The UK has 28 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, from Jurassic-era coastlines and Roman ruins to Georgian towns and medieval castles.
Landmarks of London
London itself hosts the highest number of UNESCO sites. Perhaps the most famous is the Tower of London. Centuries ago, this stone-walled castle on the banks of the River Thames was used to house traitors and was the site of many brutal executions. Today it houses the Crown Jewels.
On the other side of town lies Westminster Abbey, the traditional coronation site of England's kings and queens. This is also where Prince William and Kate Middleton were married in 2011.
South of the river lies the leafy borough of Greenwich, home of Greenwich Mean Time. This UNESCO site provides plenty of treats for a day out. As well as Christopher Wren's baroque-designed Old Royal Naval College and the world's last surviving tea clipper ship, the Cutty Sark, Greenwich's most famous building is the Maritime Museum.
Another beautiful site that's just recently been awarded UNESCO status is Kew Gardens. This enormous park of ancient trees, palm houses, conservatories and a treetop walkway is well worth a visit.
The south of England holds many UNESCO treasures, including the iconic megalithic monument of Stonehenge. The 5000-year-old stone circle draws visitors from all over the world, particularly at summer solstice.
Close to Stonehenge is the even older Jurassic coastline of Devon and Dorset. Beneath the rolling hills and golden sands lay millennia of fossilised rocks and unique geology, making this a fascinating and beautiful area to explore.
The city of Bath was originally founded in Roman times. Its natural springs helped cement its reputation as a spa town – a reputation that continues to this day. Visitors can still see traces of the town's Roman Ruins, though it's the Georgian architecture that often features as the backdrop in movies, including The Duchess and Sense and Sensibility, which wows visitors the most.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, Liverpool was one of the largest ports in the world, its position as a centre of world trade clearly evidenced today in its buildings and architecture, which is why it too has been awarded UNESCO status.
Out of England
The Scottish Orkney Islands are protected by UNESCO due to the prehistoric monuments that can be found here. St Kilda, in the Outer Hebrides, has also been awarded World Heritage Status and is a haven for bird watchers.
Two sites in Wales that are a must for any visitor are the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, which towers 126 feet above the River Dee, and Blaenavon, where Britain's coal and iron industries flourished in the 19th century.
Northern Ireland's most visited natural attraction is the Giant's Causeway – an astonishing rock formation of over 40,000 black basalt columns lying at the foot of dramatic cliffs.A tour of Britain, taking in its many World Heritage Sites, is the perfect way to explore the riches – historical, cultural and natural – that this collection of four countries has to offer.