Britain's Favourite National Park Revealed - And Top Tips For Staying Safe While You're There!

The Lake District is revealed to be the UK’s most ‘instagrammable’ national park.
Dan Petch
June 8, 2023

The Blue Light Card offers members access to an exclusive 15% discount, online and in-store, from the UK’s leading specialist outdoor retailer Mountain Warehouse.

The card, which is the number one discount provider for emergency services, NHS, social care workers and armed forces, has partnered with outdoor clothing and equipment specialists Mountain Warehouse to reveal the nation’s most popular scenic destinations as well as offering 15% off full and sale prices, both online and in-store.

With the days approaching their longest and more warm weather just on the horizon, now is the perfect time to start thinking about getting outdoors and enjoying the great and varied landscape of the UK’s 15 national parks. But which runners, hikers, picnic-goers and cyclists are lucky enough to live near some of the UK’s best-loved scenery?

HELO Ops (Image: Dan Petch)
HELO Ops (Image: Dan Petch)

Trawling thousands of Instagram hashtags, Blue Light Card and Mountain Warehouse have revealed the UK’s favourite National Park photo opportunities.

The research shows that the Lake District is by far the UK’s most Instagrammable National Park, with visitors sharing over 5.3 million photos with trending hashtags including #lakedistrictnationalpark, #lakedistricthikers and #lakedistrictadventures.

With an average of 173,000 photos per associated hashtag, the Peak District is the second most shared National Park on Instagram, with #peakdistrict, #peakdistrictnationalpark and #peakdistrictproud ranking as the most used hashtags.

In Wales, the UK’s largest National Park reigns supreme, with Snowdonia visitors clocking up an average of 138,000 posts per location-related hashtag. And in Scotland, the UK’s highest and most northerly National Park ranks the highest, with 73,000 visitors sharing their scenic photos of the Cairngorms.

From novices to highly experienced walkers, the UK’s National Parks attract millions of visitors each year. And, despite proper preparation and planning, even the most knowledgeable adventurers can find themselves in dangerous situations in these unique and challenging environments.

Providing a crucial service for England and Wales, Mountain Rescue volunteers responded to 3629 call-out in 2022, resulting in 2881 deployments.

Accidents can happen to anyone but a bit of planning and preparation can make a big difference and ensure that you have a great day out. Mountain Rescue volunteers have been involved in developing the #BeAdventureSmart campaign, which is all about asking yourself three simple questions:

Am I confident I have the knowledge and skills for the day?

Do I know what the weather will be like?

Do I have the right gear?

Even if a location is hugely popular for Instagram posts and likes, it’s still worth anticipating any changes in the weather, especially if you’re heading to high ground. Basic orienteering skills, such as being able to use a map and compass can save lives. Navigation apps such as OS Maps are great but can’t always be relied upon without an internet signal and battery power. Make sure your phone has plenty of charge and carry a backup power supply if you can.

Highlighting the importance of safety, Mike Park, Mountain Rescue England and Wales CEO, said: “It’s not much fun sitting in the cold and damp waiting for a rescue team so it’s worth investing a bit of time and effort in planning your adventure so that everyone in your party can thoroughly enjoy their day out. Those #BeAdventureSmart questions could make all the difference. Mountain Rescue volunteers, who are on call 24/7, will be busy across the National Parks at this time of year so anything you can do to avoid the avoidable mishaps will really help us out.”

To inspire NHS staff and foster carers as well as those working in emergency services, social care, armed forces to get outdoors and enjoy our great National Parks, Blue Light Card members can access 15% off all Mountain Warehouse product ranges.

Speaking about the partnership, Blue Light Card CEO, Tom Dalby said: “As a continued ‘thank you’ for the incredible work of all those within the Blue Light community across the UK, we work with a number of brilliant outdoor and fitness brands to provide a range of fantastic discounts, and we’re thrilled to offer our members great savings across all Mountain Warehouse products.

“As we enjoy a few months of brighter weather, we hope our members make the most of their well-deserved downtime, getting out and about with their loved ones.”

Jennifer McCulloch, Lake District Area Manager of Mountain Warehouse added: “Our Mountain Warehouse stores are in the most wonderful locations across the Lakes and I am very proud to support our teams in welcoming customers from all over the world to them. Our staff get to enjoy the great outdoors every day and talk to the many people who spend time taking pictures and sharing their experiences of the lakes and peaks surrounding them. Our partnership means that Blue Light members can enjoy the benefit of a discount to help them on their next outdoor adventure and we hope to welcome them into our stores throughout the season.”

Registering for a Blue Light Card is quick and easy and can be done online HERE. A card costs £4.99 and is valid for two years.

For more information about Mountain Rescue England and Wales, including the #BeAdventureSmart and safety advice, please CLICK HERE.

Header Image: Helvellyn Sunset (Image: Dan Petch)