The Best UNESCO World Heritage Sites for Kids

5 Amazing Places to Inspire Your Children

 

With the recent addition of another 29 World Heritage sites, UNESCO’s list of cultural and natural wonders now stands at over a thousand. So where should you start? Here’s our pick of the top five sites for families.

 
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Every primary school child across the country learns about POMPEII, so why not give your kids a lesson they’ll never forget? Buried beneath several metres of volcanic ash and lava when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD, the houses in Pompeii capture an exact moment in time – this is the best-preserved Roman town in the world, home to ancient shops, temples, a huge amphitheatre and luxurious villas, their walls still adorned with frescoes.

 
POMPEII, ITALY

POMPEII, ITALY

 
 
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The JURASSIC COAST, runs for nearly 100 miles along the coastline of Dorset and Devon. It’s a dramatic stretch of shingly beaches, secret coves and white chalk cliffs that provides an insight into life on Earth 185 million years ago. This is prime fossil-hunting territory – the beaches between Charmouth and Lyme Regis are your best bets for finding ammonites and the fossilized backbones of giant Ichthyosaurs.

 
THE JURASSIC COAST, UK

THE JURASSIC COAST, UK

 
 
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Only inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage list earlier this month, volcanic VATNAJÖKULL NATIONAL PARK is vast in the extreme, accounting for nearly 15 percent of Iceland’s territory and incorporating the monstrous Vatnajökull ice cap, the largest in Europe. You can best experience the park at Skatafell, where your kids can hike up to a calving glacier or a “black waterfall” that runs over rows of striking basalt columns.

 
VATNAJÖKULL NATIONAL PARK, ICELAND

VATNAJÖKULL NATIONAL PARK, ICELAND

 
 
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Little changed since the Middle Ages, the medina in FEZ is the archetypal assault on the senses, a tangle of spice souks, pasha’s palaces and dead-end alleyways. Peer into ancient Koranic schools, try your hand at bartering for Moroccan slippers and head down to the stinky leather tanneries, one of the most remarkable sights (and smells) in the whole of Fez.

 
SPICE SOUK, FEZ MEDINA, MOROCCO

SPICE SOUK, FEZ MEDINA, MOROCCO

 
 
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Safaris are life-changing experiences for children, but imagine introducing your kids to the real-life Lion King in the SERENGETI, a legendary national park that’s home to an estimated 3.5 million animals. The Big Five are all here, in abundance, along with zebras, giraffes, hartebeests and hyenas, seasonally moving around the plains in a remarkable migration that is rightly known as The Greatest Show on Earth.

 
THE SERENGETI, TANZANIA

THE SERENGETI, TANZANIA

 
 
Keith Drew