Discover Britain with National Parks Week

Skyscraping mountains, plunging valleys, expansive coastlines and rugged, desolate moorland. Britain’s beauty is encapsulated in its National Parks, and this year’s National Parks Week is bigger and better than ever.

The UK’s National Parks – branded ‘Britain’s breathing spaces’ – now total fifteen following the recent addition of the South Downs, and have long held a magnetic appeal for both adrenaline junkies and potterers alike.

To celebrate our landscapes, coastlines and the inspiration they provide, each of the parks in Britain have planned a series of family-friendly events, activities and adventures. Described as the best yet, National Parks Week began on Monday and continues until Sunday August 1.


One of the biggest events during this special week is The National Eisteddfod of Wales, one of Europe’s premier artistic, language and cultural events. Attracting over 160,000 visitors each year, this travelling festival comes to Ebbw Vale for the first time in over half a century and represents The Brecon Beacons National Park. The diverse mix of activities, visual arts, music and culture means there’s something for people of all ages and interests.

Wales’ other two National Parks – Snowdonia and the Pembrokeshire Coast – have their own events, such as medieval fayres and guided walks, but will also be represented at the Eisteddfod.

A medieval theme can also be found at the most recent addition to the National Park family, the South Downs, where Arundel Castle hosts ‘Medieval Encampment’ – where you can experience live jousting and chat to the gallant knights.

The New Forest

Another of the more recent National Park designations is The New Forest, having been formally added to the family in 2005, and their annual Annual County Show forms part of the 2010 celebrations. This classic agricultural show takes place over three days at New Park, Brockenhurst in Hampshire and around 100,000 visitors are expected through the gates.

Show jumping is one of the major features at the show and there are international classes across all three days. A full range of equestrian classes also feature, as well as livestock competitions including cattle, sheep and pigs.

The UK’s National Parks offer some of the finest walking opportunities anywhere in the world, and this special week sees a host of organised, guided walks and picnics taking place across the fifteen participating Parks. Amble across the hills, stroll around stately homes and stone circles, and lunch al-fresco in some of the most breathtaking surroundings in the country.

Hurry Along!

With the summer holiday season now upon us, and credit-crunched Brits still forgoing foreign holidays in favour of the ‘staycation’, what better way to kick off the summer with a short break in one of our National Parks during National Parks Week. Continuing through until the end of the weekend, it's certainly not too late.

Sean Cummins

July 2010

Last Updated: 28 Apr 2015