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World Heritage Sites in Scotland

World Heritage Sites are recognised by UNESCO (The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) as places of internationally significant cultural or natural heritage, whose Outstanding Universal Value is considered to transcend national boundaries and to be of importance for future generations.

Being placed on the World Heritage List is a high accolade and demonstrates international recognition of the Site’s significance. Countries with World Heritage Sites have to manage them to ensure that their Outstanding Universal Value is sustained into the future. Scotland currently has six World Heritage Sites.

Zoom in on the map to get details of the site boundaries including buffer zones and sensitive areas where relevant.

Indicative Key

Site BoundarySite Boundary Site Buffer ZoneSite Buffer Zone Sensitive AreaSensitive Area

Sites in Scotland inscribed on the World Heritage List

  • Forth Bridge - is a cantilever trussed railway bridge spanning the estuary of the River Forth. Opened in 1890 it had the longest bridge spans in the world, a record held for 27 years. It was the world’s first major steel structure, and remains a potent symbol of Britain’s industrial, scientific, architectural and transport heritage.
  • Heart of Neolithic Orkney - is one of the richest surviving Neolithic landscapes in Western Europe. Its impressive domestic and ritual monuments are masterpieces of Neolithic design and construction and give us exceptional insights into the society, skills and spiritual beliefs of the people who built them.  
  • New Lanark - is a restored 18th century cotton mill village situated in the narrow gorge of the River Clyde. Renowned for the enlightened management of the social pioneer Robert Owen, it was the biggest cotton mill in Scotland and one of the largest industrial groups in the world.
  • The Antonine Wall - marked the most northerly frontier of the Roman Empire nearly 2000 years ago and was also its most complex frontier.  Running across central Scotland, it was built by Roman soldiers for the Emperor Antoninus Pius around AD 142, their efforts commemorated by a unique group of milestones.
  • The Old and New Towns of Edinburgh - form one of the most beautiful cityscapes in the world. The city’s unique character springs from the contrast between the medieval Old Town, with its distinctive narrow passageways, and the 18th century New Town, the best preserved example of Georgian town planning in the UK.
  • St Kilda - is a group of remote islands and sea stacs 100 miles off the west coast of Scotland. They host the largest colony of seabirds in Europe and unique populations of sheep, field-mice and wrens. Evocative cultural remains chart some 5000 years of history until evacuation in 1930.

Contact us

World Heritage Site Coordination Team
Historic Scotland
Longmore House
Salisbury Place
Tel: +44 (0) 131 668 8763