Trip to Scotland

World First UNESCO Trail Connects 13 Sites in Scotland

Posted on 11/11/2021
The world’s first-ever UNESCO Trail has been created to bring together some of Scotland’s most iconic sites.

13 diverse sites with natural and cultural significance, including World Heritage Sites, Biospheres, Global Geoparks and Creative Cities now form a dedicated digital trail. Visit Scotland hopes the new UNESCO Trail will inspire visitors to experience the country’s distinctive heritage, whether they travel to all - or even only one - of the sites.

The UNESCO Trail takes visitors across Scotland to sites featuring the country’s history, its science, music, design and literature achievements, and its spectacular nature and cityscapes.

 Waverley Station toward Edinburgh's Old Town: VisitScotland / Kenny Lam

The 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, and
St Kilda World Heritage Site.

Scotland’s UNESCO digital trail is available at

“There is no other journey like Scotland’s UNESCO Trail and we want to inspire visitors to take a once-in-a-lifetime experience across the country, delving into its history and heritage, experiencing the wonder of its natural assets and the magic that inspires art, music and literature,' one VisitScotland official said.

'The innovative trail not only showcases the breadth of culturally astounding UNESCO designations we have across Scotland but also the exceptional visitor experiences this trail creates.'

Forth Bridge: VisitScotland / Kenny Lam

Scotland’s pioneering UNESCO Trail not only provides digital information and inspiration to visitors from around the world about the astounding UNESCO sites across Scotland to explore.

It also celebrates businesses and local communities that are committed to responsible tourism and it promotes sustainable travel options.

Antonine Wall: Visit Scotland/ Kinneil Fortlet

“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,” Professor Anne Anderson, Non-Executive Director at the UK National Commission for UNESCO said.

“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 UNESCO Trail was designed to support responsible tourism, encouraging 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.

Your trusted travel advisor can help you plan a journey of exploration of Scotland’s most unique and iconic sites and experiences.


Photo credits as noted.
Top photo: Eilean Donan Castle: VisitScotland / Paul Tomkins

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