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Discover National Parks Fortnight

It may seem an unusual time to be celebrating National Parks, as many of them are currently closed to visitors, even to locals, to help reduce traffic to these sites and prevent people congregating. However, this week is National Parks Week. Normally we would encourage people to go out and explore, by foot or by bike, all of the trails, tracks and paths that crisscross and interweave these beautiful natural areas of countryside, woodland, heath, moor, mountain and coast. Today we are celebrating them in their absence from our lives. They will be there for us to explore at the end of this crisis, and they are still accessible to the wildlife that live there, the plants, trees and flowers still grow, the wind still blows, and that is certainly something to celebrate.

Many of the National Parks social media platforms have been sending out beautiful pictures of these parks to inspire us to visit when we are able to, to know that these spaces are flourishing, that Spring has arrived and all of the newborns and blossoms with it. While we are getting used to a life lived more indoors, it is important to remember these outdoor spaces and, of course, quite fun to plan our future return trips to them.

We have a wealth of National Parks in England, 15 in total, and 10 of which we are lucky enough to have in England. On top of these we have 33 designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty Countryside and Rights of Way Act to conserve and enhance the landscape’s natural beauty. It is incredible just how many there are for such a small Island and our tours take full advantage of their brilliant tracks and trails that make them accessible. In Dartmoor National Park alone, there is over 350km of bridleways and byways, and an endless variety of cycling and walking routes which crisscross the moorland and rolling hills. The New Forest’s idyllic glades and serpentine rivers border onto the Jurassic Coast and the 630 mile South West Coast Path, from clifftop to beach, harbour town and coastal village, heaven to explore if you enjoy hiking! The Cotswolds AONB has a 102 mile National Trail, the Cotswolds Way; a walking route spanning its entire length, rolling over its hills, through quaint golden-stoned villages and into lush green valleys the perfect length for a week of walking in England.

Dotted throughout these landscapes and parks are the ruins castles, historic landmarks, old tin mines, ancient burial mounts, Neolithic henges and Iron Age Forts. Palaces, churches, Abbeys and of course the age-old British pub, accessible via hedgerow, green lane and Holloway. When you walk through these parks you wander through history in the footsteps of those who have come before you. These places are anything but new, and that goes for the New Forest National Park too! It got its name around 1079 in William the Conqueror’s time, but the Forest’s history stretches back further; it was once known by the Saxon name ‘Ytene’, meaning land of the Jutes.

These 15 National Parks in the United Kingdom are jewels in the crown of the landscape which we will be re-visiting as soon as restrictions are lifted. For now pictures of them fill our dreams, and our Instagram feeds, as we plan new trips to explore them fully towards the end of this Summer. As the National Parks Website declares, ‘That time will come again and we will welcome everyone back with open arms’.

For tips on how to keep fit while at home, so that you’ll be ready to hike and bike through these landscapes, check out our last blog on indoor isolation fitness.

If you are looking for travel inspiration, weeks and weekends away in some of these beautiful areas, check out our 6 Day Devon and Cornwall Walking Tour (hiking through Dartmoor National Park and along the South West Coast Path), or our 6 Day Cotswolds Cycling Tour.

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Cornwall Swimming Holiday – 6 Day

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Cornwall Swimming Holiday – 6 Day

Make This Tour Your Own

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Cornwall Swimming Holiday – 4 Day

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Cornwall Swimming Holiday – 4 Day

Make This Tour Your Own

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Cornwall Swimming Weekend – 3 Day

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Cornwall Swimming Weekend – 3 Day

Make This Tour Your Own

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Dorset Swimming Weekend – 3 Day

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Dorset Swimming Weekend – 3 Day

Make This Tour Your Own

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Devon Swimming Weekend - 3 Day

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Devon Swimming Weekend - 3 Day

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Devon Swimming Holiday – 4 Day

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Devon Swimming Holiday – 4 Day

Make This Tour Your Own

Turn this into a private trip, exclusive to your group, family or friends. Tailored to the activities you would like to do, the sights you want to see! Talk to our team today to create your own private tour:

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Thames Swimming Weekend – 3 Day

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Thames Swimming Weekend – 3 Day

Make This Tour Your Own

Turn this into a private trip, exclusive to your group, family or friends. Tailored to the activities you would like to do, the sights you want to see! Talk to our team today to create your own private tour:

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Devon Swimming Holiday – 6 Day

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Devon Swimming Holiday – 6 Day

Cotswolds Autumn Cycling -   Self-Guided Weekend 

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Cotswolds Autumn Cycling – Self-Guided Weekend

Cotswolds Villages Autumn Walking – Self-Guided Weekend

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Cotswolds Villages Autumn Walking – Self-Guided Weekend

Cotswolds Short Walks Autumn– SG Weekend

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Cotswolds Villages Autumn Walking – 4 Day Self-Guided

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Cotswolds Villages Autumn Walking – 4 Day Self-Guided

Cotswolds Short Walks  Autumn – 4 Day Self-Guided

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Cotswolds Short Walks Autumn – 4 Day Self-Guided

Walk The Ridgeway – 7 Day Self-Guided

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Walk The Ridgeway – 7 Day Self-Guided

Walk The Ridgeway – 7 Day Guided

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Walk The Ridgeway – 7 Day Guided

Walk The Cotswolds Way - 11 Day Self-Guided

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Walk The Cotswolds Way – 11 Day Self-Guided

Walk The Cotswolds Way – 11 Day Guided

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Walk The Cotswolds Way - 11 Day Guided

Cotswolds Villages Walking – 5 Day Guided

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Cotswolds Villages Walking – 5 Day Guided

Cotswold Villages Walking – 6 Day Self-Guided

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Cotswold Villages Walking – 6 Day Self-Guided

Cornwall Walking – 6 Day Self-Guided

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Cornwall Walking – 6 Day Self-Guided

Cornwall Walking – 6 Day Guided

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Cornwall Walking – 6 Day Guided

Walk The Lake District - 9 Day Self-Guided

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Walk The Lake District - 9 Day Self-Guided

Walk The Lake District - 7 Day Self-Guided

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Walk The Lake District - 7 Day Self-Guided

Walk Coast to Coast – 14 to 18 Day Self-Guided

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Walk Coast to Coast – 14 to 18 Day Self-Guided

Lake District Adventure Holiday - 6 Day

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Lake District Multi Activity – 6 Day Adventure Holiday