period
Prehistory
Tip/Nearby
Foel Trygarn, Carn Menyn
Primary Management
National Park
BRECON BEACONS (The)

The Brecon Beacons National Park in South Wales was established in 1957.  It is a mountainous area covering 519 square miles (1344 square kilometres).  In fact, the Brecon Beacons includes four distinct mountain ranges, the Black Mountain range in the west, the Brecon Beacons themselves, often referred to as the Central Beacons, where the highest mountain, Pen-y-Fan, is located (2907 feet/886 metres), the Fforest Fawr upland area and, just to confuse everyone, the Black Mountains in the east - which include a peak called Black Mountain.

Brecon Beacons National Park is famed for its waterfalls (like Henrhyd Waterfall and Ystradfellte), caves and forests; you can lose yourself in its wilder parts.  It is proud to be an International Dark Sky Reserve and, like many of Britain’s National Parks, the Brecon Beacons are used for military training, including by elite special forces.  The area is also packed with ancient sites, castles and industrial heritage.  There is even a narrow-gauge heritage railway, the Brecon Mountain Railway, which runs about 5 miles between Pant and Torpantau.

Principal settlements in the Brecon Beacons National Park are Brecon, Crickhowell, Gilwern and Hay-on-Wye – famous for its bookshops and literary festival.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Plas y Ffynnon
Cambrian Way
Brecon
County
Powys
Post Code
LD3 7HP
Main Historic Period
N/A
Link to featured article
Primary Management
National Park
BROADS (The)

The Broads in East Anglia, usually known as the Norfolk Broads despite part of the area being in Suffolk, cover an area of 117 square miles (303 sq kilometres).

This is a place to mess about in boats, spot wildlife and is only a couple of hours by train from London.  It is low-lying – the highest point is Strumpshaw Hill in Norfolk at just 125 feet (38 metres).  The ‘broads’ are lakes, formed from flooded medieval peat pits dating back to at least the 12th century.  Now they provide a 125 mile network of navigable waterways and rivers with a back-drop of fens, woodland and picturesque villages.

The Norfolk and Suffolk Broads is an internationally important area of protected wetland and contains more than 25% of Britain’s rarest wildlife.  Birds, like bitterns, grebes, marsh harriers, teals, wigeons and warblers can be spotted.  Clearly, there are plenty of fish and, if you’re lucky, you might see an otter too.  The Broads is also home to hundreds of invertebrates and is the only place where Britain’s largest butterfly, the swallowtail, can be found.

The Broads was established as a national park by Act of Parliament in 1988.

Principal settlements in the Broads include: Stalham, Wroxham, Brundall, Acle, Loddon, Beccles and Oulton Broad.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Broads Authority
Yare House
62-64 Thorpe Road
Norwich
County
Norfolk
Post Code
NR1 1RY
Main Historic Period
N/A
Link to featured article
Useful Website Address
Primary Management
National Park
BROCKHOLE on Windermere

Brockhole was built in the late 19th century as a country house and estate for Manchester silk merchant, William Gaddum and his wife, Edith - a cousin of Beatrix Potter, who was a frequent visitor. Since 1969, it has been a Lake District National Park Centre. It offers a range of family activities, including a treetop trek, zip wire, adventure playground, boat hire, mini-golf, woodland walks and gardens. It also includes a cafe, exhibition area and shop.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Windermere
County
Cumbria
Post Code
LA23 1LJ
Main Historic Period
Modern
Useful Website Address
Tip/Nearby
Windermere
Primary Management
National Park
CAIRNGORMS (The)

Named for the mountain Cairn Gorm, the Cairngorm National Park in North East Scotland was established in 2003 and is Britain’s largest.  Twice as big as the Lake District, it covers a diverse area of 1748 square miles (4,528 sq kilometres), which includes spectacular landscapes, wild mountains, moorland, forests, rivers and farmland.  There are 43 mountains over 3000 feet (914 metres); the highest point is Ben Macdui at 4294 feet (1309 metres).  So, this is challenging walking and climbing territory – and remote.  The forests are part of the ancient Caledonian Forest that covered much of northern Scotland thousands of years ago.  The Park is also home to some of Britain’s rarest animals, including the golden eagle, red squirrel and Scottish wildcat.

All of Scotland’s traditional wild creatures can be seen at the amazing Highland Wildlife Park and there’s a herd of reindeer that can be visited on the slopes of Cairngorm.  The Cairngorm National Park experiences some of Britain’s coldest weather.  It is one of the few places in Britain to offer the prospect of skiing on real snow – Aviemore being a favourite destination for this.  You can also bungee-jump and play golf (but not at the same time).

There are castles and country estates, like Blair Castle and Balmoral, one of the Royal Family’s favourite homes (parts of the Balmoral Estate are open to the public at specified times, but not during the summer).  The National Park has at least 6 whisky distilleries within its boundaries – and while you’re about it, why not attend one of the several Highland Games held at places like Braemar or Tomintoul.

Principal settlements in the Cairngorm National Park include: Aviemore, Ballater, Braemar, Grantown-on-Spey, Kingussie, Newtonmore, and Tomintoul.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Cairngorms National Park Authority
14 The Square
Grantown-on-Spey
County
Moray
Post Code
PH26 3HG
Main Historic Period
N/A
Link to featured article
Primary Management
National Park
CARN MENYN

Carn Menyn is a cluster of rocky outcrops, or tors, in the Preseli Hills in Pembrokeshire. It is an atmospheric environment, slightly lonely, with excellent views inland as well as over the sea, and several prehistoric remains in the area – such as Foel Trygarn and Bedd Arthur. In addition to the slightly strange arrangement of stones, Carn Menyn has been believed for many years to be the source for the bluestones used to build Stonehenge in Wiltshire 170 miles (274 km) to the east and some 4,500 years ago. The claim is disputed by many and there has been great speculation about how these stones were moved such a distance by Neolithic people. It is also possible that the stones came from several places in the Preseli Hills, not just Carn Menyn. In 2005, it was suggested – apparently seriously - that the stones from Stonehenge should be returned to the Preseli Hills.

Accessible by foot only. Postcode is for a nearby village.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Nr Mynachlog-ddu
County
Pembrokeshire
Post Code
SA66 7RY
Main Historic Period
Prehistory
Tip/Nearby
Bedd Arthur, Foel Trygarn
Primary Management
National Park
CEIBWR BAY

Ceibwr Bay is a relatively remote and tiny cove of rocks and sand hemmed in by tall cliffs. It is not a beach to swim from, but the scenery is wonderful and it is possible to spot dolphins offshore.  The coastline either side is wild and spectacular and it is well worth walking in either direction.  About a mile to the south of Ceibwr Bay is the popular Witches’ Cauldron sea cave.

North east of Molygrove.  There is limited roadside parking on the narrow road near Ceibwr Bay.  Post code approximate.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Ceibwr Lane
Moylgrove
Cardigan
County
Pembrokeshire
Post Code
SA43 3BU
Main Historic Period
N/A
Primary Management
National Trust
CENTRE of SCOTLAND

A stone marks the spot claimed to be the centre of Scotland. It is on the Glen Truim road, between the A889 and the A9, part of the 250 mile network of military roads built for the Government by General Wade after the Jacobite rising of 1715. This section was built in 1719 and is a section of the road between Fort Augustus and Ruthven Barracks at Kingussie. The stone replaces an earlier marker and was unveiled on 5th June 2015.

Post code is approximate.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Glentruim Road
3 miles south of Newtonmore
County
Highland
Post Code
PH20 1BE
Main Historic Period
Modern
Link to featured article
Useful Website Address
Tip/Nearby
Highland Folk Museum, Macpherson Clan Museum, Ruthven Barracks
Primary Management
National Park
CHEESE PRESS STONE

The Cheese Press Stone is a pair of limestone boulders, probably glacial erratics, situated on the western slopes of Kingsdale, in the Yorkshire Dales. There are great views of two of Yorkshire's Three Peaks, Ingleborough and Whernside, and it's interesting walking country, full of classic limestone features such as pavements and caves. Yordas Cave is further up the valley and the two can be combined in one walk. Access to the Cheese Press Stone is only possible on foot and it is a reasonably strenuous walk to reach it.  The post code is obviously approximate.

Location/Address
Above Kingsdale
Nr Masongill
County
North Yorkshire
Post Code
LA6 3JH
Main Historic Period
N/A
Tip/Nearby
Kingsdale
Primary Management
National Park

This is a growing listings directory – over 950 entries have been listed as of September 2022. 

Entries have links for further information, such as opening times and entry fees.

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