by Connor Mollison

World’s first UNESCO trail launched in Scotland

The world’s first ever UNESCO trail, bringing together some of Scotland’s most iconic, diverse and
culturally significant sites was launched on Friday 15 October 2021

Scotland’s UNESCO Trail connects the country’s 13 place-based UNESCO designations, including
World Heritage Sites, Biospheres, Global Geoparks and Creative Cities to form a dedicated digital trail.
It aims to take visitors on a cultural journey across the country experiencing everything from history to
science, music, design and literature to nature and cityscapes.

Designed specifically to support ambitions to make Scotland a world-leading responsible tourism
destination, Scotland’s UNESCO Trail encourages visitors to stay longer, visit all year round, make
sustainable travel choices, explore more widely and at the right time of the year, and in turn, contribute
to the sustainable quality of life of those communities surrounding the designated sites.

The digital trail – which is available on – showcases the breadth of
culturally astounding UNESCO designations on offer across Scotland, providing information and
inspiration to visitors across the world. It also celebrates businesses and communities that are
committed to responsible tourism business practices and promotes sustainable travel options.

Scotland is the first nation in the world to create such a pioneering initiative. Developed through a unique
partnership between VisitScotland, the Scottish Government, the UK National Commission for
, Historic Environment Scotland, NatureScot, the National Trust for Scotland and Scotland’s
13 UNESCO designations, the project has received £360,000 funding from the Scottish Government to
support the strategy for the sustainable recovery of Scottish tourism

Professor Anne Anderson, Non-Executive Director at the UK National Commission for
“Scotland’s UNESCO Trail is a world-first bringing together Scotland’s world-class
cultural and natural heritage. Not only this, the Trail does so within UNESCO’s broader aims of
building peace and sustainable development.”

“Across Scotland, these UNESCO designations are local partnerships and communities that protect
and promote their outstanding creativity, cultural heritage and the natural environment. By partaking in
the Trail, visitors from around the world will rediscover Scotland’s unique treasures, know they are
travelling sustainably, and contribute to the communities who maintain these precious places”.

“From the stunning mountains of the northwest Highlands, the heart of Neolithic Orkney, the vibrant
music scenes of Glasgow, to Edinburgh’s outstanding heritage and literature festivals, there is a
wealth of people and places waiting to welcome you”.

The full list of designations included in Scotland’s UNESCO Trail are the Galloway & Southern
Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere, Wester Ross UNESCO Biosphere, Dundee UNESCO City of Design,
Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature, Glasgow UNESCO City of Music, Shetland UNESCO Global
Geopark, North West Highlands UNESCO Global Geopark, the Forth Bridge UNESCO World
Heritage Site, Frontiers of the Roman Empire: Antonine Wall UNESCO World Heritage Site, New
Lanark UNESCO World Heritage Site, Heart of Neolithic Orkney UNESCO World Heritage Site, Old
and New Towns of Edinburgh UNESCO World Heritage Site, St Kilda World Heritage Site.

For more information, visit