THE Yorkshire Dales has been named Europe's top National Park by users of Tripadvisor, the world’s largest travel platform.

The website, which enables people to rate places they visit, has included a National Parks category for the first time in its 2021 awards and the Yorkshire Dales won the title of Europe’s best and 11th in the world.

Other UK National Parks to feature highly are the Peak District at fourth best in Europe - 24th in the world - the New Forest National Park in Hampshire which takes the fifth spot among Europe’s best.

The awards are based on the destinations most popular among Tripadvisor reviewers, according to traveller reviews and ratings.

Tripadvisor spokesperson, Hayley Coleman, said with indoor leisure destinations severely restricted for much of the last year due to the Covid pandemic, it was fitting to feature National Parks for the first time.

She said: “With indoor activities mostly off the table in 2020, travellers headed for the great outdoors and according to a recent survey of Tripadvisor travellers, more than half, 52 per cent, say they are more likely to take an outdoor or nature trip than they were before the pandemic.

"With this in mind, it seemed timely to introduce this year’s new category, National Parks.

"While the pandemic has been incredibly tough in lots of ways, one positive that we can take away is that it has unleashed a new found love of getting back to nature for many of us."

The Northern Echo: York Minster in YorkYork Minster in York

In a further Tripadvisor victory for North Yorkshire, York ranks 22nd in the world’s top Trending Destinations.

This category recognises destinations that saw the biggest increase in positive ratings and reviews over the last year, meaning they actually grew in popularity during the pandemic.

Meanwhile, in the 2021 awards, London lost out to Bali in the title of the World’s Most Popular Destination.

London clinched the top spot in the previous year's awards but has now been knocked into second place.