York City Enters Bid to Become a UNESCO World Heritage Site

No, don’t confuse it for the Big Apple. But the small city of York has an incredible history and heritage that is helping it gain worldwide acclaim.

It was recently revealed that the historic city centre of York has entered a bid to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This would mean that the iconic city centre would join the prestigious group of places that are deemed to be among the most historically significant places in the world. Keep reading to learn more about York’s historic city centre and what the bid could mean for the city.

The City of York

You only have to take a quick glance at the history of York to discover why it is being considered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located in the northeast of England, York was founded by the ancient Romans in 71AD and conquered and settled by the Vikings in 866 and became the capital of Viking territory in Britain – there is evidence of this all around the York area. It also boasts an iconic 13th-century Gothic cathedral as well as city walls that form a walkway on both sides of the River Ouse. 


What Makes York so Appealing to Tourists?

These days, York welcomes 8.4 million visitors each year adding around £765 million to the economy and adding 24,000 jobs. York is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the north of the UK and there are many transport links to York, including trains to York from London that take around 2 hours. It is easy to see why it is such a popular tourist spot as it is one of the most historic cities in the UK with many notable highlights. It is also an incredibly charming city to explore on foot with over 365 pubs to choose from! A few of the most popular tourist activities here include:

  • Walking the city walls
  • Visiting York Minster
  • Jorvik Viking Centre
  • Clifford’s Tower
  • National Railway Museum
  • York Castle Museum

The Bid to Become a UNESCO Site

Every 10 years, the Government’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport publishes a “Tentative List” that is given to UNESCO to consider. It includes the places that have the best chance of succeeding and they will now be working with local authorities in York to develop their bid. If they are successful, York could become a World Heritage Site by 2028 or 2030 and join places like the Pyramids, Great Wall of China and Taj Mahal. Of course, this would help to generate a lot more tourism for the city that could improve the city and the entire region.

York’s bid to gain UNESCO World Heritage Site status is an exciting time for the city, region and entirety of the UK. The beautiful and historically significant city of York is already a tourist hotspot thanks to its remarkable history, architecture and culture and it is hoped that this will see the city join the prestigious global group. 

Photos via Unsplash.