Celebrating thirty years of World Heritage in the United Kingdom

January 6, 2016 Published by Beth Thomas

Celebrating thirty years of World Heritage in the United Kingdom

Happy New Year to all our followers – thank you for staying in touch and please do let us know if you have any stories you would like us to post on this blog.

2016 is special for World Heritage in the UK as it is the 30th anniversary of the inscription of our first seven Sites onto the World Heritage List. Those sites are: St Kilda, Giant’s Causeway, the Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd, Durham Castle and Cathedral, Ironbridge Gorge, Studley Royal Park including the ruins of Fountains Abbey and Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites. The seven sites were inscribed at the 10th session of the World Heritage Committee in Paris from 24 – 28 November 1986.

The UK signed the Convention in 1984 and these were seven of 36 sites that were on the UK tentative list at that time. Since then a further 19 UK mainland Sites and three Sites in overseas territories have been added to the UK’s 29 World Heritage Sites. The most recent Site was the Forth Rail Bridge added in July 2015.

Each Site will be holding a series of events celebrating the anniversary. Keep an eye out on this website and those of each WHS for updates on a wide range of events and activities to celebrate the anniversary.

Most sites are also on Twitter. We’d love to see your photos of the seven anniversary Sites. You can share thoughts, comments and events on Twitter using #WHS30.

For further information about UK World Heritage Sites you can find more detail at:



For information about the 7 Sites see below:

St Kilda (image above)




Giant’s Causeway and Causeway Coast



The Castles and Town Walls of Edward I in Gwynedd


Durham Castle and Cathedral



Ironbridge Gorge



Studley Royal Park including the Ruins of Fountains Abbey



Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites