News from the Geopark


25 Jul 2023

Ignite your summer adventures and discover the English Riviera UNESCO Global Geopark alongside 57 other unique UNESCO sites in the UK and crown dependencies thanks to a newly illustrated map, now available to download for free from the UK National Commission for UNESCO.

From expansive mountain ranges and stunning coastlines to vibrant cities and rural landscapes - the UK's UNESCO sites are destinations of world-class natural and cultural heritage. For the first time a map, designed by the creative cartographer Tom Woolley, brings together all of the Biosphere Reserves, Creative Cities, Global Geoparks and World Heritage Sites across the British Isles that are waiting to be discovered.

Visitors to the sites are invited to immerse themselves in the spectacular vistas of the slate landscape of Northwest Wales or the Scottish Highlands. Dive into the literary heritage of Manchester or Edinburgh. Scale the mountains of the English Lake District or the peaks of Fforest Fawr. Uncover legends and folklore along the Giant's Causeway or Stonehenge. Breathe in the sea air of Brighton and Lewes, North Devon or the English Riviera. Tackle the northernmost frontiers of the Roman empire by foot or by bike and stroll around one of the great spa towns of Europe in Bath or a landed estate at Blenheim Palace.

The new map, released online this week, includes 29 World Heritage Sites, 13 Creative Cities, 9 Global Geoparks and 7 Biosphere Reserves that cover 13% of the UK’s landmass. Most of the sites are free to enter and conveniently accessible by public transport offering the public new experiences to discover UNESCO sites in the UK and mark this summer with a visit to one of the world’s most special places.

 Our own English Riviera UNESCO Global Geopark offer visitors the chance to explore the geopark and experience its heritage by joining some of the geopark focused events taking place in the coming months.

Geopark related events can be found here: Events - English Riviera Global Geopark (englishrivierageopark.org.uk)

 James Bridge, Chief Executive and Secretary-General of the UK National Commission for UNESCO said: “This new UNESCO in the UK map will inspire people for places to visit. It shows at a glance the breadth of amazing natural, cultural and built heritage designated by UNESCO as internationally significant in the UK. This great map highlights places to explore, on your doorstep and further afield, both the famous and those to discover for the first time.”

Stuart McLeod, Director of England - London & South at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “We are delighted to support this project which, thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, will help to inspire more people to visit the fantastic UNESCO sites across the UK. Heritage has a huge role to play in bringing people together and any way that we can enable and inspire this to happen is hugely positive.”

Richard Lochhead, Minister for Small Business, Innovation, Tourism and Trade, said: “The new UK map will be a helpful pointer to encourage visitors to discover Scotland’s UNESCO treasures and explore our own dedicated trail. Scotland’s UNESCO trail is a global first, taking visitors on a cultural journey across the country, experiencing everything from history to science, music, design and literature to nature and cityscapes. The trail is internationally recognised for encouraging responsible tourism. It includes environmentally friendly travel options like cycling or public transport and partners with businesses which are accredited for their green credentials. Scotland’s UNESCO trail promotes longer visits and wider exploration, all year round, of all the riches on offer. This in turn contributes to the sustainable quality of life of those communities surrounding the designated sites.”

The map was produced by the UK National Commission for UNESCO as part of its Local to Global project, made possible with the GREAT Campaign and The National Lottery Heritage Fund, with thanks to National Lottery players. Local to Global aims to develop a resilient network for UNESCO Designated Sites in the UK.

 The map can be downloaded here.