The United Kingdom is an underestimated destination that encompasses more than what meets the eye. Packed with scenery, culture and history all within a small geographical landscape, its appeal and wonderment draw visitors from all walks of life. The perfect way to get the best of these marvels is by covering the illustrious list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites that make up this enchanting place.
London undoubtedly remains the focal point of the UK. Decked with spectacular skylines entwined with medieval turrets, this eccentric destination tops the charts among the must-visit cities in the world. While there is much to explore, there are a few cultural and natural sites one cannot miss out on.
1. Palace of Westminster, Westminster Abbey and St. Margaret’s Church (1987)
The Palace of Westminster, a Gothic-styled ensemble of a building displays some impressive architecture, making it a chosen venue for regal functions. Other than the St. Margaret’s Church, the site also hosts the most identifiable church, Westminster Abbey, which represents a centre of spirituality and architectural prowess. The site’s close proximity to other significant venues such as the Big Ben, the House of Lords, etc. ensures that it’s on every visitor’s itinerary.
Getting here: There are several bus routes which ply to this site. Alternatively, Westminster Tube station is the stop if you’re looking to take the tube.
2. The Tower of London (1988)
The Tower of London is an impressionable fortress and royal castle built back in the day to provide protection to London. Apart from exquisite craftsmanship, this tower reverberates some dark secrets of the Great War. It’s also home to the crown jewels that are on display for the public.
Getting here – There are several bus routes which ply to this site. Alternatively, Tower Hill Tube Station, Aldgate Tube Station and Monument Tube Station are stations to get off at and walk.
3. Maritime Greenwich (1997)
On-site, you can find an ensemble of buildings including the Royal Greenwich Observatory and National Maritime Museum has also been given due recognition by the UN. Apart from housing historic astronomical artefacts, it is also famous for being strategically placed on the 0-degree longitude.
Getting here – From Central London station, this site is 8 minutes away. Other stations are Cutty Sark DLR, Greenwich rail station and Maze Hill rail station.
4. Royal Botanic Gardens Kew (2003)
Also known as Kew Gardens, this garden hosts a diverse collection of flora. Within the premises, you can find a glasshouse, art museums, a royal palace and outdoor installations. With so much to see, you can always get on the hop-on-hop-off bus to catch few highlights such as Temperate House, the Palm House, Kew Palace and the Great Pagoda among others.
Getting here – By Tube, ride to Kew Gardens station.
How to reach London – London’s airport is one of the busiest airports in the world and is extremely well connected. Just catch a flight from your part of the world to London and you can begin your journey to see these sites.
Old and New Towns of Edinburgh (1995)
The Old and New Towns of Edinburgh reflect a remarkable blend of medieval and urban architectural marvels. The organic Old Town is dominated by craggy narrowing alleys twining around Holyrood Abbey, the Palace of Holyrood House surrounded by the Prince’s Street Gardens and the impressive Edinburgh Castle. In contrast to this, the neo-classical new city is dominated by Georgian architecture. This includes the Scottish Art Gallery, the Scott Monument, the splendid Calton Hill and many more eye-catching wonders that will keep you bewildered.
Getting here – First and best option to get to Edinburgh is by plane. By coach it takes about 8-11 hours and it takes about 6 hours by a train from London.
The city of Bath (1987)
This mellow city exquisitely built from quarried stone is the best getaway from the buzz of bustling cities. It weaves the thread of small town life with the sophistication of regal luxury. Its grandiose neo-classical palatial squares and terraces exemplify the majesty of the Roman Empire. Furthermore, its hot springs and paradisiacal spas are world famous for rendering a refreshing experience while taking a step back in history.
Getting here – A day trip from London to Bath is a no brainer. There are several trains which run from London to Bath and the journey lasts about 90 minutes. The coach journey is comfortable and takes about 3-4 hours from London to Bath.
The Stonehenge (1986)
In the Celtic Triangle of UK, you will come across the most mystical group of megaliths in the world. Strategically positioned amidst sprawling acres of lush green plains, the Stonehenge is one of the most visited archaeological sites in the world not only for its rustic allurement but also for its mystical prevalence. Other than from the ground, you can ride a hot air balloon to get a view of the Stonehenge from up in the air!
Getting here – Sit back and relax and take a direct bus from London to Stonehenge which is about 2 hours. A train journey from London is around 1.5 hours.
Ironbridge Gorge (1986)
Unlike the traditional brick and mortal structures of the medieval period, the Ironbridge Gorge is a world heritage site that represents the birth of the Industrial Revolution and the unrivalled contribution of the town of Broseley to the rise in industrialisation. It is home to a number of spectacular museums that culminate in to an unforgettable experience.
Getting here – You can use the train, bus or car to get to Ironbridge Gorge from London. It takes 3 hours by train and 5 hours by bus.
St. Kilda (1986)
This spectacular volcanic archipelago situated off the coast of Hebrides is a popular breeding ground for birds. Its aesthetic environment and traditional highland structures which remain uninhabited for over 2 centuries support one of the largest seabird colonies in Europe.
Getting here – From Inverness, St. Kilda is a 3 hour car drive, 5 hours and 20 minutes from Glasgow and 5 hours and 30 minutes from Edinburgh.
The UK offers a variety of things to do and see. It’s time to make your travel plans now! Contact your well travelled friend for the best offers and deals.