Ursula Petula Barzey

4 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in London

When it comes to important locations around the world, you cannot go wrong with following guidance from UNESCO, THE United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation. The organisation has listed a number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, which are places that are deemed to be of particular cultural or physical importance.

In 2014, there are more than 1000 sites listed around the world with 779 locations being deemed to be of cultural importance, 197 deemed to be of natural importance and 31 having mixed importance. Italy is the country with the most World Heritage Sites, 50, but you will not be shocked to learn that there are a number of great destinations in the United Kingdom. You will also not be shocked to learn that there are 4 prominent UNESCO World Heritage Sites in London, all of which are worthy of a tour with a Blue Badge Tourist Guide.  The four sites in London are:

  • The Tower of London
  • The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew
  • The Palace of Westminster
  • Maritime Greenwich

The Tower of London

The Tower of London was built by William The Conqueror on the Thames to provide protection to London and to state his power at the time. The Tower has played a central role in some of the biggest moments in British history. The Norman Conquest saw the building at the heart of the action and there was also the imprisonment of Edward V and his brother. In the 16th Century, four English Queens were held, three of them eventually being executed on Tower Green and Elizabeth I escaped. The Tower also helped to shape the Reformation in England with the tales of the Catholic and Protestant people who were held captive in the Tower helped to define the Tower as a place of execution and torture.

Tower of London

Tourists queuing to enter the Tower of London on a busy summers day. Photo: ©London & Partners/Pawel Libera.

The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew

While the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew offer a range of stunning sights to enjoy, the importance of the site is down to the fact that there is a historical landscape garden. This garden provides a number of key elements which illustrate the art of gardens between the 18th and the 20th century. There are a number of botanic collections that have helped to enrich society over the years and centuries. The gardens were established back in 1759 and their work in contributing to the study of plants is unrivalled.

Kew Gardens

The Palm House at Kew Gardens in Autumn. Photo: ©London & Partners/Pawel Libera.

The Palace of Westminster

Although the initial Westminster Palace was destroyed by a fire in 1834, the rebuilt building on the site of medieval remains is a great example of neo-Gothic architecture and holds huge importance in British history. The site of the Palace also hosts the Church of Saint Margaret and Westminster Abbey. Westminster Abbey is the location where all the Kings of England have been crowned dating back to 1066, making it a hugely important destination with respect to the history of the country.  The close proximity to the House of Lords, the House of Commons and Big Ben ensures that tourists are able to see so many of the most important venues in England within very easy reach. While the historical importance of the building is notable, it is fair to say that the current Westminster Palace is also a stunning looking building, with tremendous interiors. There is also the fact that the Victoria Tower contains more than 3 million documents, making it a massive archive, and containing all of the Acts of Parliament that have been issued since 1947.

Houses of Parliament

View of the Houses of Parliament across the River Thames in London. Photo: ©London & Partners.

Maritime Greenwich

There is a collection of venues in Greenwich, and the massive park which houses them all, and this is a World Heritage site because of the impact the area had on scientific and artistic endeavour in the country in the 17th and 18th century. The Queen’s House is perhaps the focus for many people, certainly of an artistic nature, but the National Maritime Museum is also a popular destination in the park.

National Maritime Museum

Greenwich Park view of the National Maritime Museum. Photo: ©London & Partners/Pawel Libera.

END

Would you like to explore London and beyond with a highly qualified and enthusiastic Blue Badge Tourist Guide?  Use our Guide Match service to find the perfect one for you!

 

Ursula Petula Barzey

Ursula Petula Barzey is a Digital Marketing Consultant who enjoys all that London has to offer to its residents as well as visitors from all across the globe.

You may also like

The London Eye Is A Top 10 Tourist Attraction

Although it is one of the more recent additions to the array of tourist attractions available in London, the London Eye has become one of the most prominent attractions in the city. The London Eye is a massive Ferris Wheel which is located on the South Bank, right on the River Thames. The London Eye is still something referred to as the Millennium Wheel and over the years it has had a number of different names due to the sponsor of the wheel at the time.

Read more

Palace of Westminster Visitor Services Celebrates 10 Year Anniversary

The Palace of Westminster is synonymous with politics in the United Kingdom and has seen some of the most momentous events in the history of the country. From the ill-fated 1605 Gunpowder Plot to speaker William Lenthall's defiance of King Charles I in 1642 and from suffragette Emily Davidson hiding in a ventilation shaft in the building to the inspirational "We shall fight on the beaches" Winston Churchill speech delivered to the House of Commons on 4 June 1940.

Read more