The National Parks Week countdown begins

This year’s National Parks Week (Monday 24 to Sunday 30 July) is all about bringing people together and what better places to enjoy that than in the stunning countryside of the UK’s 15 National Parks.

National Parks Week is the annual National Park family celebration of everything that is unique and wonderful about National Parks – Britain’s breathing spaces.

Whether you are a thrill seeker or looking for something more relaxing, there are plenty of events to enjoy during National Parks Week – farmers’ markets, treasure trails, seaside safaris and local food and drinks – and plenty more throughout the year.

To get everyone in the mood there is ParkFest, a  two-day summer art and music festival at The Moors National Park Centre, Danby, YO21 2NB on Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 July (11am-4pm both days and an evening music event on 22 July). Everyone is invited so bring family and friends and try something new in the North York Moors – it’s free.

In our beautiful Broads National Park, there are family events on 23 and 26 July at Whitlingham Country Park, entry is free although charges apply for boat trips and some other activities. With great music, food, family activities, displays crafts and much more, bring a picnic and enjoy a day in the park which is the ‘Gateway to the Broads’. On 26 July there’s also a chance to get active with the Broads Quiz Trail or enjoy displays and the Marshman’s tool game.

On Saturday 29 July Northumberland National Park will officially open its £14.8m state-of-the-art visitor centre on Hadrian’s Wall. The Sill is the result of an innovative partnership between Northumberland National Park, and YHA (England and Wales) and has been made possible with a £7.8m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. With exhibitions, a café, YHA, tourist information and a shop packed with local produce and arts and crafts, there’s plenty to keep everyone happy for a visit or a stay.

Wild Wednesday, 26 July, is a free drop-in event for accompanied 5 to 12 year olds from 11am to 3 pm in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, meet at Frank's Bridge, Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria. All you need to bring is an adult to help you with any tricky stuff, shoes you can paddle in and a towel. For more information contact Malham National Park Centre 01729 833200.

South Downs Rangers on Tour 25-28 July 2017
The South Downs National Park is coming to town for National Parks Week this summer. From 25 to 28 July South Downs rangers will be bringing free family fun and a little bit of the National Park into towns around Sussex and Hampshire. Learn how to make a bug hotel, test your animal knowledge on our giant jigsaws and get crafty making wildlife sashes. Rangers will be on hand throughout to answer questions and share local tips on getting out into the National Park and spotting wildlife over the school holidays. There will be two free 45 minute sessions each day at 11.00 and 12.00, available for pre-booking, plus an additional session at 14.00 which can only be booked on the day.

Go Wild in the Woods at Castell Henllys Iron Age Village - Friday July 28 from 11am-12.30pm/2pm-3.30pm Join in with nature engagement workshops, working with our surroundings and experiencing the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park in a completely different way.  These activities will vary from day to day to include things like bushcraft, working with clay, den building, pond dipping, discovering mini-beasts, site safaris and much more.  Ring for details on the week of the event, to find out what's in store, or check our Facebook page. £3 plus admission www.castellyhenllys.com Tel 01239 891319

Kathryn Cook, UK Director, National Parks UK says: “These are just a few of the amazing activities and events on offer in and around National Parks Week so do check our website to find out more. Our 15 National Parks are great places to visit all year round with space for the whole family to enjoy – so check out our top 15 lists for ideas, pack up a picnic and get out into your favorite National Park or visit one that you haven’t been to before. And if you’re stuck for ideas to keep the children occupied this summer check out the Mission: Explore National Parks adventure book – with 49 missions to keep them entertained all summer.

For more information on all our events visit the National Parks site where you will also find ideas on how to get out and get active – including walking routes, cycling trails, accessible routes and star-gazing activities. You can also find information on how to travel to the National Parks sustainably, making use of our car-free guides.

Friday 7 July 2017