Ben Nevis, UK

Ranking UK’s National Parks by Elevation, Age & Size

What is the highest point in each of UK’s 15 national parks? Which UK national park is the largest by area? We have the answers to these questions below.

The Highest UK National Parks

The highest point in United Kingdom is Ben Nevis, which is located within the Cairngorms National Park. Ben Nevis stands 4,413 feet (1,345 meters) above sea level.

Cairngorms National Park

Cairngorms National Park

Best Months: September, April, May & February
Hours: Open 24 hours a day
Entrance Fee: Free

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RankNameRegionMax PointElevation
#1Cairngorms National ParkScotlandBen Nevis4,413 ft(1,345 m)
#2Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National ParkScotlandBen More3,852 ft(1,174 m)
#3Snowdonia National ParkWalesSnowdon3,560 ft(1,085 m)
#4Lake District National ParkEnglandScafell Pike3,209 ft(978 m)
#5Brecon Beacons National ParkWalesPen y Fan2,907 ft(886 m)
#6Northumberland National ParkEnglandThe Cheviot2,674 ft(815 m)
#7Yorkshire Dales National ParkEnglandWhernside2,415 ft(736 m)
#8Peak District National ParkEnglandKinder Scout2,087 ft(636 m)
#9Dartmoor National ParkEnglandHigh Willhays2,039 ft(621 m)
#10Pembrokeshire Coast National ParkWalesFoel Cwmcerwyn1,759 ft(536 m)
#11Exmoor National ParkEnglandDunkery Beacon1,700 ft(518 m)
#12North York Moors National ParkEnglandUrra Moor – Round Hill1,490 ft(454 m)
#13South Downs National ParkEnglandBlackdown919 ft(280 m)
#14New Forest National ParkEnglandPipers Wait423 ft(129 m)
#15The Broads National ParkEnglandStrumpshaw Hill-South Slope131 ft(40 m)

The Largest UK National Parks

Cairngorms National Park also wins as the largest National Park in the UK. It has a total of 1.1 million acres or 4,528 sq km/1,748 sq miles. Lake District National Park is the second-largest, with just about half of Cairngorms’ size.

RankNameRegionAcres
#1Cairngorms National ParkScotland1,118,720
#2Lake District National ParkEngland566,124
#3Yorkshire Dales National ParkEngland538,213
#4Snowdonia National ParkWales529,074
#5Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National ParkScotland460,800
#6South Downs National ParkEngland405,327
#7Peak District National ParkEngland355,186
#8North York Moors National ParkEngland354,692
#9Brecon Beacons National ParkWales333,697
#10Northumberland National ParkEngland259,103
#11Dartmoor National ParkEngland236,132
#12Exmoor National ParkEngland171,171
#13Pembrokeshire Coast National ParkWales153,140
#14New Forest National ParkEngland143,260
#15The Broads National ParkEngland74,841

The Oldest UK National Park

Starting in 1951, England started to reclassify its parks. All of these parks were originally created many decades (even centuries) before. However, the dates below are when they were officially designated a ‘National Park’ by their respective countries. Four parks were classified in 1951, with two each also designated in 1952 and 1954. South Downs National Park is the newest UK national park, created in 2009.

RankNameRegionCreated
#1Dartmoor National ParkEngland1951
#2Lake District National ParkEngland1951
#3Peak District National ParkEngland1951
#4Snowdonia National ParkWales1951
#5Pembrokeshire Coast National ParkWales1952
#6North York Moors National ParkEngland1952
#7Exmoor National ParkEngland1954
#8Yorkshire Dales National ParkEngland1954
#9Northumberland National ParkEngland1956
#10Brecon Beacons National ParkWales1957
#11The Broads National ParkEngland1989
#12Cairngorms National ParkScotland2002
#13Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National ParkScotland2002
#14New Forest National ParkEngland2005
#15South Downs National ParkEngland2009

UK Most Visited National Park

The most visited national park in the UK is South Downs due to its proximity to London (54 miles/86 km away). South Downs sees over 2.3 million visitors per year (according to 2019 data).

South Downs National Park

South Downs National Park

Best Months: May, June, July & August
Hours: Open 24 hours a day
Entrance Fee: Free

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RankNameRegionVisits
#1South Downs National ParkEngland2,310,000
#2Lake District National ParkEngland2,170,000
#3Peak District National ParkEngland1,770,000
#4The Broads National ParkEngland1,430,000
#5North York Moors National ParkEngland1,290,000
#6Snowdonia National ParkWales1,100,000
#7Pembrokeshire Coast National ParkWales710,000
#8Yorkshire Dales National ParkEngland600,000
#9Cairngorms National ParkScotland570,000
#10Brecon Beacons National ParkWales530,000
#11Exmoor National ParkEngland500,000
#12Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National ParkScotland430,000
#13Dartmoor National ParkEngland300,000