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Top 100 largest parks in Britain

By OS Team

Published on 12 min read


Whether you seek nature, history, a place to play or just a moment of quiet, parks have something extraordinary to offer. Here are the top 100 largest parks in Britain.

When the hustle and bustle of urban life becomes overwhelming, there’s no better way to find solace and rejuvenation than by immersing yourself in the vast, tranquil landscapes of Britain’s largest parks. From the majestic woodlands of Whinlatter Forest Park to the refreshing shores of Rutland Water, these green sanctuaries offer a perfect escape.

We asked the OS Data Team about the parks that span the largest area to help you discover these remarkable greenspaces, each unique in its own way. Whether you seek nature, history, a place to play or just a moment of quiet, parks have something extraordinary to offer. Here are the top 100 largest parks in Britain. 

1. Rutland Water, Rutland

 Rutland Water, Rutland

Rutland Water, Rutland

Rutland Water, located in England’s East Midlands, is a picturesque reservoir boasting both natural beauty and plenty of outdoor activities. Rutland Water is the largest man-made lake in the UK, offering a haven for water sports enthusiasts. Sailing, windsurfing, and fishing are popular sports, while birdwatchers flock here for its renowned nature reserve, hosting diverse avian species.

Miles of cycling and walking trails meander along the water’s edge, providing serene views and a chance to explore the surrounding countryside. With a visitor centre, water activities, and wildlife galore, Rutland Water is a delightful destination for outdoor enthusiasts and those seeking a tranquil escape in the heart of England.

2. Whinlatter Forest Park, Cumbria

Whinlatter Forest Park, Cumbria

Whinlatter Forest Park, Cumbria

Nestled within the Lake District National Park, Whinlatter Forest Park is a natural gem awaiting discovery. Whinlatter is England’s only true mountain forest and offers an array of outdoor adventures. Explore well-marked trails, catering to all skill levels, perfect for hiking and mountain biking. Thrill-seekers can brave the exhilarating Go Ape treetop adventure or try orienteering.

With a visitor centre, café, and inspiring views of the fells and lakes, Whinlatter Forest Park beckons outdoor lovers, adrenaline junkies, and those seeking serene solitude in a pristine, woodland setting.

3. Holkham Park, Norfolk

Holkham Park, Norfolk

Holkham Park, Norfolk

It’s just a stone throw from London but few know about Essex’s best swimming river, the Chelmer. Its silky waters and grassy bankside footpaths weave all the way from Chelmsford to the pretty harbour town of Maldon. There are miles of opportunities for swimming and splashing on a hot summer’s day. The highlight is Hoemill Bridge, where you can walk upstream to swim opposite the charming riverside church of Ulting. Or perhaps explore downstream and lose yourself in the open meadows.

There’s even a cycle route from Chelmsford train station, for those looking for a car-free escape from London. From the A12, Hatfield Peverel, follow the B1019, then turn right signed Nounsley/Ulting. Park at the bridge and lock (CM9 6QU).

Please check the area you wish to visit is publicly accessible before leaving home.

4. Windsor Great Park, Berkshire

Windsor Great Park, Berkshire

Windsor Great Park, Berkshire

Windsor Great Park, located in Berkshire, England, is a sprawling royal estate renowned for its natural beauty and historical significance. Spanning over 5,000 acres, the park is home to lush woodlands, serene lakes, and open meadows. Established in the 13th century by King Henry II, it has since been a favoured retreat for British monarchs. It’s free to enter and open all year.

Visitors can explore the Long Walk, a magnificent tree-lined avenue leading to Windsor Castle, offering breath taking views. The park also houses the Savill Garden, a horticultural gem showcasing diverse plant collections, and an adventure playground. Whether strolling through ancient forests or picnicking by tranquil waters, Windsor Great Park is a quintessential English landscape rich in heritage and natural charm.

5. Richmond Park, Greater London

Richmond Park, Greater London

Richmond Park, Greater London

Richmond Park, right in the heart of London, is like a secret garden hiding in plain sight. It’s not just a park; it’s a sprawling wilderness within the city limits. With over 2,500 acres of open space, it’s a haven for city dwellers in search of a nature fix.

You can stroll alongside graceful deer that call the park home, feeling like you’re miles away from the bustling streets of London. The Isabella Plantation bursts into a riot of colours during spring, and Pembroke Lodge offers fantastic views and a great cup of tea.

6. Sutton Park, West Midlands

Sutton Park, West Midlands 

Sutton Park, West Midlands

Sutton Park in the West Midlands is your backyard getaway, a sprawling green oasis in the heart of urban life. It’s not your typical park; it’s a vast, wild wonderland with ancient woodlands, serene lakes, and even wild ponies roaming freely.

Sutton Park still maintains a herd of free-roaming fallow deer, a direct link to its royal past. Visitors can spot these majestic creatures as they graze peacefully in the park. You can also hike, cycle, or just enjoy a lazy day by the water. Birdwatchers will love the feathered residents, while history buffs can explore the remains of a Roman road. And when you need a break, the charming tearooms have you covered.

7. Moel Famau Country Park, Clwyd

Moel Famau Country Park, Clwyd

Moel Famau Country Park, Clwyd

Moel Famau Country Park in Clwyd, Wales, is a hidden gem for the whole family. This place is all about rugged beauty and a sense of awe. The star of the show is Moel Famau itself, a majestic hill with panoramic views from its summit. Hiking up is a rewarding challenge.

But the park isn’t just about conquering peaks. It’s a playground for picnics, dog walks, and spotting wildlife. The colourful heather, diverse flora, and the serene reservoirs make it a photographer’s dream. Whether you’re a local looking for a weekend escape or a visitor exploring Clwyd’s wonders, Moel Famau Country Park is nature’s playground at its finest.

8. Lee Valley Country Park, Greater London

Lee Valley Country Park 

Lee Valley Country Park, Greater London

Lee Valley Country Park, situated in Greater London and Hertfordshire, offers a wide array of attractions and activities. Its extensive network of trails invites leisurely walks and exhilarating bike rides, while its lakes are perfect for water sports like kayaking and white-water rafting. Birdwatchers can delight in the diverse species present. Families will enjoy Lee Valley Park Farms, featuring a petting zoo and adventure play areas. Nature enthusiasts can explore various habitats, including marshlands and woodlands. Notably, the park hosted white-water events during the London 2012 Olympics, boasting the world’s largest urban white-water canoe and kayak course. 

9. John Muir Country Park, East Lothian

John Muir Country Park in East Lothian, Scotland, is like stepping into the pages of a nature lover’s diary. It’s where John Muir, the legendary conservationist, spent his childhood, fostering his love for the outdoors. The park encompasses picturesque coastal dunes, pristine beaches, and vibrant flora.

Here’s the interesting twist: John Muir himself left these shores for the United States, where he played a pivotal role in establishing the national parks system, including Yosemite. So, a piece of Scotland’s natural beauty inspired the conservation legacy of America’s wild places. Visiting this park feels like tracing the footsteps of a true nature pioneer while enjoying Scotland’s rugged coastal beauty.

John Muir Country Park, East Lothian

John Muir Country Park. Credit: Colin Park – Geograph

10. Lamington Park, Ross and Cromarty

Lamington Park Ross and Cromarty

Lamington Park. Credit: Geograph – Chris Heaton.

Lamington Park in Ross and Cromarty, Scotland has tranquil woodlands, rolling meadows, and a real sense of solitude. It’s also home to the Pictish Stone, a mysterious ancient artefact. This carved stone, believed to date back over a thousand years, is adorned with intricate symbols and serves as a testament to the area’s rich history. So, when you visit Lamington Park, you’re not just immersed in nature; you’re stepping back in time to uncover Scotland’s enigmatic past. 

Please check the area you wish to visit is publicly accessible before leaving home. The route below is from an OS Maps user. It has not been vetted by OS or one of our route partners. 

11. Queen Elizabeth Country Park, Hampshire

Queen Elizabeth Country Park in Hampshire boasts over 2,000 acres of woodlands, meadows, and serene lakes, making it a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Explore scenic trails for hiking and mountain biking, and don’t miss the impressive Butser Hill viewpoint. Picnic areas and a visitor centre provide respite. Plus, it’s a gateway to the South Downs National Park, making it ideal for longer adventures.

Whether you’re seeking a peaceful day amid nature or an active outdoor escape, Queen Elizabeth Country Park offers the perfect backdrop for relaxation and exploration. On the other side of the park you’ll find the village of Buriton and outside a house on the South Down Way you can find delicious flapjacks for £1.

Queen Elizabeth Country Park, Hampshire

Queen Elizabeth Country Park, Hampshire

12. Moors Valley Country Park, Dorset

Moors Valley Country Park, located in Dorset, UK, is a family-friendly paradise brimming with outdoor adventures. Spanning 1,000 acres of woodlands and lakes, it offers walking and cycling trails, a Go Ape treetop adventure course, and an enchanting Gruffalo Trail for kids. With serene meadows, a miniature railway, and abundant wildlife, it’s an ideal spot for picnics and nature exploration. The park’s Visitor Centre, gift shop, and café provide all the amenities you need. Whether you seek a leisurely stroll or an action-packed day, Moors Valley Country Park promises outdoor fun in a stunning natural setting. 

Moors Valley Country Park, Dorset

Moors Valley Country Park. Credit: Mike Faherty – Geograph

13. Delamere Forest Park, Cheshire

Delamere Forest Park in Cheshire is a picturesque blend of woodlands, serene lakes, and open spaces, perfect for a great day out. With an extensive network of walking and cycling trails, including the popular Whitefield Trail, it offers opportunities for exploration and wildlife spotting. Go Ape’s treetop adventure course adds an adrenaline rush, while picnicking spots and a visitor centre provide a place to relax and refuel. Delamere is an accessible escape from urban life, offering tranquil scenery and recreational activities that make it a beloved destination for both locals and visitors.

Delamere Forest Park, Cheshire

Delamere Forest Park, Cheshire

14. Bradgate Park, Leicestershire

Bradgate Park’s history dates back to the medieval era and is believed to have been enclosed as a deer park in the 13th century, making it one of the oldest enclosed parks in England. Visitors can explore ancient woodlands, rolling hills, and meadows in its 830 acres of open space. Bradgate Park is home to Old John Tower, a striking folly built in 1784, providing panoramic views of the park and surrounding countryside. The park’s history is intertwined with the ruins of Bradgate House, the birthplace of Lady Jane Grey, the nine-day queen of England.

Bradgate Park, Leicestershire

Bradgate Park, Leicestershire

15. Dams To Darnley Country Park, Renfrewshire

Dams to Darnley Country Park, found in Glasgow, Scotland, is a lovely place to spend a fun day outdoors. It covers a large area of 1,350 acres and offers lots of things to do. You can walk by calm lakes, great for easy strolls and watching birds. There are also good paths for hiking and biking. You can see many different animals, especially birds and ducks. You’ll find nice spots to have a picnic and enjoy the fresh air. Families can join educational programs to learn interesting things. It’s not far from Glasgow’s city centre, so it’s easy to get to. Come visit for a day of relaxation or adventure in nature.

 Dams To Darnley Country Park, Renfrewshire

Dams To Darnley Country Park, Renfrewshire

Biggest 100 parks continued…

16. Eglinton Country Park
17. Nene Park
18. Gleniffer Braes Country Park
19. Hardwick Park
20. Strathclyde Country Park
21. Knole Park
22. Hatfield Forest
23. Farley Mount Country Park
24. Hainault Forest Country Park
25. Sheringham Park
26. Lochore Meadows Country Park
27. Mount Edgcumbe Country Park
28. Frensham Common Frensham
29. Cannock Chase Country Park
30. Bushy Park
31. Temple Newsam Park
32. Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve
33. Staunton Country Park
34. Palacerigg Country Park
35. Margam Country Park
36. Marbury Country Park
37. Hampstead Heath
38. Shipley Country Park
39. Rother Valley Country Park
40. Ashton Park
41. Chasewater
42. Clyne Valley Country Park
43. Sandringham Country Park
44. Lulworth Park
45. Bonaly Country Park
46. Wimbledon Common
47. Heaton Park
48. Lullingstone and Preston Hill Country Park
49. Petworth Park
50. Kingfisher
51. Ranscombe Farm Country Park
52. Dalkeith Park
53. Seven Sisters Country Park
54. Box Hill
55. Beecraigs Country Park
56. Hampton Court Park
57. Kincorth Hill Local Nature Reserve
58. Pennington Flash Country Park
59. Paices Wood Country Parkland
60. Kingsbury Water Park
61. Hadleigh Castle
62. Fritton Lake
63. Cuerden Valley Park
64. Stanwick Lakes Country Park
65. Chatelherault Country Park
66. Mugdock Country Park
67. Holyrood Park
68. Belhus Woods Country Park
69. Northam Burrows Country Park
70. Culzean Country Park
71. Berry hill Fields
72. Marston Vale Millennium Country Park
73. Thorndon Country Park
74. Croxteth Hall and Country Park
75. Parc Gweledig Padarn Padarn Country Park
76. Lickey Hills
77. Yorkshire Sculpture Park
78. Drumpellier Country Park
79. Arrow Valley Country Park
80. Ouse Valley Park
81. Black Park Country Park
82. Hylands Park
83. Wollaton Park
84. Avon Heath Country Park
85. Bretton Country Park
86. Reddish Vale Country Park
87. Bestwood Country Park
88. Woodgate Valley Country Park
89. Prestwich Forest Park
90. Brimmond Country Park
91. West Stow Country Park
92. Ferry Meadows Country Park
93. Coombe Country Park
94. Horton Country Park
95. Llys-y-Frân Country Park
96. Dare Valley Country Park
97. Trent Park
98. Mitcham Common
99. Londesborough Park
100. Whitworth Country Park

Now we’ve introduced you to the top 100 largest parks in Britain it’s time to embark on your own adventure. Whether you’re in the heart of London or nestled in the countryside, there’s a park waiting for you. So, pack your walking shoes, grab your picnic basket, and set off to explore the natural wonders right at your doorstep. The great outdoors is calling! 

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