Englands National Parks – Your Guide
For such a small country, England has a huge natural variety!
Englands National Parks by no means match the scale of those found in the United States, but they are all unique and offer a great insight into England’s natural beauty. Let’s set a little time aside to take a look at three of them.
Dartmoor is truly beautiful. Its dramatic and somewhat stark looking landscape is made up of exposed granite on top of the hills. The striking and really quite harsh surroundings give Dartmoor a threatening quality and it is easy to see why it has a reputation of being a mystical place. There are a number of ghost stories set on the moors and visitors can see all of the places referenced around Dartmoor.
It can be a great activity for people of all ages to read out the myths and legends whilst stood on the sites where they take place, to really get a sense of the mystery of the moors. There are many landmarks which you can visit on the moors, including Bowerman’s Nose, Jay’s Grave and the Stone Crosses. But my absolute favorite is the legend of Childe’s Tomb.
The cross which marks Childe’s tomb was allegedly constructed to mark the burial site of Childe the Hunter. The legend states that Childe was out hunting on the moor when a storm hit. The storm was wild and raging and Childe lost sight of the group he was hunting with. There was no shelter at all out on the bleak and dramatic moor, so the only protection he had was his horse. He hid behind the horse but the wind was howling from all directions and blowing the harsh weather against him.
He eventually killed his horse, tore out its insides and then crawled inside the body for shelter. He could feel himself slipping away, and just before he froze to death he wrote a letter saying that whoever found his body and buried him in their church would inherit all of his land and money.
The body was found by a group of monks who began to carry it back to Tavistock Abbey. On their way back they heard that a group of people were planning to ambush them to steal the body and claim the inheritance.
They decided to take a detour and build their own bridge to return and safely bury Childe in the grounds of the abbey and inherit his Plymstock estate. Childe’s tomb can still be seen and visited today and you get a real idea of how terrifying it would be to be trapped on the moor in a raging storm.
North York Moors
Continuing on our traverse of Englands National Parks, the North York Moors are a huge expanse of heather moorland. They are much more colorful than Dartmoor and give a more upbeat view of the British countryside. One of the best things about the North York Moors is the North Yorkshire Moors Steam Railway which travels from Pickering to Whitby.
For kids and train enthusiasts alike the steam train can be a really fun day out. You get a real sense of what train travel would have been like before electric and diesel engines came about and it is also a fantastic way to see the beautiful scenery in all weathers.
The steam railway offers a more comfortable view of the moors than walking or cycling. For the more adventurous among you it is possible to rent bikes and cycle along the various trails and become part of the stunning landscape.
The Lake District is perhaps the most famous of Englands National Parks.
It is the home of England’s highest mountain, Scafell Pike, as well as its deepest lake, Wastwater. The Lake District is the most populated of Englands National Parks; there are loads of quintessential English villages where you can stay in traditional Bed & Breakfasts and really immerse yourself in English culture.
If you are looking for a truly memorable experience to add to your holiday, the Lake District is a great place to try out a new adventure sport, or practice an old favorite. Kids and adults alike can delight in raft building, gorge walking, mountain biking, canoeing, archery, scrambling and kayaking to name just a few!
So whether you are looking for a quiet countryside retreat, an action-packed adventure holiday or just an opportunity to explore the diversity of England’s stunning natural beauty, Englands national parks could be exactly what you are looking for. They are well worth a visit, whatever the nature of your trip. The quaint country villages make for cozy, romantic getaways and the opportunity for adventure allows for exciting family vacations.
And, just check out that featured images. Yup! That’s an aqueduct, and not just any aqueduct, but one built from the Romans themselves!