National Parks summer events

Last week, the Peak District celebrated its 63rd birthday as Britain’s first designated national park. From the South Downs to the Cairngorms, Britain is now home to 15 National Parks, allowing natural beauty to be enjoyed whilst preserving it for future generations. Here is our guide to some of the best events happening in National Parks over the coming months.

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Hay Bike Fest, Brecon Beacons National Park, 25th-27th April

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This weekend sees Hay-on-Wye celebrate all things cycling with Hay Bike Fest. Now in its second year, the three-day event caters for all, from hardcore mountain bikers and speedy road cyclists to the more leisurely paced cyclists amongst us. There are bookable rides for all types of cycling, bike maintenance workshops, cycling lessons for children and even mountain yoga!

Moorland Guides, Dartmoor, throughout summer

From June to September, Moorland Guides are running regular Wednesday walks for all abilities. The guided walks follow themes such as archaeology and history, wildlife, geology, and plants, providing new ways of discovering the beauty of Dartmoor.

South Downs Show, South Downs, 23rd-25th August

The South Downs Show is taking place in Queen Elizabeth Country Park over the August Bank Holiday, at the foot of Butser Hill. New this year, the country and farming show aims to provide a wider understanding of the importance of the role of the South Downs National Park.

ParkFest, North York Moors, 27th July

ParkFest launches the beginning of National Parks Week, and sees a day of activities such as walking, local crafts, history, sheep-shearing and archery to name but a few. The event takes place in the heart of the moors at The Moors National Park Centre in Danby, and is free for all.

Voluntary Ranger Guided Walks, Northumberland, throughout summer

The Northumberland National Park Ranger Service lead many walks from various starting points in the Park over the summer. The free walks are guided by knowledgeable rangers, and at an easy pace, allow the scenery to be enjoyed whilst absorbing the history and features of the local area. 

Further details of each walk can be found on the Northumberland National Park website.

Country Shows, Lake District, throughout summer

Summer in the Lake District signals the arrival of many country shows and fairs throughout the National Park- so many you’ll be spoilt for choice! In beautiful locations such as Ullswater, Coniston and Hawkshead, these country shows surrounded by stunning scenery are not to be missed.

Full listings can be found on the Lake District National Park website.

Summer of Cycling, Peak District, throughout summer

Continuing with the cycling fever that seems to have gripped Britain over the past couple of years, the Peak District is hosting a vast range of cycling activities over the summer for those who want to pedal power their way through the breathtaking views of the Peaks. Event details can be found here.

The Atholl Gathering, Cairngorms National Park, 24th-25th May

Highland Games have a long tradition in the Cairngorms National Park, where men from around Scotland gather to compete in events such as tossing the caber and putting the shot. The weekend event at Blair Castle sees The Atholl Gathering host The Atholl Highlanders’ Parade followed by a full day of Highland Games.

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Visit Britain’s official National Parks website for even more events and packed summer calendars!