It’s time to join in the fun and celebrate during National Parks Week 2014 (28 July-3 August). It’s a great excuse to pack up a picnic and enjoy some of Britain’s most beautiful scenery
There are plenty of reasons to love our country’s National Parks. Not only are they areas of outstanding beauty, they are also the perfect settings for fun family days and camping breaks. Whether you want some relaxing ‘me-time’ or a new way to encourage the family to stay active, there is something for everyone.
Farmers in the UK’s National Parks also help to look after the environment by offering fresh, locally produced food throughout the year and looking after the landscape and wildlife.
How to get involved
Each National Park has plenty of events taking place throughout the week. Here are some not to miss:
- The Broads – Check out the Gorleston Clifftop Festival from 26-27 July for a variety of entertainment, stalls, music, sports and more. Make sure you don’t miss the firework finale on the Sunday evening!
- Brecon Beacons – Stargaze with your own astronomer for the evening in one of the world’s few Dark Sky areas, from 26-28 July.
- The Cairngorms – Join the Crown Estate rangers to explore the woodlands at the Woodland Antics ranger event on 29 July. Suitable for 5+ years.
- Dartmoor – Browse a range of wildlife pictures, natural candles, pottery, jewellery and more at the Dartmoor Creative Crew Arts & Crafts Fair on 27 July.
- Exmoor – Enjoy an outdoor production of Roald Dahl’s George’s Marvellous Medicine at Manor Green, Lynmouth on 29 July. Visit theploughartscentre.org.uk for tickets.
- Lake District – Build your own raft and try to stay afloat at the Lake District’s ‘Have a Go at Rafting’ event on 31 July. Age 7+.
- Loch Lomond and the Trossachs – Check out the Lochgoilhead Gala Day and Raft Race on 26 July for mini highland games, raft races, a craft fair, water walking, and canoe and boat trips.
- New Forest – Learn basic bushcraft skills at the Wild in the Woods event on 26 July. Build a shelter, light a fire and bake some bread at this fun family event.
- Northumberland – Take the kids to Warrior School from 19 July-25 August. Children can dress up and learn how to defend against attacks from feuding Cumbrian warriors as the Dark Age of Birdoswald is brought to life.
- North York Moors – Head to a Teddy Bears’ Picnic on 29 July. Enjoy woodland adventures and finish with juice and biscuits in the storytelling area.
- Peak District – Kids can brush up on their cycling abilities at the Children’s Mountain Bike Skills event on 31 July. Young cyclists can ride around, over and through obstacles at this two-hour event.
- South Downs – Get ready to cheer, boo and experience the thrill of a live jousting competition at the Jousting & Medieval Tournament from 22 July-27 July, under Arundel Castle.
- Yorkshire Dales – Friends of Dales Countryside Museum will be dressed in costume in the Farmhouse Kitchen on 25 July. They will be explaining the process of butter and cheese making to visitors at the Victorian Kitchen event.
Booking is essential for many events. Visit nationalparks.gov.uk for a full list and details of events taking place this week, as well as how to book.