Peak District National Park is, amazingly, the second most visited National Park in the entire world and is located at the higher end of England which makes it the perfect choice of starting points on a tour of beautiful, historic England. The city proper lies mostly in Derbyshire but spreads outward to Manchester and into Yorkshire and Cheshire. The park is known for it stunning landscape but you can find intriguing spa getaways such as found in Buxton. Within the park are many castles and estate homes that have stood for hundreds of years and are a fine example of fourteenth century craftsmanship. No visit to the park would be complete without visiting the exquisite seat of the Dukes of Devonshire, Chatsworth which is by far the most famous home located within the park proper. Many of these tourist spots offer walking tours of the grounds and buildings and can be lead by knowledgeable guides who offer fascinating facts about the people who called these places home. The guides are skilled at pointing out interesting landscape features, offering insight into the daily lives of knights, kings and peasants alike. You are easily whisked into a time and place where life was hard but lived with determination and love.
Not to be overlooked are the dozens of museums which have dedicated themselves to the industrial heritage of the mines and mills that supported the early economy. Picturesque villages dotted throughout the park are home to many parish churches which date back as far as the early fourteenth century. It is fascinating and educational to see how the early residents lived, raised their families and worshiped in these somewhat remote and rural areas of the countryside.
To thoroughly enjoy a visit to this park one should plan on spending several days and there are many stylish bed and breakfast establishments and hotels in the Peak District to choose from.
New Forest National Park is found in the South East of England and is the lowest National park to be found in England. Located in Hampshire, New Forest was originally established by William the Conqueror as a reserve where he enjoyed hunting deer. A hiking tour through the park allows the visitor to see a large population of wild animals who remain free in the park to this day. Not to be missed is the world famous New Forest Ponies who roam free in the park.
New Forest National Park has many beautiful wooded areas as well as fields of colorful plant life that has survived the elements and nearly a hundred years of unabated grazing by the wild animals.
A visit to the old village of Beaulieu should include a stop at the Abbey which displays incredible masonry work done by the most skilled craftsmen of their time. This village has numerous specimen gardens, estate homes, the Palace and museums. Most of the New Forest hotels are established within the center of the older towns, but other hotels, pubs and bed and breakfast establishments can be found in the smaller coastal villages and rural towns dotted throughout the forest park.
The best visit to these wonderful parks should include visits to the local pubs where unique, regional ales are served along with splendid platters of not to be missed local menu specialties.