Where are the most relaxing National Parks?

Published: Thursday, 09 February 2023

The Most Calming National Parks Across the Globe

Walking has become extremely popular post-COVID, with many looking to explore more of the great outdoors. Whether you like to go on small adventures or day-long hikes, there’s a whole world full of fantastic destinations.

As humans, we are biophilic. We have innate instincts that connect with nature, as it makes us feel peaceful and at ease. Exploring scenic destinations is extremely beneficial for our mental health, releasing excess hormones, minimising stress and preventing anxiety. 

Spending time outdoors can unlock a range of mental health benefits, helping us feel healthier both physically and mentally. Access to nature positively affects both our mind and body. 

According to The Mental Health Organisation, 45% of people found that visiting green spaces helped them cope throughout the recent CoronaVirus pandemic. The study also found that the amount of green in plants and trees can actually help us feel calmer and is linked to lower rates of depression.

The Ten Most Calming National Parks

The team at YESSS Electrical have researched the best national parks across the globe to reveal which are the most calming to visit. Thirty-two participants’ heart rates were measured when looking at eight images from the top national parks all around the world. 

YESSS Electrical regularly works with hospitals and healthcare facilities, installing Visualite products to enhance the environment for both staff and patients. Visualite products are proven to create a relaxing ambience, whilst enhancing well-being, calming anxiety and reducing claustrophobia. 

The clinical feel of hospitals can often make patients feel anxious, especially in windowless rooms. Visualite products use images of the outdoor environment accompanied with LED technology to improve mental health and well-being. Exposure to nature promotes pleasant feelings, reducing blood pressure, heart rate and the production of stress hormones. 

72% of hospital staff found that Visualite products made patients appear less restless and 85% of patients themselves reported that Visualite helped them feel much calmer and more relaxed in a clinical environment. 

Following on from this data on the benefits of nature, the team at YESSS Electrical investigated which national parks across the globe are the most calming, by measuring participants' heart rates when looking at eight scenic images from each.

Following on from this data on the benefits of nature, the team at YESSS Electrical investigated which national parks across the globe are the most calming, by measuring participants' heart rates when looking at eight scenic images from each.

1. Peak District National Park, England - 71.2

In first place is the Peak District National Park located in England, UK, with an average heart rate of 71.2 BPM. 

The Peak District was the first of Britain's 15 national parks, covering 555 square miles and reaching into five counties: Derbyshire, Cheshire, Yorkshire, Greater Manchester and Staffordshire, with its highest point being around 2,000ft. 

Located in the heart of England, the Peak District is a fantastic holiday destination or the perfect day out. Within the Peak District National Park you can visit Chatsworth House, the home to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, explore The Heights of Abraham by cable car, or even visit the Peak Wildlife Park, perfect for a family day out. Famous for its caves, the Peak District has some great tunnels to explore, the deepest being 400 metres below ground. 

Home to many filming locations including the Pride and Prejudice and Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows, the Peak District National Park welcomes around 13 million visitors per year, with 20 million living within an hours drive of it. 

2. Joshua Tree National Park, California, USA - 73.6

Located in California, USA, The Joshua Tree National Park follows in second with an average heart rate of 73.6 BPM. 

Composed of two distinct deserts, The Joshua Tree National Park is famous for its yucca plants. According to a historic legend, Mormon immigrants named the plants after the biblical Joshua, when making their way across the Colorado river. 

The Joshua Tree National Park covers 1,235 square miles and is the second largest National Park in California. The park is home to many Coyotes, Mountain Lions, Bobcats and Black Bears. 

It has been visited by many inspiring artists, including The Eagles, where their very first album cover ‘Eagles’ featured the scenic park in the background. 

Whilst exploring Joshua Tree National Park, you can adventure around the Noah Purafoy sculpture garden to find an array of amazing carvings. 

In 2020, Joshua Tree was the 10th most visited national park in the US. 

3. The Broads National Park, Norfolk/Suffolk, England - 73.7

Third came The Broads National Park in England, also known as the Norfolk Broads, with an average heart rate of 73.7 BPM. 

The Broads National Park is Britain's largest protected wetland, making it a great habitat for a range of rare nature, including the swallowtail butterfly, which can’t be found anywhere else in the world. In fact, The Broads National Park is home to a quarter of the rarest plants and animals in the UK. 

The national park is made up of 63 broads and 7 rivers, ranging from small pools to large expanses of water. The total area is around 116 square mile. 

Located in the Norfolk and Suffolk broads, The Broads National Park offers all kinds of fun activities for a great day out including, walking, boating, wildlife watching and fishing. 

The Broads National Park attracts around 7 million visitors per year. 

4. Tierra del Fuego, Argentina - 74.0

In fourth is the Tierra del Fuego National Park, located in Argentina, South America, with an average heart rate of 74 BPM. 

Situated at the very end of the South American continent, the Tierra del Fuego is known as ‘the ends of the earth’. Offering a range of fantastic scenery including glacial lakes, waterfalls and mountains, the Tierra del Fuego is around 8,209 square miles in total. 

Tierra del Fuego translates to ‘Land of Fire’. Legend has it that the name was given to the island after European explorers saw fires flickering in the dark. 

A visit to the Tierra del Fuego is guaranteed to include sightings of a variety of wild animals including woodpeckers, Patagonian foxes, and a range of other mammals. 

When visiting this national park, you can take on a range of activities including hiking, kayaking and fishing. 

5. Zion National Park, Utah, USA - 74.0

Zion National Park, located in Utah, USA, is fifth in the top most relaxing national parks across the globe, with an average heart rate of 74 BPM. 

The Zion National Park features a range of scenic waterfalls and a maze of sandstone canyons to explore. Zion is perfect for rock climbers with its range of 2,000ft sandstone cliffs. 

The national park covers around 229 square mile in total and is carved by the Virgin River which is over 2,000 feet deep. 

Zion National Park is home to the largest flying bird in North America, The California Candor, which has an average wingspan of around 10 feet. The park provides the perfect habitat for around 79 different mammals, 32 species of amphibians and 289 species of birds. 

Within the Zion National Park, there are many hiking opportunities to explore. In the national park you’ll find one of the largest freestanding arches in the world, the Kolob Arch, standing at 287 feet long. 

The Zion National Park receives around 5 million visits per year.

6. Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales - 74.0

In sixth place is the Brecon Beacons National Park located in Wales, England. This national park had an average heart rate of 74 BPM. 

The Brecon Beacons National Park is home to some of the most amazing scenery in South Wales, with stunning reservoirs, high mountains and waterfalls. It covers a large 520 square miles of South Wales. The highest point of the Brecon Beacons National Park is the Pen y Fan at 886 metres. 

The Brecon Beacons National Park provides a range of different trails for walkers, runners and cyclists, perfect for those who love the outdoors. As an International Dark Sky Reserve, the park is great for those who love star gazing.

The Hollywood Blockbuster, The Dark Knight Rises, was filmed at the Henrhyd Falls, the tallest waterfall within the Brecon Beacons National Park. 

There are around 3.4 million day visits to the national park, per year. 

7. Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, Wales - 74.0

In seventh place is the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, also located in Wales, with an average heart rate of 74 BPM. 

This national park covers almost all of Pembrokeshire coast, around 242 square mile. Although it is one of the smallest UK national parks, it offers some of the most diverse, exquisite and heart-skipping scenery. In fact, the Geographic Traveller Magazine rated Pembrokeshire Coast National Park one of the top two coastal destinations in the world. 

Granted it’s status in 1952, the landscape of the Pembrokeshire National Park is surrounded by many sandy beaches, islands, cliffs and inland hills to explore. 

Within the Pembrokeshire National Park there are many family friendly attractions to enjoy including the Oakwood Theme Park and The Blue Lagoon Water Park. The national park is also perfect for walkers, surfers, kayakers and sailors. It’s fantastic for wildlife watching too, home to many butterflies and seabirds not to mention dolphins! 

8. Durmitor, Montenegro - 74.2

Eighth is the Durmitor National Park in Northern Montenegro, with an average heart rate of 74.2 BPM. 

The Durmitor National Park features a range of limestone peaks, five canyons and 18 glacial lakes to explore. It has around 48 peaks in total all over 2,000 metres high, with the highest, Bobotov Kuk, reaching 2,523 metres. The park itself is around 150 square mile in total. 

With breathtaking views, The Durmitor National Park is Montenegro’s largest protected area. It’s a popular tourism destination, with great hiking, mountaineering and canoeing opportunities. Between the months of December and March, the Durmitor is a major ski resort. However it is also popular for hiking, walking and rafting in other months. The park houses Europe's deepest gorge, Tara River Gorge. 

The Durmitor National Park is known for its caves, most notably ‘The Ice Cave’ that has impressive ice stalagmites. 

The national park is home to many rare species, including birds of prey and a range of large mammals.

9. South Downs National Park, England - 74.4

In ninth place is the South Downs National Park, located in Southern England, with an average heart rate of 74.4 BPM. 

The South Downs National Park is the newest of the 15 national parks in England, officially granted its status in March 2010. This national park has also been granted The International Dark Sky Reserve status, making it a great destination for those who love to view the night’s sky. It also has a range of bridleways perfect for horseback riders. 

South Downs National Park is home to a range of rare species including the Adonis butterfly. It's a great place for immersing yourself in nature, whilst hiking or walking. One of the most striking features of this national park is its chalk grassland, which it is famous for. 

The park covers around 628 square miles in total. The highest point of the South Downs National Park is around 271 metres. 

It is one of the most popular national parks in the UK, receiving around 39 million visitors per year.

10. The National Park of Snowdonia, Wales - 74.6

Finally, The National Park of Snowdonia, located in North Wales, is 10th with an average heart rate of around 74.6 BPM. 

The National Park of Snowdonia is home to Wales’ highest mountain, Snowdon, reaching a staggering 3,560ft. Around 350,000 people take on its summit per year. In fact, the park is home to 9 mountain ranges in total, which cover around 52% of the national park. The park is also home to Wales’ largest lake, the Bala Lake, which covers 1.87 square mile. 

Granted its status in 1951, Snowdonia is Wales’ longest established national park. Covering 823 square mile, Snowdonia is the 3rd largest national park in the whole of the United Kingdom. 

The national park is home to a wealth of species including wild ponies and dolphins, it even has its own beetle, known as the Rainbow Beetle. 

Around 10 million people visit The National Park of Snowdonia per year. 

Here’s the average heart rate recorded for the top 20 most calming national parks:

If you’re considering adding imagery to your clinical site, Visualite provides an array of images that incorporate a variety of biophilic themes. 

About YESSS Electrical

YESSS Electrical are the fastest growing electrical wholesaler in the UK with over 95 branches nationwide. Locations include London, Sheffield, Leeds, Nottingham and even the Channel Islands. 

YESSS Electrical have previously worked with a range of hospitals and clinical sites, installing Visualite products to improve clinical environments for both patients and staff. Visualite aims to mirror scenic outdoor environments to provide a calming atmosphere, distracting patients and enhancing their mental well-being. 

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