Chichen Itza
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World Heritage Site

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Tom Livesey Profile

Tom Livesey

I only started WHS hunting in 2013 but I'm getting there slowly. I write about my visits at

The UK is a good base for a WHS-er because of its abundance of cheap flight connections to airports in the world's densest continent for WHSs. Unlike others on this site I love to fly, and prefer to arrive at a destination by air, always at a new airport if possible.

Visited Sites Tom Livesey

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  • Natural
  • Mixed

Recent Reviews Tom Livesey

Edinburgh Tom Livesey

Despite being a Brit this was my first time visiting Scotland when I travelled with friends in December 2016.

After checking in to our accommodation in the heart of Old Town we first visited the cathedral, named after St Giles. It is smaller than I expected from such an important city, but that probably stems from the fact it was built in an area that was already bustling, in the heart of Auld Reekie (as it was nicknamed for its smell). We stopped off beside a statue of Adam Smith, the father of modern economics and a face you can see on the £20 note (although ironically not on the Scottish version).

Highlights of my time in Edinburgh included a whisky museum, hiking up for the view from Arthur's Seat and enjoying some of the historic pubs in Edinburgh's New Town.

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Gorham's Cave Complex Tom Livesey

I travelled to the UK's newest WHS at Gibraltar in October 2016, particularly enjoying walking across the airport's runway after having landed on it 30 minutes before! I have for some time wanted to visit one of those few former outposts of empire that remain under the sovereignty of the UK, so was glad when this site was inscribed to have a good reason for travelling to one.

Unfortunately my experience of Gorham's Cave Complex was a fairly tangential. The visitors' centre is not yet open and I was unable to secure either a museum-facilitated tour or a boat ride to peer in from the sea. Given these constraints the best I could do was to walk down the Mediterranean Steps and have a look inside Goat’s Hair Twin Caves.

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Laurisilva of Madeira Tom Livesey

Madeira was my first stop on a December 2016 tour of Portugal and Spain. One experiences this WHS by hiking the ‘levada trails’, which are walking routes that follow man-made irrigation channels known as levadas. The levadas generally flow horizontally along the contours of the hills, with occasional descents down the slopes.

The most striking things about driving up from our hotel by the coast up to the laurisilva forests in Madeira’s uplands were the changes in weather and vegetation. The temperature dropped by about 10 degrees and the types of plants we saw changed as we ascended. It was as if it was still summer down at sea level but further up – as the temperature fell – the leaves had turned brown and autumn was well and truly underway.

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Alcala de Henares Tom Livesey

Alcala de Henares by Tom Livesey

My December 2016 day in Alcalá de Henares was not the most exciting one I've ever had, though I enjoyed spotting the storks that live all over the city's tall buildings.

Although this is still an active university city there wasn’t a lot to do on an overcast weekday in December. I took a look around the archaeological museum and the main university building, but that was pretty much it.

The city does have one of the better UNESCO logos I have seen, carved in along with its name in large stone blocks in the centre of a roundabout just outside the city walls.

Best WHS logos so far: Alcalá, St Lucia (large wooden carving across a valley from Gros Piton) and Cornish Mining Landscape (depicted in flowers in the town of Hayle).

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Toledo Tom Livesey

Toledo, visited December 2016, surprised me to the upside. I had done little research on it in advance of my one-night stay so when we turned up and found a charming medieval city with more than its fair share of winding alleyways I was very impressed.

We caught a coach to Toledo from Madrid. The El Greco museum (reopened since Els's visit) is excellent - particularly the series of Apostles with Jesus in the centre. For food I can recommend the newly-opened Mercado de San Agustín.

As a culture-rich former capital, Toledo is a popular tourist attraction. To me it felt like Venice without the canals. On our second day we woke up to a city shrouded in fog, making it feel like we were travelling back through the mists of time.

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Profile data

Name: Tom Livesey

Country: United Kingdom

Visited WHS: 109

Most Impressive: Pre-Hispanic City of Chichen-Itza

Proposal New WHS: Works of Isambard Kingdom Brunel

Recently Visited WHS

Update 10.02.17


  1. Villa d'Este
  2. Dorset and East Devon Coast
  3. Guimarães
  4. Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch
  5. Kew Gardens
  6. Liverpool
  7. Pitons Management Area
  8. Plantin-Moretus Museum
  9. Genoa
  10. Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape
  11. Lavaux, Vineyard Terraces
  12. Kotor
  13. Fortifications of Vauban
  14. Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal
  15. Valletta
  16. Tower of Hercules
  17. Heritage of Mercury
  18. Wadden Sea
  19. Longobards in Italy
  20. Megalithic Temples of Malta
  21. The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier
  22. Elvas
  23. Bridgetown
  24. University of Coimbra
  25. Speicherstadt and Kontorhaus District
  26. Singapore Botanic Gardens
  27. Forth Bridge
  28. Gorham's Cave Complex
  29. Amiens Cathedral
  30. Würzburg Residence
  31. Florence
  32. Medici Villas and Gardens
  33. Churches and Convents of Goa
  34. Belem
  35. Monastery of Batalha
  36. Convent of Christ in Tomar
  37. Old City of Berne
  38. Vatican City
  39. Castles of Augustusburg and Falkenlust
  40. Cologne Cathedral
  41. Warsaw
  42. Statue of Liberty
  43. Works of Antoni Gaudí
  44. Santiago de Compostela
  45. Istanbul
  46. Evora
  47. Giant's Causeway
  48. Durham Castle and Cathedral
  49. Ironbridge Gorge
  50. Stonehenge
  51. Gwynedd Castles
  52. Toledo
  53. Skocjan Caves
  54. Venice and its Lagoon
  55. Piazza del Duomo (Pisa)
  56. Castel del Monte
  57. Acropolis
  58. Blenheim Palace
  59. Westminster
  60. City of Bath
  61. Frontiers of the Roman Empire
  62. Great Wall
  63. Monticello
  64. Chichen-Itza
  65. Tower of London
  66. Canterbury
  67. Monastery of Alcobaça
  68. Paris, Banks of the Seine
  69. Prague
  70. Bamberg
  71. Horyu-ji Area
  72. Himeji-jo
  73. Matera
  74. Ancient Kyoto
  75. Roskilde Cathedral
  76. Kronborg Castle
  77. Jelling
  78. City of Luxembourg
  79. Sintra
  80. Edinburgh
  81. Colonia del Sacramento
  82. Oporto
  83. Independence Hall
  84. Cuenca
  85. La Lonja de la Seda
  86. The trulli of Alberobello
  87. Maritime Greenwich
  88. Palau de la Musica Catalana and Hospital de Sant Pau
  89. Botanical Garden, Padua
  90. Aquileia
  91. Portovenere, Cinque Terre, and the Islands
  92. Pompei
  93. Vézère Valley
  94. Flemish Béguinages
  95. Routes of Santiago de Compostela in France
  96. Alcala de Henares
  97. Museumsinsel (Museum Island)
  98. Villa Adriana (Tivoli)
  99. Rome
  100. Santa Maria delle Grazie
  101. Laurisilva of Madeira
  102. Belfries
  103. Dubrovnik
  104. Gusuku of Ryukyu
  105. Zollverein
  106. Corfu
  107. Blaenavon Industrial Landscape
  108. Roman Walls of Lugo
  109. Brugge