Cumbria Way through the Langdale Valley

Visiting all 15 UK National parks: my next travel challenge

It hasn’t been long since returning to the UK from my travels where I spent three months in Europe and five months in Asia. Having quit my job in 2021 and travelled on and off between temporary work for the last 18 months I started to feel ready to return back home to the UK. I feel very lucky to have been able to travel for so long, and experience seeing 11 different countries over the past 18 months from Switzerland and Germany, to Nepal and Thailand among others! I love exploring, hiking and travelling, the feeling of seeing a new place and exploring places you didn’t expect to find. However, I strongly believe that you don’t have to travel across the world to be able to explore and experience the simple joys of new adventure. 

Whilst I was travelling and planning for my return home, I thought to myself how amazing it would be to have a new little travel project back in the UK to ensure that I keep up with my travels alongside returning to work.

I absolutely love the UK and it really has some of the most diverse landscapes that I have seen in any country I’ve visited. So, I’ve had the idea to visit the UK’s 15 national parks! Initially I considered doing this in one go as a big road trip, but it simply isn’t possible for me to take so much time off work again this year. But I decided I wouldn’t ‘wait’ for the opportunity to arise – I would make it happen now, but just in smaller stages. If there is one thing I’ve learnt recently it is that there may not always be the perfect moment to start something – the perfect time is always now!

It may seem strange, but starting this little project does feel a bit overwhelming. I have a fairly sporadic work pattern in my new job, and I haven’t yet managed to buy a car, so it makes booking trips a little trickier logistically! But there are great train networks to many National Parks and I’m excited for the journeys ahead.

 

The 15 National Parks in the UK

England
– The Lake District

– The Peak District

– North York Moors
– Exmoor
– Norfolk Broads
–  South Downs
– Dartmoor 

– The Yorkshire Dales 

– Northumberland

– New Forest

Wales:

– Snowdonia

-Brecon Beacons

-Pembrokeshire

Scotland:

– Loch Lomond and The Trossachs

– The Cairngorms

Some of the national parks I have already visited, and others I haven’t, but I’m excited to create an opportunity to visit them all (whether it’s for the first time or not – I will be visiting / revisiting each one)! So over the next 15 months I will be exploring a new national park each month. I look forward to sharing with you the adventures, hikes and unique accommodations that I find in each location along the way. 

Hiking Bowfell
The Lake District National Park

So here is a little reminder – it doesn’t have to be the start of the year to begin something new, it doesn’t have to involve travelling the length of the UK, it could even be something small like discovering a new place near to your home each month, going on a new hike or trying something new. If you, like me, like to have little challenges to keep you motivated or to give some accountability, here are a few ideas: 

– Try one new craft or creative skill each month

– Cook a new recipe

– Read a new book each month

– Find a new hike in your area

– Climb a mountain a month

– Visit a National Park or part of the UK you haven’t yet discovered

 

Stay tuned for more soon as I set off on my next adventure …. and share with you my first National Park on this journey, The North York Moors! 

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