There’s something for all ages in our wonderful National Parks. Whether it’s exploring the natural landscapes, visiting museums and attractions or taking part in fun days and events, you can enjoy time together as a family in the great outdoors. From the depths of ancient caves to the heights of the moors and mountains, you’ll discover your perfect playground.
The National Parks offer a host of activities for explorers young and old, which means there’s no excuse for children to be stuck indoors. Here are 10 of our favourite activities for family fun.
The Yorkshire Dales offer plenty of ideas to develop your creative side including learning a traditional craft skill such as pottery making, woodcarving, jewellery making, stained glass making, blacksmithing, willow weaving, & spoon carving. There are also many opportunities to learn an outdoor skill such as caving or navigating. There’s something for everyone!
Wake up next to a tumbling stream surrounded by nature at the National Park’s own North Lees campsite or grab a torch and head deep underground in the cave networks of Castleton. Make a splash in the family favourite of Padley Gorge, or hire a bike on the many former rail trails that now offer level, surfaced and trouble-free cycling.
There are plenty of things to do with the kids in Eryri (Snowdonia). Why not take a trip on one of the fantastic narrow gauge railways? The Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon) Mountain Railway opened to the public for the first time in Easter 1896. It runs for 4.5 miles from Llanberis to the summit of Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales.
The Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons) National Park has some of the most important cave systems in Europe, and you don’t need to be an experienced caver to enjoy these stunning sights. The National Showcaves Centre for Wales at Dan-yr-Ogof is a fantastic place to start with plenty to see and do for all ages. They also have one of the world’s largest collections of life-sized dinosaur models, ranging from the ever popular Tyrannosaurus Rex and Brachiosaurs, to the lesser-known Tsintaosaurus. Who needs Jurassic Park?!
The best way to enjoy the beautiful waters of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs is surely ON the water! Canadian canoes are a great way to enjoy time outdoors as a family. With mum or dad at the back of the boat powering and steering the boat and a child at the front, groups of all ages can enjoy many hours of paddling fun.
Sutton Bank National Park Centre have opened two new family-friendly cycling trails. A 330-metre pump track offering the thrills of riding a loop of banked turns and rollers; and a 2.5km family-friendly cycle trail. There’s also a fabulous outdoor adventure play area for those with plenty of energy!
The Sill National Landscape Discovery Centre, and Walltown Country Park are just a 10-minute drive apart, and home to some fantastic activities for the whole family to enjoy. You can take part in four Seasonal Clue Trails at both locations. These fun trails focus on celebrating the special qualities of the Park including its folklore and native wildlife. You can even become Indiana Jones by joining the Young Archaeologists’ Club. Who knows what ancient treasures you might uncover?
National Park Experiences are a great way to explore the great outdoors as a family. Hop onboard the Ingram Valley Farm Safari Traxter in Northumberland, see the herd of red deer, sheep and cattle and learn all about 6,000 years of farming. Experience the magic of horse whispering to call in the wild Exmoor ponies and learn about the essential conservation role of these beautiful animals. Meet the angora goats kept for their wonderful mohair fleece in the New Forest and make a small felt item to treasure. Have a go at goat heading at Horner Farm in Exmoor. Explore Pookles Farm in the South Downs, meet their flock of resident ducks including a careful duck cuddle and enjoy a locally sourced picnic. Follow in the footsteps of generations of climbers and learn to climb, scramble and abseil in the Peak District under the expert guidance of a local instructor.
National Park Experiences is a curated collection that brings the stories of our National Parks to life. Each experience offers an authentic insight into the landscape and special qualities of a National Park.