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Discover National Parks Week: 22 – 29 July 2018

Discover National Parks Week: 22 – 29 July 2018


Secret coves, historic hillforts, ancient forests and tranquil lochs are all waiting to be discovered this National Parks Week.

National Parks Week is the annual National Park family festival championing all that is unique and special about National Parks. This year’s festival takes place Monday 23 to Sunday 29 July and celebrates the countless opportunities to get outside and discover the length and breadth of the UK’s 15 National Parks.

From treasure trails and seaside safaris to guided forest walks and local food and drinks, there are a series of diverse events on offer. Discover them all as they’re announced at


Take a privileged peek into the wilder side of Forest life thanks to A Date With Nature at the Reptile Centre near Lyndhurst. Staff and volunteers will be on hand daily throughout summer to explain more about the Forest’s native reptiles and raptors that can be seen in ‘pods’ or through live ‘feeder cams’. Why not drop in to Wild Wednesday on 25 July for a day of free family activities? New Forest Reptile Centre, Lyndhurst SO43 7GR.

Join us at this year’s New Forest Show to meet staff and members of the New Forest National Park Authority at our award-winning stand. Test your knowledge of what makes the Forest special, design your own National Park and enter our competition to win walking gear courtesy of Columbia clothing. Advance tickets online are £19.95 for adults, and children aged 15 and below go free. The Show runs from Tuesday 24 to Thursday 26 July at The Showground, New Park, Brockenhurst SO42 7QH.

If you’re looking to experience the Forest’s creative community, don’t miss the free New Forest Open Art Exhibition, showcasing the best art from the Forest celebrating the landscape, its communities and its wildlife. The free exhibition is running daily at the New Forest Centre in Lyndhurst between 9.30am and 4.30pm. New Forest Centre, Main Car Park, Lyndhurst SO43 7NY.

Explorers in the New Forest can feast their eyes on the very best views of the area from atop the New Forest Tour. The open-top Tour offers a panoramic perspective on wandering ponies, picturesque villages and vibrant purple heathland across three routes. Grab your advance tickets now at, with day tickets starting at £16 for adults and £9 for children.

Discover National Parks this Summer

You don’t need to join an event to explore the UK’s National Parks, here are our top tips for discovering National Parks for free throughout the summer:

More National Park discoveries will be revealed soon at

For adventures for children check out our Mission: Explore National Parks adventure book – with 49 missions to keep them entertained all summer.

Join in with #NationalParksWeek2018 and #DiscoverNationalParks across the summer on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

For more information on events taking place across National Parks Week visit


Notes to Photo Editor:

A selection of images for press use can be downloaded here.

Notes to Editor:

About National Parks

  • There are 15 National Parks in the UK, spanning the length and breadth of the country. 10 in England, three in Wales and two in Scotland.
  • National Parks protect almost 10 percent of England, 20 percent of Wales and 8 percent of Scotland.
  • The oldest National Park is the Peak District, founded in 1951 because of its impressive gritstone edges, steep limestone dales, moorland, farmland (which covers about 90% of the park) and caverns famed for rare Blue John stone.
  • The South Downs is the newest National Park, established in 2010 for its hundreds of square kilometres of woodland, bustling market towns, rolling chalk uplands and river valleys.
  • The Lake District National Park, is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site and is part of a special family of iconic places across the planet, such as the Taj Mahal, Machu Picchu, Easter Island and the Great Barrier Reef.
  • The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park is the only National Park to be designated primarily for its coastline, the whole of which can be walked via the 299-kilometre Pembrokeshire Coast Path.
  • The Broads is the smallest National Park at around 305 square kilometres, with almost 200 kilometres of navigable, tendril-like waterways to explore.
  • The largest National Park in the UK is the Cairngorms. At 4,528 square kilometres, it’s bigger than the whole of Luxembourg.

About the New Forest National Park Authority

Protect – Enjoy – Prosper

The New Forest National Park Authority’s statutory purposes are to:

  • Conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the Park – Protect
  • Promote opportunities for understanding and enjoyment of its special qualities – Enjoy.

We also have a duty to:

  • Seek to foster the social and economic well-being of local communities within the Park – Prosper.

The New Forest National Park was designated in March 2005. Its unique landscape has been shaped over the centuries by grazing ponies, cattle and pigs which roam free. Majestic woodlands, rare heathland and a spectacular coastline provide fabulous opportunities for quiet recreation, enjoyment and discovery.

Visit to find out more.

Media contact:

Beki Mole, Communications Assistant
New Forest National Park Authority
Tel: 01590 646639

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