Two-day National Park walks
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Did you know that 40 per cent of the land we look after can be found in a National Park? To help you explore it, we've chosen five National Parks to discover on foot over two days - Exmoor, the Lake District, the Peak District, Snowdonia and the South Downs.
The walks have been written by environment and travel journalist Mark Rowe. All five walking routes have been walked personally by Mark and put together with local knowledge from our rangers who are passionate about the landscapes in their care.
These lengthy hikes are aimed at the more ambitious walker. They are designed for you to dip in and out of as you please over two days or more. For the less experienced walker, we’ve also got lots of short, easy-to-follow walks – find your ideal route on our walking trails map.
National Parks are protected areas because of their beautiful countryside, wildlife and cultural heritage. We care for more than 300,000 acres of land in National Parks, working closely with the National Park Authority to ensure that these special landscapes are looked after and can be enjoyed by thousands of visitors every year.
Our two-day walks
This 24-mile, figure of eight hike on the Holnicote Estate, within Exmoor National Park, starts with an 8-mile jaunt north of Allerford, taking in Selworthy Beacon, where you'll be rewarded with views right across the Bristol Channel to South Wales. On the second day, it's 16 miles, again from Allerford, but this time heading south through one of the UK's largest ancient oak woodlands, Horner Wood, before heading to Dunkery Beacon, the highest point on Exmoor.
The allure of the great fells of the Lake District is almost irresistible, and it's hard to pass under the nose of the highest summits without wanting to make a dart for the top. This 20-mile, two-day walk offers the chance to take in the monumental landscape of the western Lakes, as well as hike to the summit of Scafell Pike. The route is essentially two long linear walks that at times overlap, taking you over the passes from Langdale and Mickleden, often busy with hikers, to Wasdale, more lonely and remote.
The High Peak is a great introduction to the northern uplands of England; it's where the Pennine Way begins, and where a mountain chain that forms the backbone of England makes its way north into Scotland. This two-day walk takes you away from the crowds and explores the land around the edges of the moorland of Kinder Scout and the dramatic geological fault line that lies just to the south. It really is a place where nature thrives, home to a variety of wildlife, including ravens, red grouse and peregrine falcons.
This 21-mile, two-day walk will take you across two dominant mountain ranges in Snowdonia's National Park: The Carneddau, named after the many cairns you'll find along the top; and the Glyder range, which gets its name from 'cludair', meaning 'a pile'. The whole area is steeped in history and you'll pass fractured remnants of Iron Age and Bronze Age settlements against a backdrop of dry-stone walls.
This two-day walk along the South Downs national trail captures much of the spirit of Britain's 15th and newest national park, taking in sheep-grazed rolling chalk downlands and serenely secluded valleys along the way. Beginning at Steyning, just north of the town of Shoreham-by-Sea, it meanders eastwards via the South Downs escarpment, high above both Brighton and a succession of quintessentially English villages, the occasional pub to the hamlet of Southease and its train station.