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World's first UNESCO Trail launched in Scotland

The world’s first ever UNESCO Trail has been launched and brings together some of Scotland’s most iconic, diverse and culturally significant sites.

New_Lanark_c_VisitScotland_-_Kenny_Lam.jpgNew Lanark UNESCO World Heritage Site © VisitScotland / Kenny Lam

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. 

From the stunning mountains of the North West Highlands to the heart of Neolithic Orkney, and from the vibrant music scenes of Glasgow to Edinburgh’s outstanding heritage and literature festivals, there is a wealth of attractions for virtual visitors to discover on the trail.

As well as Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature and Glasgow UNESCO City of Music, places on the trail include New Lanark UNESCO World Heritage Site, Shetland UNESCO Global Geopark, North West Highlands UNESCO Global Geopark, the Forth Bridge UNESCO World Heritage Site, and Frontiers of the Roman Empire: Antonine Wall UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Shetland_Islands_c_VisitScotland_-_Kenny_Lam.jpgShetland UNESCO Global Geopark © VisitScotland / Kenny Lam

Designed 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 can be found at - showcases the breadth of culturally exceptional UNESCO designations on offer across Scotland, providing information and inspiration to visitors across the world.

Scotland is the first nation in the world to create such a pioneering initiative, which was developed through a unique partnership between VisitScotland, the Scottish Government, the UK National Commission for UNESCO, Historic Environment Scotland, NatureScot, the National Trust for Scotland and Scotland’s 13 UNESCO designations.

VA_Dundee_c_VisitScotland_-_Kenny_Lam.jpgDundee UNESCO City of Design © VisitScotland / Kenny Lam

Launching the trail in Dundee, a UNESCO City of Design, Scottish Tourism Minister Ivan McKee said: “Scotland has always been a pioneering nation and I’m pleased to see we’re leading the way with the world’s first UNESCO digital trail. Tourism is key to Scotland’s economy and as we begin to recover from the pandemic, this collaboration between the Scottish Government, VisitScotland, NatureScot and UNESCO could not be more timely. 

"Supported by £360,000 of Scottish Government funding, the UNESCO Trail will help to attract and welcome both domestic and international visitors again, by showcasing Scotland’s unique cultural heritage and many UNESCO sites.”

Janet Redler, Chief Executive of Janet Redler Travel & Tourism, added: “This fascinating new digital trail shines a light on some of Scotland’s most important historic and cultural landmarks – sites which have been recognised by UNESCO for their global significance. We’re sure that the trail will whet people’s appetite for a visit to Scotland to see some – or all – of these wonderful places.”

If you or your group would like to enjoy a tailor-made tour of Scotland, including visits to at least some of the sites on the UNESCO Trail, please do contact our friendly team today.

Tags: Scotland  UNESCO  UNESCO Trail  

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