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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. Stroll around one of the great spa towns of Europe in Bath or a landed estate at Blenheim Palace. And dance the night away in an iconic concert hall in Belfast or at a festival under the stars at one of the world’s largest deep space observatories at Jodrell Bank.
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.
Over the forthcoming months Manchester City of Literature will offer visitors many literary activities to celebrate the City of Literature status including Manchester Literature Festival 2023 starting in September, the launch of the first ever Green Book Fair from the Northern Fiction Alliance plus writing courses taking place in parks, book launches, author talks and spoken word nights galore.
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.”
As one of the 13 Creative Cities featured on the map we are delighted to be featured alongside our colleagues across the UK. It’s great to see the pillars of Manchester Central Library represented with our neighbours at Jodrell Bank, Derwent Valley Mills, Liverpool City of Music, Bradford City of Film and more, Manchester can be very proud of this one!
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 below.
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