With its rich historical legacy, it’s hard to imagine anywhere in England that might be a lesser known site under any circumstances, much less a UNESCO World Heritage Site. But there are some places off the beaten path that deserve the attention of tourists who want to have a memorable visit to England.
Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape
Fans of the British series Poldark, set in Cornwall, are likely to believe that Ross and Demelza Poldark and their Cornish family should be named a site. The Poldarks aren’t, but the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape is. In the early 19th century, the region was producing two-thirds of the world’s copper, making a significant contribution to the Industrial Revolution, thanks to the mining technology developed in Cornwall and West Devon.
Long before the Beatles launched the musical British invasion, Liverpool was a major trading center, and also, unfortunately, a major player as an 18th and 19th century people mover, as people left willingly (emigrants heading to America) and unwillingly (slaves). Liverpool’s pioneering in the development of modern dock technology, transport systems, and port management helped to build the city’s maritime influence.
Gough and Inaccessible Islands
Located in the south Atlantic, the uninhabited Gough and Inaccessible Islands are home to one of the cool temperate zone’s most undisturbed marine ecosystems in the cool temperate zone. Two endemic land bird species, the gallinule and the Gough rowettie, along with 12 different native plant species, call Gough Island home. In accessible Island’s two bird species, eight plant species, and at least ten invertebrates endemic to the island make this World Heritage Site something of a private party for the albatrosses, petrels, penguins who call it home.
Ironbridge Gorge, located in Shropshire, played a pivotal role in the Industrial Revolution and the changes that the innovations brought to world commerce. Ironbridge Gorge provided raw materials for the industrial explosion that would eventually transform Great Britain, and the remains of the mines, foundries, factories, workshops, public buildings and transport systems offer the evidence of those changes. The Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust was established to preserve the early beginnings of the Industrial Revolution.
Fans of Georgette Heyer’s Regency novels may be forgiven for envisioning Bath as a setting for early 19th century romance, but the city’s earliest visitors were the Romans, who took advantage of the natural hot springs. The Roman baths complex at the heart of the Roman town of Aquae Sulis and the Temple of Sulis Minerva testify to the city’s early history as a spa. The intention of John Wood Senior, Ralph Allen, and Beau Nash to turn Bath into one of Europe’s most beautiful city is demonstrated by the harmony of the buildings and their setting. The Assembly Rooms and the Pump Room attest to the Regency social set’s fondness for gathering and being seen. Jane Austen lived in the city from 1801-1806,a and set her novels Northanger Abbey and Persuasion in Bath.