Explore the Best UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the UK
There are 31 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the UK, many of which are within driving distance* to some of our best UK campsites. Spread across the UK, these World Heritage Sites cover the coast, country and everything in-between so you’re sure to find a place to explore near to your camping destination.
World Heritage Sites in England, Scotland and Wales
A World Heritage Site is a landmark that has legal protection because it’s been designated for having cultural, historical, scientific or another form of significance by UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization). Here are some of the best World Heritage Sites to visit near our Club Sites.
1. Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire
Over 300 years of history await you at Blenheim Palace. The beautiful English Baroque style country house was built for John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, for his military triumphs and was dedicated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. Blenheim Palace was, therefore, the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. Discover this and much more during your visit. Well worth exploring are The Palace State Rooms, Formal Gardens and Rowing Boats.
Where to stay: Our Oxford Club Site is a 20-minute drive away.
2. Canterbury Cathedral, St Augustine’s Abbey, and St Martin’s Church, Canterbury
There’s plenty to explore on a camping trip to Canterbury with three separate locations to discover which form this World Heritage Site. Canterbury Cathedral is one of the oldest Christian structures in England with over 1,400 years of history to uncover. Secondly, the ruins of St Augustine’s Abbey, originally a burial place for the Anglo-Saxon kings of Kent can be found just outside of the city walls and is a wonderfully peaceful experience. Lastly, is St Martin’s Church, a site of worship since 597AD sitting just outside the city.
Where to stay: Our Canterbury Club Site is just 1-mile south of the city, which is accessible by bus, car or foot.
3. Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd, Wales
Head to Gwynedd in North Wales to see the finest examples of 13th and 14th century military architecture. Included in this UNESCO World Heritage Site are the four castles of Beaumaris, Conwy, Caernarfon and Harlech as well as the towns of Caernarfon and Conwy. All individual in their own right, the four castles are steeped in history and all worth visiting during your camping trip in Wales.
Where to stay: Our Llanystumdwy Club Site is a 27-minute drive away.
4. City of Bath, Somerset
The largest city in Somerset, Bath is a perfect amalgamation of fascinating history, architecture and contemporary culture. The Romans made Bath the ultimate wellbeing destination, and it has continued to be a popular visitor attraction ever since. The city is well-known for its Roman Baths, with the only natural thermal hot springs that you can use for bathing in Britain. The Georgian architecture you’ll see is just like the setting of a Jane Austen novel and a visit to the centre celebrating the life and works of the novelist is well worth a visit. Independent and high street shops, restaurants and plenty of museums and galleries will keep you entertained during your camping trip.
Where to stay: Our Devizes Club Site is a 35-minute drive away.
5. Derwent Valley Mills, Derbyshire
Britain was at the forefront of the Industrial Revolution, and the Derwent Valley Mills were at the centre of Richard Arkwright’s inventions being put into industrial-scale production. There are many mills in the Peak District, but the Masson Mills at Matlock Bath are a great example to visit. Established in 1783, the mill was in continuous use until 1991 and now houses a fully working textile museum. The first successful water-powered cotton spinning mills in the world at Cromford Mill were built in 1771. Today, there’s a restoration project underway, but much of village of Cromford remains intact and gives great insight into what life was like from 1771 to the 1920s.
Where to stay: Our Bakewell Club Site is a 37-minute drive away.
6. Frontiers of the Roman Empire
The Frontiers of the Roman Empire is made up of several sites which formed the Limes Romanus which was the border defence of Ancient Rome. In the UK Hadrian’s Wall and the Antonine Wall can be visited and explored. Hadrian’s Wall stretches over 100 miles across Northern England with museums, Roman ruins and plenty more to explore along its length. From Clyde to Forth, the Antonine Wall was the largest building project the people of Scotland had ever seen. Whether you’d prefer to walk, cycle or even paddle along some of the length of the wall, there are still sections of the monument visible today.
Where to stay: Our Haltwhistle Club Site is a 15-minute drive from Hadrian’s Wall.
7. Ironbridge Gorge, Shropshire
The birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, Ironbridge Gorge, is located in the mineral-rich Severn Valley. A visit to the Ironbridge Gorge Museums is an unforgettable experience and makes a great history lesson for kids. The Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron, Museum of the Gorge and The Iron Bridge and Toll House are all worth a visit. For a real look at what life was like in the Victorian era, head to Blists Hill Victorian Town which has been recreated with an old-fashioned fairground, a pharmacy and even a fish and chip shop.
Where to stay: Our Ebury Hill Club Site is a 30-minute drive away.
8. Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal, Wales
Designed and built by Thomas Telford and Williams Jessop, the Pontcysylte Aqueduct in Wales carries the Llangollen Canal across the River Dee. This is another one of the remarkable achievements of the Industrial Revolution. Walking along the Aqueduct takes around 45 minutes. Alternatively, you can take a relaxed boat ride which is around the same length of time. Whichever option you choose, remember your camera because the views are incredible.
Where to stay: Our Bala Club Site is a 40-minute drive away.
9. Jodrell Bank Observatory, Macclesfield
South of Manchester in the wonderful Cheshire countryside is the Jodrell Bank Observatory. The University of Manchester owned observatory was awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 2019 given its tremendous scientific endeavours and role in understanding the universe. Visit the site to see the Grade I listed Lovell Telescope, discover a range of exhibits and join in with plenty of family fun.
Where to stay: Our Delamere Forest Club Site is a 34-minute drive away.
10. Old and New Towns of Edinburgh, Scotland
Edinburgh, the vibrant capital of Scotland, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with it’s wonderful Old Town sitting harmoniously with the New Town. There’s so much to do on a visit to Edinburgh including a tour of Edinburgh Castle, a spot of shopping on the Royal Mile and sightseeing spots such as Carlton Hill. Another UNESCO site worth mentioning here is the Forth Bridge, a railway bridge across the Firth of Forth, just under an hour drive away from our Dunbar Club Site. Find out more about Edinburgh in our city break guide.
Where to stay: Our Dunbar Club Site is a 40-minute drive away.
11. Tower of London, Kew Royal Botanic Gardens and Palace of Westminster and Westminster Abbey
There are four separate UNESCO World Heritage Sites in London which you’ll have heard of before. The Tower of London, Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress makes for a full day out. On your visit, you’ll learn about how the site was used throughout history and get to see the Crown Jewels. Kew Royal Botanic Gardens, in Richmond, has over 50,000 living plants to discover. The gardens were awarded their status due to significant and uninterrupted contribution to the study of plant diversity and economic botany. Right next to the River Thames you’ll find the Palace of Westminster and Westminster Abbey. Since the 11th century AD kings and queens have been coronated here with the buildings playing a pivotal role in the history of church, monarchy and state.
Where to stay: View our campsites in London which are just a short train ride away from the major attractions in the city.
12. Studley Royal Park including the Ruins of Fountains Abbey, North Yorkshire
Managed by the National Trust, Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden is an awe-inspiring site to behold. The abbey ruins are the largest monastic remains in the country, originally founded in 1132 but closed down in 1539 in the Dissolution of the Monasteries. The accompanying gardens were a masterpiece of John and William Aislabie, designed in the 18th century. Cascading canals, beautiful ponds and sprawling green gardens are wonderful to visit year-round. With a visitor centre, shop and great facilities, Fountains Abbey makes a great day out for those camping in North Yorkshire.
Where to stay: Our Boroughbridge Club Site is a 20-minute drive away.
13. Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites, Wiltshire
One of the UK’s first World Heritage Sites, the circles of Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites date back 5,000 years to the Neolithic and Bronze Age. Stonehenge is the most famous prehistoric stone circle in the world and an iconic sight to behold. Managed by the National Trust on behalf of English Heritage, you can visit the stones and visitor centre year-round. You can even download an audio guide to listen to as you explore the ancient site. Avebury, also managed by the National Trust, includes the largest stone circle in Britain, dating back to the Neolithic period. While you’ve likely seen Stonehenge on TV or on the drive past, there’s nothing quite like putting your walking boots on and seeing the stones in person.
Where to stay: Our Salisbury Club Site is a 14-minute drive away from Stonehenge.
14. The English Lake District, Cumbria
Not only is this one of the most popular places to holiday in the UK, but the Lake District also holds UNESCO World Heritage Site status. The self-contained mountainous area was awarded the status due to continuity of traditional farming and local industry. The picture-perfect landscape has so much to offer, from the lakes themselves to the beautiful towns and villages offering plenty of things to do and places to explore. The Lake District is a walkers paradise, ideal for a break away from a busy lifestyle.
Where to stay: View our Lake District campsites.
15. Dorset and East Devon Coast
Another UK holiday hotspot, the Dorset and East Devon Coast, more commonly known as the Jurassic Coast, provide near-continuous rock formations that document nearly 190 million years of earth’s history. That means that the rocks and cliffs we see along the coastline today were around throughout the age of the dinosaurs. Unsurprisingly, one of the most popular activities along the Dorset and Devon coast is fossil hunting, and there have been some fascinating finds. Head to Dinosaurland Fossil Museum in Lyme Regis to see more than 12,000 specimens. Another highlight of a Dorset or Devon holiday are the beautiful beaches and family days out, with plenty to do for all ages.