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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  • Cultural
  • 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: 118

Most Impressive: Pre-Hispanic City of Chichen-Itza

Proposal New WHS: Works of Isambard Kingdom Brunel


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