United Kingdom national parks

The National Parks (Welsh: Parciau Cenedlaethol, Scottish Gaelic: Pàircan Nàiseanta) of the United Kingdom are to be found in England, Scotland, and Wales. There are no national parks in Northern Ireland.

Lesser designations also exist: the National Landscapes of England and Wales, the Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty of Northern Ireland, and the National Scenic Areas of Scotland.


See also: Walking in the United Kingdom

Each park is operated by its own National Park Authority, with two "statutory purposes":

  • to conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the area, and
  • to promote opportunities for the understanding and enjoyment of the park's special qualities by the public.

Despite the name, National Parks in the UK are quite 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 a part of the landscape. In the UK, National Parks can include substantial towns and villages, and land uses such as farming and forestry, which are often integral parts of the landscape. Land within a National Park remains largely in private ownership, and land access is usually subject to the same restrictions as elsewhere in the country, but access facilities (gates and signs etc) are often better inside the park.

National Parks in the UK have no admission charges, and there may only be a road sign to indicate that you are entering a park.

National parks[edit]

The United Kingdom has 15 national parks; of these, 10 are in England, 3 in Wales, and 2 in Scotland:

Name Photo Country
Brecon Beacons Wales
Norfolk Broads England
Cairngorms Scotland
Dartmoor England
Exmoor England
Lake District England
Loch Lomond and The Trossachs Scotland
New Forest England
Northumberland England
North York Moors England
Peak District England
Pembrokeshire Coast Wales
Snowdonia Wales
South Downs England
Yorkshire Dales England

National Landscapes and National Scenic Areas[edit]

National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the UK(2008)

National Landscapes are 41 government-defined areas in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Until 2024, all National Landscapes were known as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), but this name is now only used in Northern Ireland.

The equivalent in Scotland is the National Scenic Area (NSA), designated on behalf of the Scottish Government. There are 40 designated NSAs.

Name Photo Country
Anglesey Wales
Antrim Coast Northern Ireland
Antrim Glens Northern Ireland
Ardnamurchan Scotland
Arnside and Silverdale England
Assynt - Coigach Scotland
Ben Nevis Scotland
Binevenagh Northern Ireland
Blackdown Hills England
Cannock Chase England
Causeway Coast Northern Ireland
Chichester Harbour England
Chilterns England
Clwydian Range Wales
Cornwall England
Cotswolds England
Cranborne Chase England
Cuillin Hills Scotland
Dedham Vale England
Deeside Scotland
Dee Valley Wales
Dornoch Firth Scotland
Dorset England
East Devon England
East Stewartry Coast Scotland
Eildon and Leaderfoot 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
Howardian Hills (see Ashdown Forest) England
Hoy and West Mainland Scotland
Isle of Wight England
Isle of Mull Scotland
Isles of Scilly England
Jura Scotland
Kent Downs England
Kintail Scotland
Knapdale Scotland
Knoydart Scotland
Kyle of Tongue Scotland
Kyles of Bute Scotland
Lagan Valley Northern Ireland
Lecale Coast England
Lincolnshire Wolds England
Lleyn Wales
Loch na Keal next Mull Scotland
Loch Rannoch Scotland
Loch Shiel Scotland
Loch Tummel Scotland
Lochnagar Scotland
Lunga, Treshnish Isles Scotland
Lynn of Lorn Scotland
Malvern Hills England
Mendip Hills England
Moidart Scotland
Morar Scotland
Mourne Northern Ireland
Nidderdale England
Nith Estuary Scotland
North Arran Scotland
North Devon (see Devon) England
North Norfolk Coast England
North Pennines England
North Uist Scotland
North Wessex Downs England
Northumberland Coast England
Northwest Sutherland Scotland
Quantock Hills England
Ring of Gullion Northern Ireland
River Earn Scotland
River Tay Scotland
Scarba Scotland
Shetland Scotland
Shropshire Hills England
Small Isles Scotland
Solway Coast, Cumbria England
South Devon (see Devon) England
South Lewis Scotland
South Uist Machair Scotland
Sperrin Northern Ireland
St Kilda Scotland
Strangford Lough, County Down Northern Ireland
Suffolk Coast England
Suffolk Heaths England
Surrey Hills England
Tamar Valley England
Trotternish Scotland
Upper Tweeddale in Scottish Borders Scotland
West Wiltshire Downs England
Wester Ross Scotland
Wye Valley Wales/England
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