Guide to Cottage Holidays in England’s National Parks

If you love naturally beautiful landscapes then a cottage holiday in one of England’s national parks could be the very best choice for you.  With a variety of inspirational landscapes to choose from such as stunning coastlines and wetlands to country landscapes of mountains, moorlands or hills, there are some things you can be assured of when visiting England’s national parks.  All of the parks are protected, special areas which are recognised for the quality of the countryside, heritage and wildlife that can be found here. 

England has 10 parks to choose from.  Many are excellent places for walking, hiking and wildlife watching.  Some are also home to National Trust properties which can also make for a great day out.  Each park offers its own unique appeal.

Dartmoor National Park

This green and beautiful area of the West Country covers a total of 368 square miles of farmlands, valleys, wetlands and woodlands.  Stone tors are a signature of the Dartmoor landscape as are wild ponies that roam freely.  Add to this quaint villages and towns and it’s easy to see what makes Dartmoor such a great place to take a self-catering break.


Exmoor National Park

Exmoor covers both coast and countryCovering both coast and countryside in Somerset, Exmoor is one of Somerset’s best known attractions.  Visit to discover unspoilt valleys, woodlands and moorlands with a network of footpaths criss-crossing across the landscapes.  Look out for the sight of red deer and birds such as red kites and buzzards en route.

Lake District National Park

The Lake District National Park, excellent for self-catering boating holidays
The Lake District is perhaps one of England’s best known National Parks and one of the country’s top holiday destinations particularly for families.  With a great range of activities on offer here from walking, cycling and hiking to boating and sailing, this part of Cumbria has plenty to offer.  With fells, hills and shimmering lakes to be found throughout the Lake District, this is a very special place.


New Forest

Wild pony walking free in New Forest National ParkSome would describe the New Forest as magical and it certainly does have its own unique charms.  Wild ponies roam free and are a sight that both young and old delight in seeing.  Cycling, walking and pony trekking (but not on the wild ponies) are all on offer in the forest.  Pretty villages, moorlands and woodlands all await your discovery in this part of Hampshire.

Norfolk Broads

If you love boating and watery wonderlands then a cottage holiday in the Norfolk Broads could be just right for you.  Much of Norfolk is rural and unspoilt and the broads are no exception.  An area that many say are best explored on water, boat trips can be a great way of discovering this part of East Anglia.  Some though prefer to explore on foot.  Excellent bird watching opportunities are to be found in this part of the country.


Breathtaking countryside in Northumberland National Park
Northumberland’s National Park is home to Hadrian Wall’s Country and this UNESCO heritage site attracts numerous visitors each year.  Visit to learn more about the Romans and walk in their footsteps.  To get the best out of your visit we recommend that you stop off at English Heritage and National Trust sites en route.  A visit to this park is best suited to those who enjoy hiking and rambling as much of the landscape is hilly.

North York Moors

The North York Moors are a special area in Yorkshire renowned for the quality of its scenery.  Covering both coast and countryside, the North York Moors should have something to appeal to everybody.  From moorlands and woodlands to the beautiful coastline and sandy bays near Whitby, this part of Yorkshire has lots to captivate adults and children alike.   

Peak District National Park

The Peak District has to be one of the top areas in the country for self-catering walking and hiking holidays.  There’s something about climbing up those lofty peaks and marvelling at the views below that really appeals to those with a love for the great outdoors.  Add to this plenty of charming tea shops where you can enjoy a fine cup of tea and a nice piece of cake, and it’s easy to see just why the Peak District is a great place to visit.

South Downs

The South Downs are found on England’s South Coast very near to the popular coastal resorts of Brighton, Hove and Eastbourne.  Stretching from near Eastbourne in the east all the way to Winchester in the west, this National Park covers more than 994 square miles of countryside.  This area has been recognised as a special area of outstanding natural beauty.


Yorkshire Dales

The Yorkshire Dales are renowned for their wild and rugged scenery.  Made famous by the romantic novels of the Bronte sisters, some visit this part of the country to visit the town of Haworth just outside of the Dales where the Bronte sisters lived and to walk along the literary trail.  Others visit to simply take in the dramatic scenery.  This park also offers wildlife, woodlands, great walks and some stunning.