TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel site, today reveals the UK results from the biggest analysis ever conducted of UNESCO World Heritage sites. Blenheim Palace topped the ‘Best Condition’ category, while Old and New Towns of Edinburgh took first place on the ‘Most Recommended’ list.
Via its user reviews, TripAdvisor, in partnership with UNESCO, has collected over 34,000* responses from travellers who have visited World Heritage sites.
“The UK has 28 World Heritage sites to be proud of,” commented Emma O’Boyle, TripAdvisor spokesperson. “Those in the ‘Best Condition’ and ‘Most Recommended’ categories should be particularly pleased as these recognitions reflect the positive experiences and opinions of thousands of travellers.”
London and Scotland featured prominently in the results. Four London sites – Kew Gardens, Tower of London, Westminster Palace and Maritime Greenwich – appeared across the ‘Best Condition’ and ‘Most recommended’ lists, while Scotland’s Heart of Neolithic Orkney, New Lanark and Old and New Towns of Edinburgh also appeared in these categories.
Interestingly, Stonehenge, one of the UK’s most internationally famous attractions, and one of the seven medieval wonders of the world, featured only on the ‘In Need of Most Attention’ list and failed to appear on the ‘Most Recommended’ list.
Best Condition Sites
According to TripAdvisor travellers, these are the UK’s UNESCO World Heritage sites in best condition:
1. Blenheim Palace – Oxfordshire
2. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew – London
3. Heart of Neolithic Orkney – Scotland
4. Durham Castle and Cathedral – Durham
5. City of Bath – Somerset
6. Giant’s Causeway and Causeway Coast – Northern Ireland
7. New Lanark – Scotland
8. Tower of London – London
9. Westminster Palace, Westminster Abbey and Saint Margaret’s Cathedral – London
10. Studley Royal Park including the Ruins of Fountains Abbey – Yorkshire
Most Recommended Sites
These are the UK World Heritage sites travellers most recommend:
1. Old and New Towns of Edinburgh – Scotland
2. Westminster Palace, Westminster Abbey and Saint Margaret’s Cathedral – London
3. Tower of London – London
4. City of Bath – Somerset
5. Maritime Greenwich – London
6. Durham Castle and Cathedral – Durham
7. Canterbury Cathedral, St Augustine’s Abbey, and St Martin’s – Kent
8. Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City
9. Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape
10. Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd – Wales
Sites most in need of attention
These UK World Heritage sites are those most in need of attention, according to TripAdvisor travellers:
1. Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape
2. Hadrian’s Wall (Frontiers of the Roman Empire WHS)- Wallsend-on-Tyne to Bowness-on-Solvay, England
3. Dorset and East Devon Coast
4. Canterbury Cathedral, St Augustine’s Abbey, and St Martin’s – Kent
5. Old and New Towns of Edinburgh – Scotland
6. Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City
7. Saltaire – Yorkshire
8. Ironbridge Gorge – Shropshire
9. Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd – Wales
10. Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites – Wiltshire
The two year partnership between TripAdvisor, and UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre launched in October 2009 to raise awareness of and gain travellers’ support to preserve natural and cultural sites inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage list.
Within the partnership, TripAdvisor is also donating up to $1.5 million (USD) of support to the World Heritage Centre to help monitor the conservation of the world’s most important cultural and historic sites. TripAdvisor shares the feedback to the World Heritage Centre so that it may better engage UNESCO member states in matters of site conservation.