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World Heritage sites in Cumbria

On the 10th July 2017, the Lake District received World Heritage Site status, positioning us alongside destinations such as the Taj Mahal, the Tower of London and the Great Barrier Reef. We welcome you to join us to celebrate this achievement and visit the UK’s largest World Heritage site.

The Lake District joins Hadrian’s Wall to become the second World Heritage Site in Cumbria making the county an ideal destination for those interested in culture, history and conservation.

2017 also marks the 30 years since the inscription of Hadrian’s Wall as a UNESCO World Heritage site, sharing an anniversary with globally recognised places such as The Great Wall of China, Killimanjaro National Park and Westminster Abbey. (1987).

The lanscape in Cumbria is unique. Find out more about the landscape and caring for the environment.

Lake District World Heritage

Lake District National Park World Heritage Site

Why has the Lake District been recognised?

3 themes, 13 valleys

The three themes relating to the Lake District World Heritage award are: Inspiration, Identity & Conservation.

The case for Lake District World Heritage status is a compelling one.

View the videos below to find out what people love about the Lake District.


The beauty of the Lake District inspired artists and writers of the Picturesque and Romantic movements and generated ideas about landscape that have had global influence.


The acknowledged beauty of the Lake District is the result of thousands of years of agricultural development of the spectacular natural landscape of mountains, valleys, lakes and woodland. It is a cultural landscape of international significance.


The Lake District has been enjoyed and valued by visitors for 250 years. Concern to protect it was the inspiration for the birth of the conservation movement, including the National Trust and protected areas including UK National Parks.

All cultural landscapes change over time, often at a relatively slow rate so that their essential character is retained. Thus the Lake District is a landscape which has evolved and will continue to evolve into the future. This change will be embraced whilst ensuring that the attributes of outstanding universal character that define the World Heritage site are protected and enhanced.

The thirteen valleys are:

Borrowdale and Bassenthwaite; Buttermere; Coniston; Duddon; Ennerdale; Eskdale; 
Grasmere, Rydal & Ambleside; Haweswater; Langdale; Thirlmere; Ullswater; Wasdale; Windermere. 


  • The Lake District has become one of just over 1000 World Heritage sites (1052)
  • The Lake District is the UK’s largest World Heritage site: 229,200 hectares (1951 boundary)
  • The Lake District is the UK’s 31st UNESCO World Heritage site
  • It is the only UK National Park that is entirely a World Heritage site
  • It is the UK’s 5th cultural landscape World Heritage Site, others include:
    • Blaenavon Industrial Landscape
    • Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape
    • Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
    • St Kilda

For more information on the Lake District's World Heritage status and frequently asked questions, click here

Hadrian's Wall World Heritage

Hadrian's Wall World Heritage Site

30 years of UNESCO World Heritage Status!

2017 is a very special year, marking the 30th anniversary of Hadrian's Wall being granted UNESCO World Heritage status.

In 2005 Hadrian’s Wall became part of a much larger, much more ambitious, ‘transnational’ World Heritage Site as the German Limes were added, followed by the Antonine Wall in 2008, to create the Frontiers of the Roman Empire (FRE).
In the second century AD, the Roman Frontiers encompassed much of Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. It is hoped that other stretched of FRE will be inscribed by UNESCO to the ‘transnational’ site, eventually making the FRE one of the largest World Heritage Sites of all.

Stretching from Ravenglass Roman Bath House in the West of Cumbria, Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage monuments in Cumbria go across the county to Gilsland on the Northumberland border. The wall itself was built between 122 and 128 AD and stretches 150 miles to Wallsend on the east coast of England.

What is Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Site?

Along the 150 miles, from Arbiea Roman Fort in South Shields to Ravenglass Roman Bath House the wall meets:

• 2 National Parks
• 2 Areas of Outstanding National Beauty
• 12 local authorities
• More than 300 landowners
• More than 1,000,000 residents
• 11 historical sites and museums

For more information on Hadrian's Wall and the 30th anniversary of World Heritage, click here


Lake District World Heritage

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