Skip to main content

EXETER INCLUDED ON NEW ILLUSTRATED MAP OF UNIQUE UNESCO SITES IN THE UK

EXETER CITY OF LITERATURE LAUNCHES FIRST LITERARY MAP OF EXETER AND DEVON

What: Two new maps launched—one includes all 58 UK UNESCO sites for the first time, and the other is the first printed map of Exeter and Devon’s literary sites.

Who: UNESCO map illustrated by artist Tom Woolley; Exeter City of Literature map designed and illustrated by Rosetta Westbrook of Get the Zest.

Why: Residents and visitors are encouraged to discover new sites and destinations on their doorstep.

Two new maps have been released to celebrate Exeter and the UK’s UNESCO designations, one from the UK National Commission for UNESCO and the other from Exeter UNESCO City of Literature.

Ignite your summer adventures and discover Exeter alongside 57 other unique UNESCO sites in the UK thanks to a newly illustrated map, now available to download for free from the UK National Commission for UNESCO. Residents and visitors across Exeter and Devon can also uncover the region’s literary heritage and culture with the first printed map, available at bookshops, visitor centres, libraries, and hotels.

Exeter was designated a UNESCO Creative City in 2019, a prestigious and permanent title that brings Exeter into partnership with 41 other Cities of Literature worldwide. Graphic designer and illustrator Rosetta Westbrook designed Devon’s first literary map showcasing the county’s famous literary figures, picturesque reading spots, independent bookshops, and literary landmarks. The UK’s UNESCO sites are destinations of world-class natural and cultural heritage. For the first time a map, designed by the creative cartographer Tom Woolley, brings together all of the Biosphere Reserves, Creative Cities, Global Geoparks, and World Heritage Sites across the British Isles that are waiting to be discovered.

The UNESCO map, released online this week, includes 29 World Heritage Sites, 13 Creative Cities, 9 Global Geoparks, and 7 Biosphere Reserves that cover 13% of the UK’s landmass. Visitors to the sites are invited to immerse themselves in the spectacular vistas of the slate landscape of Northwest Wales or the Scottish Highlands. Dive into the literary heritage of Manchester or Exeter. Uncover legends and folklore along the Giant’s Causeway or Stonehenge. Breathe in the sea air of North Devon or the English Riviera. And dance the night away in an iconic concert hall in Belfast or at a festival under the stars at one of the world’s largest deep space observatories at Jodrell Bank.

The map from the Exeter City of Literature charity includes 28 literary landmarks, 37 independent bookshops, 30 literary figures, and 15 reading spots from around Devon as chosen by members of the public, and 9 ‘inspired by Devon’ features. Visitors are encouraged to visit Agatha Christie’s home in Kingswear; take inspiration on Dartmoor as writers Arthur Conan Doyle, Martin Shaw, Philip Reeve, and Sophie Pavelle have done; pick up a book at one of Devon’s 37 independent bookshops and read in the public’s favourite reading spots such as Smeaton’s Tower Park in Plymouth or Bolberry Down near Hope Cove; and attend author readings, writing courses, plays, and exhibits at landmarks such as Exeter’s Custom House with Quay Words, Arvon in Sheepwash, the Devon and Exeter Institution, Northcott Theatre, and much more.

James Bridge, Chief Executive and Secretary-General of the UK National Commission for UNESCO said: “This new UNESCO in the UK map will inspire people for places to visit. It shows at a glance the breadth of amazing natural, cultural and built heritage designated by UNESCO as internationally significant in the UK. This great map highlights places to explore, on your doorstep and further afield, both the famous and those to discover for the first time.”

Anna Cohn Orchard, Executive Director of Exeter UNESCO City of Literature, said: “Our map not only shows people where to go, it also shows us where we’re from. The map highlights Devon’s incredible literary heritage and how this county has inspired writers for centuries, and it showcases the wealth of literary culture in and around Exeter today. Knowing more about the place you’re from brings people together, and we hope this map invites people to explore their communities together.”

The UNESCO map was produced by the UK National Commission for UNESCO as part of its Local to Global project, made possible with the GREAT Campaign and The National Lottery Heritage Fund thanks to National Lottery players. Local to Global aims to develop a resilient network for UNESCO Designated Sites in the UK. The map can be downloaded from: https://unesco.org.uk/our-sites

The literary map of Exeter and Devon was produced by the charity Exeter City of Literature, made possible by Arts Council England. The map can be found in visitor centres, libraries, bookshops, and hotels throughout Devon.