TripAdvisor Reveals Largest Analysis of UK World Heritage Sites Ever Conducted

TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel site, today reveals the UK results from the biggest analysis ever conducted of UNESCO World Heritage sites. Blenheim Palace topped the ‘Best Condition’ category, while Old and New Towns of Edinburgh took first place on the ‘Most Recommended’ list.

Via its user reviews, TripAdvisor, in partnership with UNESCO, has collected over 34,000* responses from travellers who have visited World Heritage sites.

“The UK has 28 World Heritage sites to be proud of,” commented Emma O’Boyle, TripAdvisor spokesperson. “Those in the ‘Best Condition’ and ‘Most Recommended’ categories should be particularly pleased as these recognitions reflect the positive experiences and opinions of thousands of travellers.”

London and Scotland featured prominently in the results. Four London sites – Kew Gardens, Tower of London, Westminster Palace and Maritime Greenwich – appeared across the ‘Best Condition’ and ‘Most recommended’ lists, while Scotland’s Heart of Neolithic Orkney, New Lanark and Old and New Towns of Edinburgh also appeared in these categories.

Interestingly, Stonehenge, one of the UK’s most internationally famous attractions, and one of the seven medieval wonders of the world, featured only on the ‘In Need of Most Attention’ list and failed to appear on the ‘Most Recommended’ list.

Best Condition Sites

According to TripAdvisor travellers, these are the UK’s UNESCO World Heritage sites in best condition:

1. Blenheim Palace – Oxfordshire

2. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew – London

3. Heart of Neolithic Orkney – Scotland

4. Durham Castle and Cathedral – Durham

5. City of Bath – Somerset

6. Giant’s Causeway and Causeway Coast – Northern Ireland

7. New Lanark – Scotland

8. Tower of London – London

9. Westminster Palace, Westminster Abbey and Saint Margaret’s Cathedral – London

10. Studley Royal Park including the Ruins of Fountains Abbey – Yorkshire

Most Recommended Sites

These are the UK World Heritage sites travellers most recommend:

1. Old and New Towns of Edinburgh – Scotland

2. Westminster Palace, Westminster Abbey and Saint Margaret’s Cathedral – London

3. Tower of London – London

4. City of Bath – Somerset

5. Maritime Greenwich – London

6. Durham Castle and Cathedral – Durham

7. Canterbury Cathedral, St Augustine’s Abbey, and St Martin’s – Kent

8. Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City

9. Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape

10. Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd – Wales

Sites most in need of attention

These UK World Heritage sites are those most in need of attention, according to TripAdvisor travellers:

1. Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape

2. Hadrian’s Wall (Frontiers of the Roman Empire WHS)- Wallsend-on-Tyne to Bowness-on-Solvay, England

3. Dorset and East Devon Coast

4. Canterbury Cathedral, St Augustine’s Abbey, and St Martin’s – Kent

5. Old and New Towns of Edinburgh – Scotland

6. Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City

7. Saltaire – Yorkshire

8. Ironbridge Gorge – Shropshire

9. Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd – Wales

10. Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites – Wiltshire

The two year partnership between TripAdvisor, and UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre launched in October 2009 to raise awareness of and gain travellers’ support to preserve natural and cultural sites inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage list.

Within the partnership, TripAdvisor is also donating up to $1.5 million (USD) of support to the World Heritage Centre to help monitor the conservation of the world’s most important cultural and historic sites. TripAdvisor shares the feedback to the World Heritage Centre so that it may better engage UNESCO member states in matters of site conservation.

11 Trends For Travel to India and Beyond For 2011

Guys Hit Abu Dhabi’s Ferrari Extravaganza in World’s Largest Indoor Theme Park
Girls Go Treasure Hunting at Bustling Bazaars in Colorful Settings

One of the best tour companies for India, Indus Travels, shares their views on hot destinations, new experiences as well as overarching trends in India and nearby countries.

1. Adrenaline Rushes in First Ever Ferrari Theme Park – On this ultimate new splurge package to Dubai and Abu Dhabi, travelers get to visit the world’s largest indoor theme park and enjoy an adrenaline rush on the fastest roller coaster on the planet, combined with the best hotels and feasts that will make them feel like a sheikh on vacation.

2. The Shopping Craze – Surveys have shown that shopping is the number one activity (female) travelers want to engage in on vacation, and shopping excursion to bustling bazaars in such colorful destinations as India and Nepal offer a multitude of treasures to be discovered, from hand-woven baskets and intricate wood carvings to fabulous jewelry made with precious stones (including diamonds, which are cut in exported from India) and paintings.

3. Fabulous Accommodations for Every Budget – Indus Travels offers a choice of three accommodation categories, from comfortable standard, to superior boutique hotels and high-end luxury resorts like Oberoi and Aman to match any budget.

4. High End Hotels in Iconic Places – From the Oberoi in Agra, offering the most splendid views of the famous Taj Mahal, to the Hotel Everest View in Nepal, the highest placed hotel in the world with stunning vistas of the world’s highest mountain, Mt. Everest, Asia is not short of luxurious accommodations with some of the most incredible views in the world.

5. Culinary Tours With Celebrity Chef – Indus Travels offers exquisite insights into the Indian cuisine on a trip with Vikram Vij, one of the best known Indian chefs in the Americas and author of two books, for all those that believe cuisine is a, if not the highlight of the destination. Culinary tours to Turkey are also available.

6. Cultural Immersion on Himalayan Experience Tour – Arguably Indus Travels’ most “out-of-the-box” tour, this custom trip through Northern India allows travelers to get deeply involved with the local culture through visits of local villages, temples, monasteries and markets as well as a stay at the incredibly gorgeous and remote Leti 360° resort, voted one of the best hotels in the world for three years running and a place that has to been seen to be believed.

7. Culture and Tiger Trekking in Nepal: A Different Approach – Indus Travels’ Nepal tours have a unique focus on the country’s fascinating culture and wildlife, such as tiger trekking in little visited Chitwan National Park on their “Naturally Nepal” tour, aspects other outfitters tend to neglect on their trekking trips.

8. Sri Lanka is Back! – After a troubled past, Sri Lanka is making a great comeback as one of the most diverse and alluring new destinations, with an incredible number of cultural and culinary treasures, soft adventure activities and wildlife excursions on offer. Indus Travels offers a variety of trips to the island state, such as “Best of Sri Lanka” and “Grand Sri Lanka”.

9. Evergreen With Exotic Spin: Family Travel – Intergenerational travel has been a buzz word for years, but what’s new is family’s desire to explore more exotic places like India and Nepal, for kids to learn about the world around them and everyone to expand their horizon while spending valuable time together.

10. Discover the “Royal Bhutan” – One of those “hidden secret destinations”, the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan fascinates travelers with its unique and well-protected culture, unspoilt nature and the best of the best in high-end accommodation, such as Aman, Uma and Taj on Indus Travels’ new custom journey “Explore Bhutan”.

11. Shorter Lead Times, More Intensive Experiences – Indus Travels has reported a huge increase in demand for out-of-the-ordinary travel experiences and cultural immersion of 60% over the previous year, which they accredit to global awareness and the travelers’ desire to discover “the real thing” on their trips. At the same time, they have observed a trend towards shorter booking periods, which have reduced from twelve to fifteen months, to now only three to six months in advance.

Easter chaos predicted for holidaymakers

British Airways cabin crew have voted for further strikes that could disrupt the Easter holiday and the royal wedding.

The Unite union, which represents many of BA flight attendants have said the strike showed ‘determination’ to continue this long running dispute.

No dates have been named, however the union have to strike once within 28 days and will have to provide at least seven day’s notice before a walk out.

In the potential firing line for the strike is the Easter break and the May half-term holiday, with the risk of action going will into July. Anyone flying in for the wedding could also see disruptions. Unite general secretary Len McCluskey has already warned families: ‘Don’t go on holiday.’

Mr McCluskey has met BA chief executive Keith Williams, saying: ‘We continue  to be in discussions with the company  to find a solution to this long-running dispute.’ Even with this latest strike vote secured, he still hopes fresh talks will resolve this on-going dispute.

The timing of this strike will leave thousands of holidaymakers unsure of travelling, a tactic aimed at hitting BA where its hurts – the school holiday bookings.

A BA spokesman said: ‘This is a time for cooperation, not confrontation.

‘We hope talks will bring an end to this dispute, which is what the overwhelming majority of our cabin crew want.’

The airline has however insisted that BA have a contingency plan in place for such strikes and they will ‘keep BA flying’.

Bob Atkinson, a travel expert at travelsupermarket.com, advised passengers to get up-to-date contact information for airlines and take out travel insurance with a strike clause in case of disruption.

The latest vote – the fourth official ballot in two years – follows a re-ballot of a poll in January which the airline had challenged.

The row started almost two years ago over cost-cutting. BA cabin crew carried out 22 days of strikes last year which cost the airline more than £150million.