Sunday 27 December 2020

Britain's National Parks 14 January 2021 - Royal Mail Stamps' worst kept secret of the year so far.

As many people - especially Royal Mail's standing order customers - have known for several weeks, the first stamp issue of 2021 provides a gallery of Great Britain's National Parks.   

April 2021 sees the 70th anniversary of the first National Parks being established.  Today there are 15 national parks covering 10% of England, Scotland and Wales. They contain some of our most memorable landscapes, thousands of ancient monuments and almost one-third of our internationally important wildlife sites. 

The stamps: The 10 x 1st class stamps features images from 10 of the UK’s 15 National Parks (although as there are no National Parks in Northern Ireland, it is fair also to refer to these as Great Britain's National Parks).  [Wikipedia: National Parks of the United Kingdom]

Dartmoor (1951), New Forest (2005), Lake District (1951), Loch Lomond and the Trossachs (2002), Snowdonia (1951)

Five x 1st class National Parks stamps issued 14 January 2021 showing Great Staple Tor on Dartmoor, the New Forest, Crummock Water in the Lake District, Milarrochy Bay on Loch Lomond and the Trossachs, and Snowdonia national park.


North York Moors (1952), South Downs (2010), Peak District (1951), Pembrokeshire Coast (1952), The Broads (1989)

Five x 1st class National Parks stamps issued 14 January 2021 showing Freebrough Hill on the North York Moors; the South Downs; Peak District from the north edge of Kinder Scout; Pembrokeshire Coast; Suffolk's Herringfleet Windmill in The Broads National Park

Retail booklet containing 4 x 1st class Machin definitives and self-adhesive versions of the Peak District and Snowdonia stamps.

The retail booklet ought to have year code M21L - we will confirm when received nearer the date of issue. 

UPDATE 28 December: Thanks to CH for confirming that the Machins are M21L MCIL with this picture.

1st class Machin definitive stamp from National Parks booklet, coded M21L MCIL.


1. I'm forestalling any comment from locals or knowledgable people elsewhere by pointing out that The Norfolk Broads are not a National Park in law.  Although branded as the Broads National Park by The Broads Authority, it is not a National Park in law.  This is only for marketing purposes.  This has been the subject of much discussion here in the east; you are invited to read Wikipedia which has links to official websites.

2. Attractive as the photographs are, I can't help thinking that they would have shown Britain in an even better light if there had been more sunlight and less gloom.  The New Forest could have been much greener - here's an image from the NF National Park Authority website for example.

Technical details and acknowledgements

The stamps were designed by Studio Mean using photographs as shown below, and were printed by International Security Printers (C) in litho, size 37 x 35 mm. 

Photographs: Dartmoor National Park © Andrew Ray/Getty Images; New Forest National Park © Photokes/Alamy Stock Photo; Lake District National Park © Pablo Fernandez/Alamy Stock Photo; Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park © Richard Burdon/Alamy Stock Photo; Snowdonia National Park © Andrew Ray/500px/Getty Images; North York Moors National Park © Stephen Street/Alamy Stock Photo; South Downs National Park © Peter Cripps/Alamy Stock Photo; Peak District National Park © RA Kearton/Getty Images; Pembrokeshire Coast National Park © Gareth Spiller/EyeEm/Getty Images; Broads National Park © Chris Herring; a special thank-you to National Parks UK.


  1. Now on RM shop in all their glory

  2. I agree with your comments on showing images with less gloom. I also think panoramic stamps would have shown some of the areas off better. If a Game of Thrones stamp can be given a long oblong stamp surely this issue could?

  3. NIce issue but more could be shown with 60 x 30 stamps, the New Forest one is dull I think.

  4. RM Advice Note shows a Miniature Sheet being issued 26/01/2021 titled 'United Kingdom A Celebration' What the actual Celebration is, is a mystery.

  5. The price of the miniature sheet suggests 6 x 1st class stamps.

  6. Please save any more comments on the 'UK - A Celebration' issue for the 5 January '2021 programme' post, thanks.

  7. I cannot fault them. They will look pretty on letters, represent the whole country & can be used on usual letters rather than parcels to Antarctica, recorded delivery &c...All right some 2nd class would be handy, but the January special issues are usually dull and we need cheering up in mid-winter.

  8. They "represent the whole country" except Northern Ireland.

    1. There are no National Parks in Northern Ireland. So there! I suppose I ought to have said 'Great Britain' instead of implying the United Kingdom.

  9. Be on the lookout for post from Gravesend. I popped into the Post Office in ASDA this morning and they had started selling these on Tuesday. Of course, any used on that date will likely have no cancellation at all or a Sharpie scribble.


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