UNESCO World Heritage Site of Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire

Blenheim Palace

Woodstock, Oxfordshire

UNESCO World Heritage Sites

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UNESCO World Heritage Sites offer a genuinely unique visitor experience. They are, by definition, irreplaceable and are of cultural or natural significance. South East England is blessed with a fine collection that champion our proud history.

Each of these attractions has been judged to be of outstanding universal value to humanity with important religious, royal and scientific ties making them fascinating places to visit. Areas of natural beauty are subject to a tourism programme strategy aiming to make them more accessible while preserving their unique organic state for future generations. 

Canterbury Cathedral, Kent

Canterbury Cathedral, St Augustine's Abbey and St Martin's Church make up one impressive site that was granted UNESCO World Heritage status in 1988 as the spiritual head of the Church of England for nearly 500 years. Dating back to the 11th Century, it boasts the richest collection of stained-glass windows in the UK with the most grand in the chapter house.

Steeped in English history and synonymous with Thomas Becket, this magnificent building with awe inspiring architecture offers a warm welcome, the chance to discover 1400 years of history, guided tours, and kids go free until October 2022. Why not join one of the new 15-minute free mini talks given by one of the Cathedrals volunteers which start at quarter past the hour or join the Inside story tour lasting 75 minutes at a cost of £5, 11am or 2pm Monday - Saturday and delve into the history of Canterbury Cathedral, from the re-establishment of Christianity in England in 597, to the murder of Thomas Becket and why this made Canterbury one of the most important pilgrimage sites in the medieval world.

Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire

This masterpiece of Baroque architecture was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987 and is home to one Europe's historically significant collection of portraits, furniture, sculpture and tapestries. The long library contains more than 10,000 books, many of which are hundreds of years old.

The Formal Gardens and Pleasure Gardens are a joy to behold while the new 'Churchill' exhibition commemorates Blenheim Palace as the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill.   Whilst the new 'Stables' exhibition houses in the historic stable block, celebrates the importance of horses to Blenheim Palace throughout the ages.  Donating the cost of your entry to the Blenheim Palace Heritage Foundation Charity gets you a free annual pass and guided tours are included as part of admission.  

Hosting a year-round calendar of events including Easter Entertainment (15th - 18th April 22) Blenheim Palace Flower Show (24th - 26th June 2022), Battle Proms Picnic Concert (2nd July 2022), Marlborough 300 Pageant (30th - 31st July 22), Salon Prive and Supercar (4th Sept 2022) and many more, there are lots of reasons to keep heading back and discovering more of this stunning UNESCO site.

Royal Botanical Gardens Kew, Surrey

Set in 326 acres of beautiful grounds containing the world’s most diverse collection of living plants, Kew Gardens became a UNESCO World Heritage Site, located just 30 minutes from central London, the garden can trace its roots back to the 18th Century and became a UNESCO World Heritage Site as recently as 2003 thanks primarily to the work of renowned landscape architects including Capability Brown. The expansive gardens are fully accessible thanks to a land train with six stops throughout Kew.

Explore tropical rainforests in the Palm House and marvel at the architecture of the restored Temperate House. Discover beautiful botanical art in the wonderful galleries and step back in time at Kew Palace – the former summer residence of King George III. 

Visit The Hive, a fascinating installation highlighting the plight of the honeybee, the Great Broad Walk borders which contain over 30,000 plants, providing stunning colour from spring through autumn, the world’s largest Victorian glasshouse containing Kew's largest plants and a 200m long Treetop Walkway giving outstanding views of the forest canopy with its birds and insects, lichens and fungi.  Take a mindful moment with a visit to the Japanese Gardens or explore the vast collection of 14,000 trees in the Arboretum, or let your children loose in the Children's garden especially designed for children from 2 to 12 years old. 

List of UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Other special sites not to miss that border South East England include the stunning Dorset's Jurassic Coast  which stretches 95 miles from Old Harry's Rocks near Swanage to Exmouth in East Devon and was recognised by UNESCO in 2001 for its rocks, fossils and landforms. The historic Maritime Greenwich, home of The Royal Observatory and Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), internationally recognised for the world's Prime Meridian Line. Maritime Greenwich became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1997 and includes the historic town centre and Royal Park.

These outstanding attractions feature as part of our list of UNESCO World Heritage sites from this part of the UK. For a map showing their geographical representation, select the 'Map View' button.

The Historic Dockyard Chatham is currently on a tentative list meaning its under consideration to become a World Heritage Site.

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Number of results: 3

  1. Canterbury Cathedral

    Type

    Type:

    Cathedral / Minister

    Canterbury

    Motherchurch of the Anglican Communion, seat of the Archbishop. Stunning stained glass. Eleventh Century Crypt, Twelfth Century Quire, Fourteenth Century Nave.

  2. Royal Botanic Gardens Kew

    Type

    Type:

    Botanic Garden

    Richmond

    Come wander the 4.5 acres of gardens under glass, admire the unique landscapes and lose yourself in 250 years of history at this famous botanic garden.

  3. Blenheim Palace

    Type

    Type:

    Historic House / Palace

    Woodstock

    Birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill and home to the Duke of Marlborough, Blenheim Palace, one of the finest baroque houses in England, is set in over 2,000 acres of landscaped gardens

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