Travel

These fantastic UNESCO heritage sites are right on your doorstep

Posted by
Jasmine Andersson
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When we dream of escaping our daily grind to a place of tranquility and breathtaking wonder, it usually involves airplanes and far-flung destinations.

In fact, we rarely consider hopping in a bus/train/car and taking a trip within our own country – a massive oversight, considering the UK is packed to the brim with gorgeous and unmissable UNESCO World Heritage sites.

From the famous Stonehenge, to the lesser known delights of Saltaire, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of all the best natural beauty spots that England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have to offer. All that’s left for you to do is scroll through, get inspired and pick one (or 30!) to visit...

Photos: Rex

 

  • Blenheim Gardens

    This stately home sits over 2000 acres of extraordinary UNESCO-landscaped parkland and gardens. 

    The work of the famous Capability Brown can be seen in full flourish in this wonderful estate.

    For more information, visit here

  • Bath

    Did you know that the City of Bath was founded by the Romans simply for the purpose of bathing?

    Home to beautiful thermal spas and spellbinding Georgian architecture, Bath is the ideal spot for a relaxed break.

    For more information, visit here

  • Blaenavon Industrial Landscape

    A site that pays homage to the dynamism of the Industrial Revolution, Blaenavon in Wales possesses great historical significance. 

    Iron and coal enthusiasts, this is your stomping ground.

    For more information visit here 

  • Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal

    This aqueduct carries the Llangollen Canal across the River Dee in north east Wales.

    Or, in other words, this is a beautiful route to take a jaunt in a canal boat and live your best life, a la Rosie and Jim.

    Find out more information here

     

  • Cantebury Cathedral

    The seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury is not only home to stunning architecture and the seat of the Anglican Church, but a range of historical artefacts including an original Shakespeare folio.

    For more information visit here 

  • Cornwall and West Devon mining landscape

    A land filled with deep underground mines, engine houses, foundries, new towns, smallholdings, ports and harbours, Cornwall and West Devon is not simply famous for its seascapes.

    For more information visit here

  • Giant's Causeway

    The result of an ancient volcanic eruption, the Giant's Causeway boasts around 40,000 interlocking basalt columns.

    Although thoughts of basalt might not float your boat, the stunning one-of-a-kind landscape should factor on any Brit's bucket list.

    For more information visit here

  • Castle and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd

    Thought to be some of the UK’s the finest castles, these Welsh beauties were built by King Edward sometime between 1283 and 1330.

    The four castles are considered to be of outstanding universal value and will have history keenos and novices alike weak at the knees.

    Find out more information here 

  • Durham Castle and Cathedral

    This glorious 11th century castle and cathedral is situated in North East town – and guess what? They’re just two of the sights worth visiting in Durham. 

    For more information visit here

  • Maritime Greenwich

    Home to the Cutty Sark, the Borough of Greenwich is steeped in rich maritime history. 

    Take heed of the classical buildings at the Old Royal Naval College and clamber up to the Royal Observatory for some impressive views.

    For more information visit here 

  • Lake District

    The home of Beatrix Potter and the Keswick Jetty, the Lake District is arguably one of the most stunning sites of natural wonder in England.

    Ramble through the forest, swim in the lake and, of course, get to grips with the area’s wonderful pubs.

    For more information visit here

  • Derwent Valley Mills

    The home of the Derwent Mill, the Derby heritage site is so much more than millinery architecture. 

    The Derwent Valley offers a scenic route through to some of the world’s key historical sites in British industrial history.

    For more information visit here

  • New Lanark

    A village on the River Clyde 25 miles away from Glasgow, New Lanark is also home to Scotland’s historical mill culture. 

    And with blue skies like that in sight, who can argue with its credentials?

    For more information, visit here 

  • Kew Gardens

    Situated in West London, Kew’s botanic gardens are a stunning collection of bee hives, treetop walkways and horticulture.

    For more information visit here

  • Ironbridge Gorge

    Situated on a village on the River Severn, the Ironbridge Gorge was granted its World Heritage status in 1986.

    It was first formed by a glacial overflow from the long drained away Lake Lapworth.

    For more information visit here

  • Saltaire

    The Victorian model village situated in Shipley, Yorkshire, is home to a high number of individually listed buildings.

    There’s delicious beer to be had too, for those that way inclined...

    For more information visit here

  • Hadrian's Wall

    There’s quite a few places to catch Hadrian’s Wall simply because it runs a total of 84 miles across England.

    The Roman fort, which delineated the territories of the Picts and Ancient Britons, the wall can serve as a cycle route, historical visit or romantic amble.

    For more information visit here 

  • The Forth Bridge

    Regarded as an iconic Scottish structure, Forth Bridge is located nine miles west of Edinburgh city centre.

    For more information visit here

  • Edinburgh's old and new towns

    Edinburgh, home of the iconic Fringe festival as well as a host of cultural and visual feats, also ranks on the UNESCO list.

    For more information visit here 

  • Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City

    Liverpool, birthplace of The Beatles and purple bins, is steeped in a rich maritime history.

    Visit the real-life Yellow Submarine and journey across the Mersey in a trip across the north west. 

    For more information visit here

  • Stonehenge

    The prehistoric monument in Wiltshire is one of the most beloved of the World Heritage sites.

    For more information visit here

  • St Kilda

    The Scottish volcanic archipelago is a tiny sight situated off the west coast of mainland Scotland.

    According to our sources, the minute isle supports the largest seabird colony in the north-east Atlantic.

    For more information visit here

  • Studley Royal Park

    What is there not to like about a Cistercian abbey, elegant Georgian water garden and medieval deer park?

    Created in 1132, the Abbey is a beautiful sight to behold.

    For more information visit here

  • Westminster Palace

    The famous meeting place between the House of Commons and the House of Lords, this parliamentary site is undoubtedly a site to behold.

    For more information visit here

  • Tower of London

    The historic castle is a famous site lauded for its gory tours, atmosphere and numerous stories. Visit at your own peril.

    For more information visit here

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Author

Jasmine Andersson

When she isn't talking about her emotional attachment to meal deals or serenading unfortunate individuals with David Bowie power solos in karaoke booths, Jasmine writes about gender, politics and culture as a freelance journalist. She wastes her days tweeting @the__chez  

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