Take to the water Loch Lomond & the Trossachs
Jewelled by emerald islands, fringed by stunning wooded shores and surrounded by grand hills and mountains, Loch Lomond – the place the Scottish Highlands “start” – typically feels a lot farther from civilisation than it truly is. Balloch, on the southern shores of the loch, is only a 50-minute practice journey from Glasgow Queen Road. From there, a community of waterbuses hyperlinks a constellation of factors throughout Loch Lomond and its neighbour within the Trossachs, Loch Katrine, they usually make getting round a joyful novelty.
Beautiful shoreside settlements equivalent to Luss, Balmaha, Tarbet and Inveruglas all make a pleasing bases. A 3-day rover ticket (£30 grownup, £20 little one) permits limitless waterbus journey. Becoming a member of these with the world’s community of strolling and biking trails opens a complete world of prospects, a lot of which is off-limits to the car-bound.
Catch a waterbus to Rowardennan, stroll the seven-mile part of the West Highland Manner alongside the east shore of Loch Lomond to Balmaha, then hop on one other boat to the gorgeous island of Inchailloch on the way in which again to your start line; or take your bike and jump over each Loch Lomond and Loch Katrine to cycle again alongside the 18-mile size of beautiful Loch Katrine.• Waterbus info
Desires of steam North York Moors Railway

A steam practice on the North York Moors Railway passes Thomason Foss. {Photograph}: Phil Metcalfe/Alamy
The North York Moors Railway is a remarkably properly preserved piece of English historical past. Connecting Whitby, on the coast, with inland Pickering, it takes tons of of hundreds of holiday makers a yr on a bucolic route throughout the nationwide park, utilizing a mixture of historic steam and diesel locomotives, stopping at factors alongside the way in which.
With the 24-mile journey between the 2 terminal cities taking as much as two hours, the journey itself, by the sinuous folds of Newton Dale, is one thing to be savoured. For many who need to make a day of it, a luxurious Pullman eating practice affords lunch, dinner or afternoon tea from £55pp (and sure, there’s additionally a themed homicide thriller practice), although non-dining companies supply higher entry for walkers. Bounce-off stations embrace Goathland (attempt the beautiful circuit connecting the Mallyan Spout and Thomason Foss waterfalls) or Levisham (stroll to the punchbowl-shaped Gap of Horcum throughout Levisham Moor). The most effective month for strolling is August, when blooming heather turns the moorland a riot of purple.
The railway’s very existence is a testomony to neighborhood delight, perseverance and nostalgia; after the road grew to become a sufferer of Beeching’s axe in 1965, a small group of locals based a charity to run a couple of trains alongside it, an operation which grew over the many years to turn into one of many busiest heritage railways on the planet. It is a railway run with love.• North York Moors Railway
Journey the Poppit Rocket Pembrokeshire

Whitesands bay and seashore, within the shadow of Carn Llidi hill, close to St Davids. {Photograph}: Getty Photos
The Atlantic-battered shores of Britain’s solely coastal nationwide park are well-served by an built-in community of buses. The coastal strains run from vacationer hubs equivalent to the town of St Davids, and these in flip are served by buses from the railway station at Haverfordwest.

A Poppit Rocket coastal bus. {Photograph}: Alamy
The small hopper buses typically run proper to the sting of nice seashores and cliffs, and on nation lanes passengers can simply stick out a thumb to cease the bus. Utilizing the buses helps ease visitors congestion, which at busy occasions of yr could make driving on the slender roads fraught and irritating. However they’re additionally an effective way to entry the beginning or finish of sections of the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path, a nationwide path that hugs the coast spherical your complete park, and keep away from strolling again to the automotive.
There isn’t a boring stretch, however highlights embrace the leg from St Non’s to Whitesands, including in a loop of St David’s Head by way of the mini-mountain of Carn Llidi (served by the 403 Celtic Coaster from St Davids).
Charming fishing villages hunker in coves, eggshell-coloured seashores slope into turquoise water, and iron age and neolithic relics create a robust ambiance of antiquity.
A difficult stretch is the 18-mile part from Newport to Cardigan (served by the 405 Poppit Rocket), which teeters alongside the highest of cliffs twisted in extraordinary shapes.
• Nationwide park bus particulars
Stroll this waySouth Downs

Hikers on South Downs Manner strolling in the direction of Chanctonbury Ring. {Photograph}: Slawek Staszczuk/Alamy
The South Downs nationwide park might be the simplest within the UK to discover by public transport. Mendacity between London and the south coast, and residential to 120,000 individuals (the UK’s most populated park), that is no distant wilderness; its rolling chalk hills are dissected by a number of roads and practice strains.
Trains from Waterloo and Victoria attain Lewes or Winchester in lower than 90 minutes, from the place smaller department strains and bus networks open up a chocolate field of prospects for linear walks or cycle rides. The Discovery Ticket provides limitless bus journey for £17.50 a day for a household of 5 (particular person tickets £9 grownup, £7.20 little one).
The general public transport prospects make it doable to stroll your complete size of the 100-mile South Downs Manner at handy intervals utilizing trains and buses alone. The Nationwide Park authority produces a incredible information to doing simply this – as a strolling challenge to be accomplished over a high quality summer time, or by choosing and selecting routes: Amberley to Eastbourne is an effective guess, with a stretch that features the Seven Sisters white cliffs. • Stroll on the South Downs Manner
Climb Snowdon the sensible means Snowdonia

Ascending the Watkin Path in the direction of the summit of Snowdon. {Photograph}: Alamy
Wales’s highest mountain is a starfish-shaped massif of almost-Alpine grandeur, haunted by legend and bygone business, and populated with falcons, goats and uncommon beetles. However with virtually half one million guests a yr, it’s among the many busiest mountains on the planet, up there with Mount Fuji.
Its mountain railway partly accounts for this, however a few of its strolling paths are being beloved to loss of life, and on a sunny summer time day, fashionable routes such because the Llanberis Path can turn into jostling nose-to-tail processions. Not surprisingly, discovering a parking area at a spot like Pen y Move, start line for different fashionable strolling routes, is an unseemly early morning scrabble, and the parking itself isn’t low cost.
Enter the Snowdon Sherpa, an built-in community of buses linked to vacationer hubs like Llandudno and Betws-y-Coed. Simply £5 a day buys entry to the entire community, which stops on the foot of all six of the principle strolling routes to the summit. It cuts out the steep parking prices, however maybe the most important draw is with the ability to ascend a method and descend one other, seeing extra of this advanced, multifaceted mountain in a single go. Attempt linking the Snowdon Ranger Path with the Watkin Path for a strenuous however deeply rewarding day on less-trodden routes.• Gwynedd council
Nationwide Parks Fortnight has safaris, treasure trails, guided walks and extra: particulars at nationalparks.uk