There was great news for the Lake District this week, as it was named a World Heritage Site by Unesco.
The Lake District joins the likes of The Grand Canyon, Hadrian’s Wall and Machu Picchu on the list of world-renowned treasures. Inclusions must meet one of 10 selection criteria, as well as be of outstanding universal value.
The region, which is home to England’s tallest mountain, Scafell Pike, is the first UK national park to be awarded World Heritage status – and the anouncement comes over three decades after its first nomination in 1986.
Over 18 million people visit The Lake District every year to enjoy the exceptional scenery, characterised by sweeping valleys, quaint thatched cottages, pretty fells and – of course – those famous mountains and mirror-like lakes.
Lovely Lake Buttermere (Alamy)
The committee praised the stunning landscape, which was formed over 500 million years of geological processes, as well as the combined work of nature and human activity, which has been key in creating the harmonious landscape of the area.
It has been an area of great importance since the 18th century when it was a source of inspiration for many paintings and poems, including those of William Wordsworth.
The Lake District’s bid was chaired by Lord Clark of Windermere, who described the committee’s decision as “momentous”.
The Lakes becomes the 31st place in the UK and its overseas territories to be added to the list, joining the city of Bath, Stonehenge and Gwynedd in Wales.
Where to stay in the Lake District
Save up to 25% on a two-night stay at one of the Lake District’s best luxury hotels with our fabulous Gilpin Hotel & Lake House offer. Sitting just a five-minute drive from the quintessential town of Windermere and its spectacular lake, Gilpin occupies a characterful country house set in acres of landscaped gardens.
The hotel has been lovingly run by the Cunliffe family for decades, and unsurprisingly the staff have a well-deserved reputation for excellent service. In the evening, choose between Asian-inspired Hrishi – the hotel’s coveted Michelin-starred restaurant – or the more informal Gilpin Spice. After a busy day wandering the fells, the complimentary muscle soak bath gift will be just the ticket. Click here for details and to book
Four more hotel offers near UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Dalhousie Castle, Scotland
Scotland’s oldest inhabited castle, which has been transformed into a luxury hotel, is situated just eight miles from the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh, a UNESCO site since 1995.
Dalhousie Castle has been beautifully preserved and still retains much of its period charm throughout its 29 individually-designed bedrooms. Dine in the barrel-vaulted Dungeons and enjoy 15% off all treatments at the Hydrotherapy spa with our offer starting from £145pp. Click here for details and to book
The Abbey, Bath
The city of Bath was founded by the Romans as a thermal spa and gained UNESCO status in 1987. More than a million people visit each year and there is no better place to stay than The Abbey.
Located just a five-minute walk from the Roman Baths, the hotel offers stylish bedrooms and an immensely popular restaurant, Allium. Stay at The Abbey from just £65, including breakfast, and take advantage of a £10 dining voucher per person. Click here for details and to book
Rubens at the Palace, London
Westminster Abbey, which sits on the Thames in the heart of London, is a building of huge significance in English history. The importance of the building dates back to the 11th century, but was rebuilt in 1840 in a striking neo-gothic design, following a fire.
Rubens at the Palace lies under a mile from the Abbey, opposite Buckingham Palace. Save up to 33% on a stay with our offer which includes a complimentary afternoon tea. Click here for details and to book
Swinton Park, Yorkshire
Studley Royal Park, situated in north Yorkshire, is an area of around 800 acres, which comprises an 18th-century landscaped garden created around a Cistercian Abbey. The ruins are some of the largest in Europe and the gardens are a display of exceptional beauty.
Swinton Park hotel is just 10 miles from the site and with our offer you can save £55 on a stay, which includes a complimentary dinner and a 35-minute ELEMIS spa treatment. Click here for details and to book
What is Unesco?
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) seeks to encourage the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity.
World Heritage sites “belong to all the peoples of the world, irrespective of the territory on which they are located”.
As well as newly-crowned Lake District, other Unesco World Heritage sites include India’s Taj Mahal, the Great Wall of China and Angkor Wat’s temples in Cambodia.