From bushcraft to goat herding, kayaking to night-time reserve walks, make this a summer to remember with these fabulous new experiences from our National Parks. A brand-new collection of curated experiences has launched this summer across England’s nine iconic National Parks – with more planned for Scotland and Wales soon. There are currently over 80 incredible adventures, being offered by passionate people who want to share their love of nature and the outdoors. If you’re a foodie, history buff, landscape lover or wildlife fan, we hope you enjoy our pick of the best here. To find out more and to book any of the experiences visit the new booking website:
Dartmoor National Park
From vast wild moorlands to imposing rock formations and river valleys that cut deep through the landscape, Dartmoor National Park offers a mix of relaxing surroundings and active adventures. Tackle the hills on two wheels, amble along miles of walking routes or come face-to-face with some of the region’s rare wildlife.
1. Gems of Dartmoor Photography
This photography workshop will give you the fundamentals of great photography. Vivid colours and atmospheric sunlight go hand-in-hand so that the moor is ablaze with an astonishing vibrancy, perfect for creating dramatic photographs. Visit destinations that are off the beaten track and learn how to frame and capture stunning images under the expert guidance of a local photographer. Learn how to use your camera or phone to make the most of a location and the light to create stunning photography. Explore the history and mysteries of the subjects of your photography and learn about the conservation of the area too. 8 hours. Priced from £295.
Wistman’s Wood: This enchanting wood seems to belong in a fairy tale. Home to a carpet of deep green moss underfoot and finger-like branches of dwarf oak trees and corkscrew branches above, the fascinating Wistman’s Wood is one of only three remote, high-altitude oak woods in Dartmoor.
South Downs National Park
Discover the world-famous white cliffs, rolling green hills, ancient woodland, rich wetlands and lowland heaths. Stretching across the south of England, the South Downs National Park – with its long distance paths, cycle routes and rare wildlife – is a real haven for outdoor enthusiasts and culture seekers. Get inspired by the dramatic cliffs and picturesque villages found throughout the National Park
2. Bait to Plate Fly Fishing, South Downs
Start with a two-hour fly-fishing taster experience at Chalk Springs Trout Fishery nestled on the edge of the historic market town of Arundel in the South Downs. Then, with fish in hand – if you don’t catch one yourself one trout per person is provided – it’s over to Fins & Forks HQ for a hands-on session at the smokehouse kitchen. Prepare and cure your catch for the smoker choosing one of the signature cure flavourings. Your cold smoked trout will be posted to you after the session– perfect for brunch and sharing your story about the one that did not get away! Priced from £99
Long Man of Wilmington: Standing as the tallest chalk figure in the UK, the Long Man of Wilmington is an interesting highlight along the South Downs. With a past that is riddled with mystery, this historic site is surrounded by lush green countryside, gentle hills and postcard-perfect villages – ideal for a stress-busting stroll in southern England’s countryside.
Exmoor National Park
With a unique mosaic of expansive moorlands, woodland valleys, rolling hills and dramatic coastline, Exmoor National Park is a firm favourite among walkers. Visitors can keep an eye out for Exmoor ponies and red deer by day and marvel at the stars by night, as they explore this ancient and wild landscape.
3. Wild Foraging, Exmoor
Learn about how your ancestors survived. This introduction to wild foraging with botanist Liz Cwilewicz will help you learn how to confidently identify and harvest up to 15 wild edibles. Deliver into the history and culture of Exmoor National Park and discover the folklore and medicinal uses behind these edibles. 2 hours, priced from £10.
Cow Castle: Found high on Exmoor, Cow Castle is an impressive Iron Age fort nestled alongside the soothing River Barle valley. But history is not all this hidden gem has to offer, for beneath the ancient fort is a wild landscape, babbling river and even a deep pool, a secluded spot for wild swimming. Those planning an adventure here should note that this site can only be found on foot, lying two miles from the small village of Simonsbath.
From breathtaking views of stunning limestone valleys and rugged gritstone landscapes to magnificent stately homes, the Peak District has a contrasting range of natural beauty. Highlights include Edale’s Kinder Scout and the Castleton caves, the only place in the world where the semi-precious mineral Blue John is mined. The Peak District was also the UK’s first National Park, founded in 1951.
4. Mountain Hares Discovery Walk, Peak District
The highest points in the Peak District are the only places in England where you can still find Mountain Hares. Most people will never see them when out walking but this guide has a 100% success rate. The walk starts from the Snake Pass road, between Glossop and Sheffield. After a gradual climb of around 200m, you’ll leave the Pennine Way path navigating across the complex moorland terrain to some of the best locations to see Mountain Hares in their natural habitat. There’s the chance to see shorteared owls, golden plover, red grouse, kestrels and learn about the ecology and restoration of these amazing bog and moorland habitats. After observing the hares, you’ll head to the incredible and moving location of the site of the B29 Superfortress “Over Exposed” plane crash. A camera with a long lens or zoom and binoculars are worth taking but if you don’t have the gear don’t worry – the guide will send you a set of digital photos taken on the day. Priced from £38 per person.
5. Climbing Through History, Peak District
Try climbing, abseiling and scrambling for the first time or develop existing skills with local experts. The history of the Peak District National Park is etched in the unique gritstone crags that line the valley edges. This world-famous rock, besides being an integral part of the area’s industrial heritage, has formed the favoured vertical playground for generations of climbers and scramblers. Follow in their footsteps by climbing, scrambling and abseiling under the expert guidance of a local instructor. Learn about the history and geology, flora and fauna of this unique area. Priced from £85.
Thor’s Cave, Wetton: Hidden away behind the Staffordshire village of Wetton in the Peak District, Thor’s Cave is a fascinating geological finale to a relaxing countryside walk. After strolling along a quaint country path, visitors will see the wonderful arched mouth emerge in the distance. Reached by a stepped path, the natural limestone cavern has an inviting entrance that leads to a space that’s occupation dates back to the Stone Age. As well as exploring this ancient habitation space, visitors will be treated to stunning views of the valley below to boot!
The Yorkshire Dales National Park
Home to the Three Peaks of Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough, The Yorkshire Dales National Park is an area known for its rich farming heritage, lush heather moors, labyrinth of caves, rolling valleys embellished with traditional field barns and drystone walls – giving visitors a look into Britain’s countryside, both past and present.
6. Reconnecting with Nature, Yorkshire Dales
Immerse yourself in the tranquil Yorkshire Dales landscape and enjoy a full exploration of fascinating and beautiful Gunnerside Gill in Swaledale. You’ll get a feel for how different this area must have been 200 years ago when it was bustling with people and machinery. Experience and understand more about how nature has slowly been reclaiming the landscape and plans for future nature recovery in the area. As well as enjoying a picnic with local delicacies and dipping your toes in the beck, the day includes a visit to a 200-year-old working smithy and a drink in the local pub. 7 hours, priced from £35 per person.
Crackpot Hall: For epic scenery with a side of local history, walk to the fascinating ruins of Crackpot Hall. Tucked away at the foot of rolling hills, Crackpot Hall is the ruins of an 18th century smallholding, abandoned in 1953. There are staggering views in several directions, this site overlooks Swinner Gill, where sweeping valleys were once home to a thriving lead mining industry, the remains of which can still be seen today.
Northumberland National Park
Ancient monuments, rolling moorland and the uplands of the Cheviot Hills make Northumberland National Park – Europe’s largest International Dark Sky Park – as tranquil as the stars are bright! The remote heathercovered hills, iconic Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Site and unspoilt historic islands mean it’s a must for scenery-centric bucket lists.
7. Patrol Hadrian’s Wall, Northumberland
Venture into ‘bandit country’ where Romans dared to march as you patrol the northern frontier with a National Park Ranger. Start out from The Sill National Landscape Discovery Centre where you’ll pick up an E-mountain bike. You’ll cycle together along the most iconic section of Hadrian’s Wall including an off-road section along an ancient byway with outstanding views. As you explore quiet country lanes and byways you’ll be immersed in tales of how Hadrian’s Wall was made and enjoy a flavour of what life was like. Priced from £30.
Hareshaw Linn, Bellingham: Dream of walking through the charming woodland, crossing quaint bridges and marvelling at the deep green waterfall at Northumberland’s Hareshaw Linn. A secluded spot brimming with flora and fauna, fans of the great outdoors can spot rare ferns and lichen, as well as red squirrels and wood warblers.
The Lake District National Park
The Lake District is home to awe-inspiring landscapes, high fells, deep glacial lakes and quaint rural villages. Now a World Heritage Site, the rugged yet beautiful National Park has the highest mountains in England, the largest being Scafell Pike, and is one of Britain’s most scenic spots in any season.
8. Night Time Adventure, Lake District
The natural world changes at night as different animals emerge and new noises are heard. You’ll get kitted out with binoculars, night-vison equipment and bat detectors so that you can get a really good look at how nocturnal creatures make the world their own once the sun goes down. Finish up around an open fire with a bowl of something warm and delicious. 4 hours, priced from £35.
Ennerdale Water: Those longing to experience utter tranquillity have hit the jackpot, as Ennerdale Water is the National Park’s most remote lake. Offering a peaceful slice of Britain’s vast countryside, those planning on visiting Ennerdale can expect crystal-clear waters, wonderful forest walks and outstanding views of the surrounding hilly landscape. This Lake District secret is so remote that it cannot be reached by road, although active adventurers can hop on a bike and enjoy the 10-mile cycle path that connects it to Whitehaven.
North York Moors National Park
A place of extraordinary heritage with countryside to match, the North York Moors have rolling hills, deep wooded dales, captivating coasts, ancient abbeys, tumbling streams and timeless villages – this is a National Park mixing both unexpected and quintessential beauty. There is also a heritage railway system, part of the National Parks Experience Collection.
9. Fossils, Forage & Feast, North York Moors
Join our experienced leaders to explore a hidden cove such as Boggle Hole or Runswick Bay on the North York Moors Heritage Coast. We’ll help you to find the secret creatures hiding in rock pools, to discover Jurassic fossils, forage for seashore snacks, and then to cook and eat some of the food you’ve found, which is extra tasty when cooked on an open beach fire! Depending on the wishes of the group the experience can include hunting for Jurassic fossils from 200 million years ago, including dinosaur footprints and the worldfamous ammonites and Whitby Jet and exploring the rock pools and rocky shoreline to meet the animals and plants that live there. Some of these (seaweed, shell fish, crabs and lobsters) we will forage to provide a beach cooked meal and depending on the time of year/day, it may also be possible to add in an evening of stargazing. Priced from £45.
Hayburn Wyke: Found along the Cleveland Way National Trail, hidden beyond deer-dwelling woodland, the secret cove of Hayburn Wyke offers a pebbled paradise, home to a host of shallow rock pools at the foot of dramatic cliffs. A place to explore from both above and below, those longing for a relaxing coastal walk can dream of strolling along the clifftops, discovering an old railway line and wandering through ancient woodlands.
Norfolk Broads National Park
A spot known for its idyllic and vast waterways and some of our rarest wildlife. Along the 200km of waterways and between the vast reed beds, visitors will find majestic windmills and ancient monasteries. They may also spy the otters, swallowtail butterflies, kingfishers and seals that call this area home.
10. Nature Kayak Adventure, Broads
This fun and serene activity will take you on a journey through the usually hard to reach areas of some of the Broads National Park. You can admire some of the best nature has to offer and discover Hickling Broad – one of the jewels – with highly experienced guides. You’ll be met at the launch point with your kayak and all other safety equipment needed, ready to be transported out onto the water for this amazing miniadventure. Using stable and easy to paddle sit-in style double or single kayaks (depending on group size) there will be every opportunity for you to see/hear Marsh Harrier, Bearded Tits, Reed Buntings and Warblers, Avocets and perhaps Bittern, Otter, Water Voles and more! 4 hours, priced from £85.
Winterton-On-Sea: Nestled between sweeping sandy beaches and the natural beauty of the Norfolk Broads, Winterton-On-Sea is a picturesque British seaside village ideal for those longing for a taste of the quiet life. Lighthouses, traditional thatched cottages and inviting sand dunes pepper the area, as well as a 14th century historic church whose tower is sometimes open to the public, for sweeping panoramic views of the lowland landscape.