UNESCO World Heritage Sites
There are over a thousand properties in the world that are classed as World Heritage Sites from UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization).
In total there are 29 sites in the UK and South East England is home to three of them. These sites are great to visit for a day out and are truly fun and interesting for all the family. UNESCO's mission to encourage the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity. Take a look at our South East England list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites as we guide you through the three in the area.
Oxfordshire's Blenheim Palace welcomes visitors to their 18th century masterpiece where you get to experience the architecture first hand that was the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. Explore this World Heritage Site amongst over 2000 acres of ‘Capability’ Brown landscaped parkland. Take a tour of the State Rooms and admire the portraits, tapestries and exquisite furniture while learning about the 300-year history of this National Treasure.
Kent's Canterbury Cathedral, St Augustine's Abbey and St Martin's Church all make up to one impressive World Heritage Site. The Cathedral dates back to the days of medieval pilgrimage and St Augustine, sent by Pope Gregory the Great, arrived in 597AD as a missionary and became the first Archbishop. Following the murder of Archbishop Thomas Becket in 1170, the cathedral became a place of pilgrimage.
St Martin’s Church has been in continuous use as a place of worship since the 6th century and the present buildings of the Cathedral above ground since the 11th century. St Augustine's Abbey was originally created as a burial place for the Anglo-Saxon kings of Kent and is situated outside the city walls. St Martin's Church.
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
This historic landscape garden features elements that illustrate significant periods of the art of gardens from the 18th to the 20th centuries. Also known simply as Kew Gardens, it is also home to the world’s largest Victorian glasshouse. Based in Surrey, an impressive 4.5 acres of gardens under glass reach up to 27 degrees celsius. You can also combine a visit with Kew Palace where you can explore a beautiful royal retreat comprising princesses’ bedrooms, an intimate dining room and the newly restored Georgian Royal Kitchens.
More history & heritage
Need more inspiration to visit some of South East England's heritage site then why not take a look at History & Heritage page. Dorset's Jurassic Coast is also something to feast your eyes on and it features some of the most magnificent landscape and views in the UK.