2019 marks 70 years since Britain’s National Parks were established following an Act of Parliament, protecting these great open spaces for all. To celebrate, here is a selection of great places to stay in them.
Walk out of the front door into one of Britain’s incredible National Parks. Here is a selection of great places to stay in UK National Parks.
Lake District: Bridge End Farm Cottages, Cumbria
England’s largest National Park is home to 16 main lakes and England’s highest mountain, Scafell Pike. Nearby is Bridge End Farm Cottages, located in the village of Boot in Eskdale Valley. There’s opportunity for wild river swimming in the crystal-clear waters of River Esk and the plunge pool in the village. The cottages are close to the park’s deepest lake and steepest road, as well as endless picturesque walks. There are also two pubs serving excellent food within 200 yards. www.premiercottages.co.uk
What is a national park?
In the UK, national parks are protected areas set aside for their beautiful countryside, wildlife and cultural heritage.
In England and Wales, national parks have two statutory purposes: to conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage; and to provide the public with enjoyment and an understanding of the special qualities of national parks. If both the statutory purposes are achieved, national parks also have the duty to: seek to foster the socio-economic development of local communities.
Tarset Tor strives to be as sustainable and unobtrusive on the natural environment as possible: the hot shower uses a pellet boiler system and there’s an eco toilet; the site boasts its own wildlife pond and a bird hide that doubles – remarkably – as a sauna. Gather around the firepit and discuss the day’s adventures: in addition to Hadrian’s Wall, the site is within easy reach of heather moorlands and blanket bogs, and areas populated with red squirrels and curlews. Accommodation is in stylish split-level bothies offering ensuite bedrooms. www.pitchup.com
North York Moors: Crag House, Yorkshire
Crag House Farm comprises two National Park Design Award Winning barns in the North York Moors. The barns exude warmth and tranquillity and there are quirky surprises throughout, from mood lighting and speakers in the bathroom to the chillout landing area with floor cushions and a music system. Beacon View has a covered flagstone patio for al-fresco dining with a barbecue as well as a spectacular view. Each cottage has its own ¼ acre child-friendly garden and access to a nearby field which is great for family games. www.premiercottages.co.uk
Peak District: Staden Grange
Set in six acres of woodland on the edge of the Peak District National Park, Staden Grange offers a family of four (two adults and two children) superb value bell tent sleepovers from £20.25 per person per night.
With a petting zoo on site and only five minutes from the spa town of Buxton, the family-run site is an ideal base from which to explore the Peak District National Park, the first to be established in 1951. www.pitchup.com
Immersed in unspoilt rolling countryside, Min Yr Awel Barn is ideally placed to access the nearby Pembrokeshire Coastal Path, allowing visitors to discover by foot the full natural beauty of the national park and its wildlife. This modern stone barn conversion comes with a spacious open-plan living space with high ceiling, log burner and flat screen TV, a stylish kitchen and outdoor terrace with garden furniture. Qualitycottages.co.uk
This family-friendly beach house is perched on a clifftop with panoramic views across the bay to the Llyn Peninsula. With the Snowdonia National Park at its doorstep, there are countless walking and cycle routes available to discover its valleys, mountains and lakes. Blue Teal features huge windows, a spacious conservatory and patio with glass balcony – all ideal spots for soaking up the scenery. Qualitycottages.co.uk
Snowdonia National Park: Cae Du
With 23 miles of coastline and beaches, wooded valleys and a magnificent mountain range, the Snowdonia National Park offers its visitors a rich and diverse getaway. Located at the centre of the park, Cae Du is a six-bedroom cottage in 14 acres with the river LLEDR running the full length of the land. The cottage is a great playground, with rocks to scramble over and a natural pool within the river for those keen on wild swimming. A plethora of walks from gentle strolls to challenging hikes can be enjoyed from here. www.premiercottages.co.uk
The Brecon Beacons’ International Dark Sky status and dramatic mountain scenery make it the perfect setting for a romantic break. The Ty Mawr Collection comprises five unique cottages, ideal for couples looking for a weekend that combines time in front of a roaring log-burner with an adventure in the peaks. The cottages are super dog-friendly with a private 12-acre park for dogs and guests. There’s also a new spa treatment room available.
A range of mountain and canal walks are on the doorstep and there are award-winning restaurants and pubs in the area. www.premiercottages.co.uk
Concealed in the Welsh hills in a two-acre terraced garden, this eco-retreat provides a base for various countryside walks with easy access to the Black Mountains and Brecon Beacons National Park. The wooden shepherds hut is powered by solar panels, with a warming wood burning stove and a natural spring water tap. The outdoor hot shower and woodfired bathtub allows guests to unwind in the open air, and there is a nearby barbeque, hammock and fire-pit for undisturbed evenings. Qualityunearthed.co.uk
South Downs National Park: Mill Laine Barns
England’s newest National Park is home to the iconic white cliffs at Seven Sisters, bustling market towns, outdoor activities and hidden gems. Mill Laine Barns are four luxurious rural cottages located on a working farm, a mile from the historical and heritage rich Lewes. The cottages sleep two to six guests, and are close to South Downs Way, Ouse Valley Way and coastal beaches. www.premiercottages.co.uk
New Forest National Park: Ivy Roost Cottage
Ancient Woodland, over 40 miles of spectacular coastline and open heathland, where approximately 5,000 New Forest ponies roam freely within the park, are just some of the reasons to visit the New Forest National Park. Ivy Roost Cottage is a four-bedroom property sleeping nine guests and dating back 400 years. Situated on a quiet country road in East Boldre in an Area of Outstanding National Beauty, guests can enjoy views from the spectacular roof terrace, located on the thatched roof, and dine under a pergola draped with vines, roses and clematis. www.premiercottages.co.uk
Ivy Roost Cottage, East Boldre, New Forest
New Forest National Park: Jacobs Copse
Jacobs Copse offers the ultimate national park sleepover: spend the night in a hammock in woodland with only the stars for company. Spot bats flitting through the dusk and keep an ear open for owls at this 10-acre site, a ‘wild camping’ oasis of calm – and dark – after nightfall. With hammocks strung between trees, the secluded site offers a fire-pit and eco-shower and is located within easy reach of Southampton.www.pitchup.com
Dartmoor National Park: Springfield
Springfield Cottage is a beautiful, luxury longhouse perched on the edge of the Dartmoor National Park in the small quiet village of Old Liverton. It is situated at the foot of the hills which head up to Haytor and benefits from some of Devon’s best walking and cycling in the area. The recently refurbished cottage sleeps four and is perfect for families, couples or friends. Facilities include: open plan living area, woodburning stove, fully equipped utility room, bike storage and Nespresso Coffee Machine with pods. It is a haven in all seasons. www.premiercottages.co.uk