National parks allow us to experience the magic of the great outdoors in all its raw and natural beauty. There is nothing more soothing for the soul than a deep inhale of crisp, earthen air and organic, green scenery stretching as far as the eye can see. Immersing yourself in nature is a powerful tonic for today's city-centric lifestyles and relentless tech stimulation.
In need of a long weekend-break? Get some inspiration with this fine selection of national park getaways.
Dartmoor is located amidst the rolling hills of our 'greenest county', Devon. Famous for its many Tors, it's also home to ancient woodlands, spectacular lakes and rivers and the rather adorable Dartmoor pony.
What to do: We really like the look of this event titled, Wild Signs & Star Paths, which teaches you how to unlock the power of your sixth sense and tune into the non-verbal language of nature. Sign us up! It takes place on Thursday, 26 July at 14:30 - 17:30. Tickets must be purchased prior to the event.
Where to stay:Gidleigh Park Hotel, Chagford
So if, like us, this is a tad above budget, use it as a tool to call upon the powers of visualisation. Gidleigh Park Hotel certainly represents the higher end of the spectrum when it comes to vacations and is absolutely dreamy. Set in the heart of the picturesque Dartmoor landscape, this luxury 5-star hotel offers rooms with built-in saunas, an award-winning restaurant and all the pampering you could possible wish for. Darling, after all that hiking one must relax in style!
The Lake District is renowned for being one of the most beautiful places in the UK. Breathtaking mountain scenery reflected in the serene lakes which gives it it's name. England's largest national park is a popular destination for work-weary folk and those in search of a little outdoor adventure.
What to do: If you're not so confident taking yourself off on a long walk across rugged landscapes, then why not join a guided walk. This way you can rest assured that you won't get lost and can guarantee seeing what you set out to.
Where to stay: The Samling Hotel, Windermere
Another top-of-the-range example of what money can buy in the hotel world. The Samling Hotel, set on the banks of Lake Windermere, provides stunning views of what is now regarded as a World Heritage Site. Boasting all of the deluxe services you would expect from a hotel of this calibre; such as one of the world's best wine lists and rooms that will make you weep with how beautiful they are.
Scotland is a place where dreams are made, when it comes to the awe-inspiring views and magnificent mountain scenery. The water element is also showcased here in its finest form, with lakes that are as vast as they are beautiful.
What to do: You may be aware of the recent rise in the popularity of SUP (stand up paddle boarding). Whether new to the sport and curious about what all the fuss is about, or a trail-blazing pro, Loch Lomond provides a most fitting back-drop for getting 'on board'.
Where to stay: Oak Tree Inn, Loch Lomond
Soak up the atmosphere in this cosy rural pub, which has won the Scotland's Best Independent Pub award twice. Located on the bank of Loch Lomond and right in the heart of the National Park. What better way to end a day of hiking through the dense, mossy forests and gorse covered hilltops, than to settle down in front of an open fire-place, with a refreshing beer (brewed onsite by the Balmaha Brewing Company) ordering up some of the finest Scottish cuisine?
This diverse and rugged wilderness is sure to stir up senses deep inside of you with it's raw, untamed beauty. Exmoor National Park, sitting on the border between North Devon and West Somerset, is an area of wild moorland exposed to the elements and rich in natural habitats.
What to do: How about an evening spent seeking out the elusive Red Deer of Exmoor? For a chance to join an Exmoor National Park Authority Ranger in the search to behold this majestic beast, then get yourself to the Ashcombe car park at 7pm on July 24.
Where to stay: Stag's Head Farm Bed & Breakfast
This is a grade II listed property located in 7 acres of rich, rural land within the Exmoor National Park. This place offers a heart-warming experience, where cosy meets contemporary. Expect a delicious cooked breakfast and the opportunity to get involved with a wide range of activities on offer locally.
The Yorkshire Dales are the pride and joy of every self-respecting Yorkshire fellow and for good reason. It is absolutely take-your-breath-away beautiful. Stroll across vast valleys and fall in love with this rustic landscape, then top off your adventures with a world-famous brew.
What to do: For just £5 you could have the rare and exciting chance to see a Red Squirrel, an animal which has been pushed to near extinction. Not something to be missed, I'm sure you'll agree!
Where to stay: Dale House Farm Self-Catering Holiday Cottage, Ingleton