The heritage of our cities not only looks pleasing to the eye if it has been sustained and looked after correctly, but also improves our quality of life without us realising, the aesthetic quality of our surroundings provides a sense of well-being for all of us. This is why it is important for us to experience and learn about our heritage as possible, putting yourself in the location over centuries ago and seeing how much it would have changed. The sustainability of our heritage sites should not be ignored, yet underestimated, but thrived upon creating new and exciting opportunities of which have been taken advantage of by numerous cities, but we’ve selected 5 that we believe have gone the extra mile in preserving their heritage for all to enjoy:

1. Bath 

BathGiven a title of having ‘special cultural or physical significance’ by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), the historic city of Bath can be preserved for future generations, allowing visitors to relish in its tranquil atmosphere and unique position as one of the UKs most idyllic cities. But there is more to meet the eye than it’s Georgian architecture, providing visitors with attractions regardless of age.

Iconic attractions include the ever present natural hot spas and the original roman baths, ideal for those seeking a relaxing weekend city break, the glorious and prominent Bath Abbey, the Royal Crescent, Theatre Royal and Victoria Park. Whilst during the day there is much to see around Bath, there is more to offer in terms of days out; situated locally near to highly reputable golf clubs such as Manor House Golf Club, located near to Longleat Safari Park, Stonehenge and the local celebrities at Bath Rugby Club. As well as providing an excellent shopping experience in the city centre, renowned for its shopping district, with every high street name available.

The atmosphere doesn’t diminish during the night in Bath, with the nightlife thriving amongst varieties of popular restaurants, local pubs, comedy clubs, cafes, bars and clubs. So why not book an extended weekend away in Bath, staying in some of the most prestigious hotels or B&Bs in the city and even take the roof top tour bus around the city and take in the surroundings whilst learning about the historic city of Bath.

2. Chester

chester_eastgate_clockWith over 200 years of history, Chester compliments their heritage with a more contemporary, cosmopolitan city which much to offer regardless of age. With spectacular architecture still preserved today, Chester boasts many landmarks that can rarely be found around the UK, contemplating the landmarks with a modern twist, including the introduction of the stunning Grosvenor shopping district. The Chester Cathedral is a sight to be seen, free of entry to ensure that you get the most out of your time in the historic city of Chester.  Bespoke tour guides on open roof top buses can enhance your experience in Chester, with further expertise gifting you with knowledge and a fantastic experience, showing you other landmarks including the preservation of the Roman Amphitheatre, Eastgate clock and the Chester rows. Weekend away with friends ? Test your luck at the Chester Racecourse during the summer season, a great day out for all.

If you want to venture further out of Chester there are a number of activities to suit the family, Chester zoo, one of the most iconic and well-known zoos in the UK, the recent construction of the Cheshire oaks shopping district with all of the major high street retailers found and Delamere forest, where many activities such as ‘Go Ape’ high ropes activity centre and off road segways can finish the weekend off in style.

A thriving city, that recognises the roots it was built on, there is no reason not to visit Chester !

3. York

York, EnglandA unique city as a result of its various tenants over the past 2000 years, Romans, vikings, Saxons, Georgians and Edwardians have all settled in York, visible through the mix of architecture ever present throughout the city.  Deemed, “Britains best preserved medieval city” by many, York offers much more than simply guided tours about William the Conqueror, it has a buzz of a contemporary mix, whilst recognising its true heritage, getting its aesthetically pleasing look it has today.

York Minster has foundations roots in old English history, becoming the most iconic building within the county let alone the city, earning its’ title as one the most magnificent cathedrals in the world. Mix this in with another piece of York’s rich history by involving yourself at the Jorvik Viking Centre, discovering the journey York went through almost 1000 years ago. If this isn’t outgoing enough, then why not check out the Yorkboat tours along the River Ouse, giving you another view of the cities iconic landmarks, or potentially walk up to Cliffords Tower, standing proud as a symbol of power for previous English medieval kings to have a stake-hold of, allowing you to take in the magnificent views across the whole of York, giving you a sight like no other.

For just a couple of days to spare you could be blown away by the story in which York tells of its rich history, mixed in with its contemporary feel today.

4. Durham

durham_cathedralSituated in the North East of England, Durham possesses one of the richest cultures yet, built on its previous religious history and enhanced by the Normans establishing many noticeable identities throughout the city.  The iconic Durham Cathedral was built in honour of Saint Cuthbert, and the Benedictines who spread Christianity around England, adopted by Durham in the 11th century.

Learn more about the Norman influence on the city, seen by the integrated architecture, developing Durham as a stronghold for the Prince Bishops upon a peninsula, with innovative ways of enhancing their battle stronghold, noticeable through the steep banks that would protect the city from attacks around the meandering River Wear.

The city itself has remained the same for over 1000 years, with little significant changes such as the castle previously inhabited by the Prince Bishops,now the stronghold for Durham University, the third oldest University in England, relishing in its history. This is what makes Durham a spectacle to go and see for yourself, unlike most modern day cities building on their historical platforms, Durham recognises the importance of sustaining the infrastructure that made it such a powerhouse of a city in the first place.

5. Portsmouth

hms-victoryThe last city we recommend on visiting that would not previously be mentioned is Portsmouth, built on its naval heritage and thriving as a result today. Here’s some of the monuments you can come and enjoy; the HMS Victory or known as  ‘Lord Nelson’s Flagship’ during the Battle of Trafalgar , moving to the dockyard at Portsmouth in 1922, preserved for the public to see. It is still the oldest naval ship still in commission today, becoming the flagship of the First Sea Since (Head of the Navy) in 2012.

Also on display at the historic dockyard in Portsmouth is the only 16th century warship to kept conserved today, ‘The Mary Rose’, once Henry VIII’s favourite warship, but was sank nearly 470 years ago today. Since then the ship has been raised form the solent and preserved for all to see, meticulously conserving ship in a purpose built museum with state of the art tools to avoid losing a piece of great British history. The museum cost £27 million to build opening its doors only until recently, so it is a opportunity to become part of history and see how the city was built on such heritage.

The city has much more to offer on its already impressive naval heritage, being the birthplace of famous writer, Charles Dickens, with purpose built tours showing the streets of one of the greatest writers and how he grew up in such a city like Portsmouth. On a larger scale, you can take in the whole atmosphere of the city above the skyline by climbing the stairs of Spinnaker Tower, standing at 170m tall, overlooking the Royal Marines museum, learning about the heritage of Britains superior military history in the same weekend.