10 most popular heritage sites in Britain

The country is overflowing with historic buildings and fascinating ancient landmarks. Here’s our top 10 guide to what should be on any visitor’s must-see list.

toweroflondon
The Tower of London is the unmissable attraction for visitors to Britain

1. Tower of London

One of the world’s most famous fortresses, the Tower of London is home to the priceless Crown Jewels. Built as a royal residence and prison nearly 1,000 years ago, there are some fascinating stories within its walls.

St Paul's, London, Britain, travel
St Paul’s Cathedral  is also a must-see historic landmark Credit: Graham Lacdao

2. St Paul’s Cathedral, London

Iconic St Paul’s Cathedral has witnessed many significant events in Britain’s history, including the state funeral of Sir Winston Churchill and the marriage of Prince Charles and Princess Diana. A visit offers 1,200 years of history as well as the chance to climb the 237 steps to the top of the spectacular Dome. On your way up, you can witness the Whispering Gallery, where a whisper can be heard from 100 feet away, before admiring stunning views of London’s skyline.

Edinburgh castle
Edinburgh Castle, a historic building and a major tourist attraction, sits on Castle Rock above Edinburgh city. Credit: VisitBritain/Andrew Pickett

3. Edinburgh Castle

Historical evidence suggests that a fortress has existed on the site of castle since around AD600. Edinburgh Castle is a historic fortress which dominates the skyline of the city of Edinburgh, Scotland from its position on the Castle Rock.

Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle is the official residence of Her Majesty The Queen

4. Windsor Castle, Berkshire

Windsor Castle remains one the current monarchs favourite weekend retreats. It is the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world and the official residence of Her Majesty The Queen. Visitors can tour the State Apartments, which contain paintings by Rembrandt, Rubens and Gainsborough.

Houses of Parliament
The view from Victoria Tower of the Houses of Parliament Credit: VisitBritain/Andrew Pickett

5. Houses of Parliament, London

The Palace of Westminster is the meeting place of the House of Commons and the House of Lords, the two houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Reconstructed in the national Gothic style between 1834 and 1860 after a fire ravaged the original palace at Westminster, the Houses of Parliament are open to the public.

Roman Baths, Bath, heritage
The Roman Baths is a World Heritage site in Bath, Somerset Credit: VisitBritain/Simon Winnall

6. Roman Baths and Pump Room, Bath

The Roman Baths complex is a site of historical interest in the city of Bath. The house is a well-preserved Roman site for public bathing. Situated below street level opposite Bath Abbey, visitors to the Roman Baths are able to tour the surprisingly large site, which includes the Sacred Spring, the Temple and the Great Bath, but are not permitted to enter the water.

stonehenge
Stonehenge, a UNESCO world heritage site, is a prehistoric ring of huge standing stones within an earthworks on the plains in Wiltshire. Credit: VisitBritain/Andrew Pickett

7. Stonehenge, Wiltshire

One of the wonders of the world and the best-known prehistoric monument in Europe, the construction of Stonehenge began as long ago as 3,000BC. It was probably used originally as a burial site and in recent times has become a place of pilgrimage for neo-pagans.

Warwick Castle
Warwick Castle a medieval castle on the River Avon Credit: VisitBritain/LeeBeel

8. Warwick Castle

Built in 1068 by William the Conqueror, Warwick Castle was used as a fortification until the 17th century, before it was converted into a country house by the Greville family. Now it offers visitors a look at its one thousand years of jaw-dropping history.

 Credit: Roger G Howard
The birthplace of the Bard in Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon Credit: Roger G Howard

9. Shakespeare’s birthplace, Stratford-upon-Avon

Shakespeare’s Birthplace is a restored 16th-century half-timbered house situated in Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England, where it is believed that William Shakespeare was born in 1564 and spent his childhood years.

Chatsworth House
Historic Chatsworth House, a stately home with expansive grounds, in the Peak District Credit: VisitBritain/Tomo Brejc

10. Chatsworth House, Derbyshire

The magnificent seat of the Dukes of Devonshire, Chatsworth House stands on the east bank of the River Derwent near Bakewell. Its famous gardens cover an area of 105 acres and the country house has appeared in a number of television adaptations and films.

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History of the Tower of London
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History of the Great Fire of London
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