A Journey Through UK National Parks

The UK is home to a number of stunning driving routes including the NC500 and The Coastal Way but did you know, exploring the 15 UK National Parks is one of the best ways to see everything the UK has to offer. From long stretches of sandy beaches, jagged mountains to enchanting deep forests, the possibilities for adventure are endless.

We have compiled a list of all UK national parks in order (anti-clockwise). All that’s left to do is pack your bags, hit the road and explore. We have campervans in and around every one, so even if you don’t own your own van, you can still live the dream. 


Kicking off with the largest UK national park; The Cairngorms. Located in the eastern highlands of Scotland, this park has a wide range of picturesque mountains and surrounding hills. A must visit for any action driven explorer, there’s plenty to do including climbing, mountain biking and canoeing. 

Interesting fact: The Cairngorms mountains are home to the only free roaming herd of reindeer in the UK.

Which Quirky Camper? Check out Tiree, Dune, Hamish & Elliot

Loch Lomond and The Trossachs

The second and only other Scottish National Park is Loch Lomond and The Trossachs. Loch Lomond is also home to Loch Long, a beautiful stretch of beach popular with families. There’s a number of ‘wild camping’ spots which you can stay in with a purchased permit

Interesting fact: Loch Lomond is the largest inland stretch of water in Great Britain.

Which Quirky Camper? Check out Ozzy, Merida, Sonny, Fauna, Flora & Iona

Lake District

As the name suggests, this park is filled with stillwater lakes and dramatic hills. Spend your days hiking, paddle boarding and enjoying award winning cakes in the local cafes. There are plenty of fantastic campsites and spots for all types of travellers including families, couples and solo travellers. 

Interesting fact: Not only is it home to the deepest lake in England (Wastwater), it’s also home to the highest peak in England (Scafell Pike). 

Which Quirky Camper? Check out Bramble, Toots, Emma & Bub the Dub 

Yorkshire Dales

Eee, by gum, it’s the one and only Yorkshire Dales! With acres of unspoilt countryside, valleys and charming villages, there’s something for everyone. For those seeking a challenge, there’s the Yorkshire Three Peaks; Ingleborough, Whernside, Pen-Y-Ghent. Those looking to bask in the peace and quiet, there’s a number of back to basics campsites overlooking the rolling hills and vivid greenery. 

Interesting fact: Malham Cove was used as a filming location for Harry Potter’s 7th movie the Deathly Hallows. 

Which Quirky Camper? Check out Homer, Dumbo, Xanthos & Chamonix

Peak District 

Calling all Spelunkers i.e. cave lovers, this one’s for you! The Peak District is famous for its caves, its deepest being 400m below ground, that’s almost as deep as the empire state building is tall. Up above the ground, there are countless hiking trails, peaks to be climbed, and a number of quaint village shops and pubs. 

Interesting fact: There’s a cave called the Devil’s Arse in Castleton. It’s said to be named after the fartlike noises from inside the cave when flood water drains away. 

Which Quirky Camper? Check out Jasper, Leif, Sirius, Wallace, Elmer, Bess & Horace


It’s now time to explore Wales, starting with Snowdonia. Covering a total of 823 square miles, Snowdonia is the largest national park in Wales. That’s not the only record it holds, this park is also home to the highest mountain in Wales (Snowdon), which people travel near and far to climb (just remember to pack your comfiest hiking shoes and plenty of snacks!) 

Interesting fact: 350,000 people head there to climb Snowdon every year.

Which Quirky Camper? Check out Jasper, Leif, Sirius, Wallace, Elmer, Bess & Horace

Pembrokeshire Coast

Filled with hiking trails and gentle water sports activities such as paddleboarding and sailing. The Pembrokeshire Coast is the perfect place to relax and unwind, It’s where you will find one of the most beautiful beaches in the UK, Barafundle Bay Barafundle Beach.

Interesting fact: Nowhere in this National Park would you be more than ten miles from the sea.

Which Quirky Camper? Check out Mr Tumnus 

Brecon Beacons

Packed with everything your adventurous heart could ever desire, Brecon Beacons is a mountain range in South Wales. From mountain biking to waterfall spotting, everywhere you turn there’s something waiting to be explored. 

Interesting fact: The Batcave entrance from The Dark Knight Rises is located at Henrhyd Falls.

Which Quirky Camper? Check out Silurian & Sandy 


Lover of a starry sky? Be prepared to fall head over heels. Exmoor is one of six UK national parks to be awarded with International Dark Sky Reserve status. During the day you can enjoy wild pony spotting whilst walking across the rugged heather moorland. Come nighttime, lay back and watch the night sky come alive!

Interesting fact: There are plants in Exmoor that grow nowhere else in the world.

Which Quirky Camper? Check out Casper, Atlas, Barry and Tui


Next up is the national park which inspired one of Sherlock Holmes most famous cases. A place where wildlife roam free over wild open moorlands. Dartmoor is also known for a number of impressive Tor formations, making it a popular place for rock climbing. 

Interesting fact: 65% of Dartmoor is made of granite with some rocks dating back to over 295 millions years ago. 

Which Quirky Camper? Check out Chateau Radical, Nora, Blossom & Annie 

New Forest

Hike through the ancient forest as the sun peers through the trees and feel what it’s like to truly be at one with Nature. The New Forest is arguably one of the most enchanting places within the UK.      

Interesting fact: Alice Liddell, the little girl that inspired Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ lived in Lyndhurst. 

Which Quirky Camper? Check out Monty, Ferdinand, Deets, Evie & Nelson

South Downs

South Downs is the newest addition to the National Park family. Not only can you visit the South downs you can taste it too as some of England’s finest wine, beer and gin is produced here. Relish in the views of the Seven Sister chalk hills whilst enjoying a delicious glass of pinot – pure bliss!

Interesting fact: There are 39 different types of butterfly that live within the South Downs, including one of the rarest species, Duke of Burgundy.

Which Quirky Camper? Check out Walter, Fiver, Calvi, Tofino, Antares, Ida, Demelza & Hoots


A network of peaceful rivers and lakes across Norfolk and Suffolk, Broads National Park is described as a water playground for paddleboarders, sailing and kayaking enthusiasts. Off the water there is plenty to do including a visit to the Great Yarmouth Hippodrome Circus and a ride on one of the traditional miniature steam trains.

Interesting fact: The Hovercraft was invented on the Norfolk Broads

Which Quirky Camper? Check out Cosmo

North York Moors

Nestled in the North East of Yorkshire is the glorious North York Moors. Containing the largest area of heather moorland, it’s a fantastic place to discover new hiking and cycling routes. Come the late summer, the moorland is lit up with pink and purple flowers; a brilliant photo opportunity for budding photographers. 

Interesting fact: Around 23% of the North York Moors is covered by woodland.

Which Quirky Camper? Check out Orla & Chamonix


Last but certainly not least on our list is Northumberland. The least populated of the UK National Parks, it’s the perfect place to escape and reconnect with nature. Known to hold the badge for England’s cleanest air and rivers, there are some of the most incredible swimming spots. 

Interesting fact: Earl Grey tea originated in Northumberland. 

Which Quirky Camper? Check out Denzel, Tyson, Cordelia, Tiny Tim, & Skye

Can I camp in UK National Parks?

Each national trust park has different rules which is why we recommend looking up the specific park you’re heading to. Some parks do allow wild camping in tents and there are some which offer permits throughout the summer months for campervans. There are plenty of pubs which welcome campervans and offer spots in exchange for a couple of drinks or a meal. Check out Park4Night to see sites recommended by vanlifers. 

You can also find recommended campsites on each National Park website.

When is the best time of year to visit UK National Parks?

UK National Parks are to be enjoyed all year round but each season has its own advantages:


At this time of year, seasonal businesses such as campsites, cafes and attractions start to open up. Temperatures start to rise and flowers start to bloom, making it one of the prettiest seasons to visit the National Parks. 


Arguably the best season for families. You’re almost guaranteed beautiful weather and there’s plenty to do to keep the little ones entertained. All local attractions such as campsites and restaurants are open, ready for a busy season. 


Autumn is a lovely time to visit the wooded area of the National Parks as the trees are lit with shades of orange, red and yellow. Cafes tend to be open serving up pumpkin spice lattes and flavoured hot chocolates. 


If you’re looking to avoid crowds and don’t mind harsh temperatures, Winter is a great time to visit. Just bear in mind that some national trust cafes, attractions and campsites will not be open, however, the ones that are will be at their cheapest in this season. 

Vanlife vows

Any adventure where we may be heading off-grid, Quirky like to abide by the following:

I vow to leave each area better than I found it

I vow to respect the wildlife

I vow to not overstay my welcome

I vow to park up responsibly

Road trip checklist 




Walking boots

Swimming cozzie/trunks 

Hat, scarf and gloves 



A cosy jumper


T shirts 



Comfortable trainers

Hiking socks

Health and safety:

First aid kit

Bug spray and relief

Tick remover

Vehicle maintenance:

Oil and coolant


Warning triangle 

Levelling blocks 




Board games

Camping chairs

Camping table 


Firepit & wood


BBQ & coals



Water Bottles

Ready to embark on your National Park adventure? Check out our bespoke range of campervans available to hire.

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