National Park of the Year 2016

Winner: Northumberland

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From dark-sky stargazing to wild-goat walks, Northumberland National Park offers an abundance of glorious isolation, rich wildlife and varied terrain, with meadows, moorland, peat bog, ancient woodland and still-wild coastline.

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This northernmost national park in England covers more than 1,030 square kilometres (405 square miles), and stretches from the Scottish border in the north to just south of Hadrian’s Wall, with the North Sea to the east and Cumbria on its western flank. The vast wilderness is inhabited by less than 2,000 people, and has earned the title “England’s most tranquil location”. Peppered with prehistoric hill forts, Roman ruins, towers and castles, it is steeped in history and also includes the impressive Kielder Water, the largest working forest in England and the largest manmade lake in Northern Europe.

Visit: www.northumberlandnationalpark.org.uk

Runner up: Cairngorms

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Photo credit Cairngorms National Park, Loch Avon Feith Buide Waterfall

Pine forest, grand peaks, rare wildlife, epic views – Cairngorms National Park covers an area of breathtaking beauty and is home to a quarter of the UK’s rare and endangered species. You want to see golden eagles, ospreys and capercaillies? This is the place to come.

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Visit: www.cairngorms.co.uk