Yorkshire Dales National Park has been rated the best in Europe in by travellers and outdoors fans. The new “best of the best” top 10 list by travel review website TripAdvisor also includes two more parks in England, with the Peak District National Park in fourth place and the New Forest in fifth.
The Travellers' Choice winners, which were determined prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, were chosen in celebration of the views, mountains, lakes, trails, trees and beaches, as well as the many things to do outdoors.
The Yorkshire Dales was acclaimed as the “best of the best” thanks to its unspoiled countryside, including expansive moors and forests. Plentiful hiking and cycling opportunities were also highlighted, such as a hike on the famous Pennine Way, as well as Ilkley Moor and the James Herriot Way. Another gems is to hike to the summit of Ingleborough, the second highest mountain in the Yorkshire Dales.
Must-sees include Hardraw Force, which is the longest single-drop waterfall in the north of England.
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Two more of the best national parks
At number four in the best of European national parks is Derbyshire's Peak District. When it comes to outdoor activities, this park offers the whole package.
There are opportunities for everything from hiking, cycling and horse riding to rock climbing, windsurfing and paragliding.
Places not to miss include the traffic free walking and cycling route, Monsal Trail; the highest point in the Peak District at Kinder Scout; and the Sustrans routes, the Tissington Trail and High Peak Trail.
The Pennine Way also travels through this park.
Close behind, in fifth place, is the New Forest, described as a lowland park filled with scenic views and wide trails that beg to be explored as they wind through centuries-old woodlands.
Highlights for outdoors fans are the Solent Way Walk, and a stroll through Moors Valley Country Park and Forest.
The top 10 national parks in Europe
The full top 10 looks like this:
- Yorkshire Dales National Park, United Kingdom
- Vatnajokull National Park, Iceland
- Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia
- Peak District National Park, United Kingdom
- New Forest National Park, United Kingdom
- Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park, Spain
- Sierra Nevada National Park, Spain
- Uludag National Park, Turkey
- Sierra de Aracena and Picos de Aroche Natural Park, Spain
- Cilento and Vallo di Diano National Park, Italy
Fiona Russell is a widely published adventure journalist and blogger, who is better known as Fiona Outdoors. She is based in Scotland and is an all-round outdoors enthusiast with favourite activities including trail running, mountain walking, mountain biking, road cycling, triathlon and skiing, both downhill and back country. Her target for 2021 is to finish the final nine summits in her first round of all 282 Munros, the Scottish mountains of more than 3,000ft high. Aside from being outdoors, Fiona's biggest aim is to inspire others to enjoy the great outdoors, especially through her writing. She is also rarely seen without a running skort! Find out more at Fiona Outdoors.
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