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Four WHS within running distance

 
 
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Author meltwaterfalls
Partaker
#1 | Posted: 1 Apr 2010 12:08 | Edited by: meltwaterfalls 
Sorry but this is a tiny bit of self promotion, but I thought you may be interested.

Last week I went out of my way to make a new connection: Four WHS within running distance of each other.

Els has inadvertently set down a bit of a challenge for me. On the walking connection she stated that only three of the four London WHS were within the required range. I took this as a bit of a challenge and as I am currently training for a Marathon my training partner and I decided to see if we could run between all four.

We did it on a particularly nice Sunday afternoon starting at Kew Gardens at about 11:30. After a nice run along the Thames we headed through Kensington to Hyde Park and Buckingham Palace before making it to Westminster in 1h31m36s. Then it was a nice run along the Thames Embankment taking in many of the city's main sights (and many of its tourists) to arrive at the Tower of London in 2h00m41s. Then after running over Tower Bridge it was a somewhat dull run through some of London's less visited suburbs. This was when the bad preparation kicked in and we finally stumbled into Maritime Greenwich after 2h49m05s of running. All in all we covered 26km or just over 16miles. After that we headed straight into the Trafalgar pub for some much needed rehydration.

It wasn't the fastest of times but as far as I can tell we were the first people ever to run between 4 World Heritage Sites, does that make it a World Record?
I have some pictures of me slowly degenerating as I arrive at each WHS which i will try to post somewhere, sometime soon.

Sorry for the bit of self promotion but at least we can have a new connection.

I am running my first Marathon on 18th April 2010 and if I make it through that I may well see if I can shave some time of that record later in the year.

Author Solivagant
Partaker
#2 | Posted: 2 Apr 2010 02:39 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Nice concept, and nice running, Meltwaterfalls (especially if you carried that cricket bat!)

When you are really "Marathon fit" after your Brighton date you might like to consider the following :-

Start off in the brewery at the Grande Place, Brussels with a light refreshment, run out to Avenue Palmerston to pick up Hotel van Eetvelde (one of the Horta Town Houses), cut down to Tervurenlaan to take in Palais Stoclet, continue east to Tervuren (going through the Park if you like!) and join Tervuurensteenweg, continue to Leuven, enter via the Grande Beguinage and then on to the Grote Markt with a drink under one of the Belfries of Flanders!!

I can't work out the exact distance of this without a larger scale map of Belgium than I have access to at the moment, but the "official" Brussels to Leuven distance is only 28kms/18 miles so there is a fair bit of "spare" within a marathon to cover the slight diversions to see WHS!

If we define "Running Distance" as being Marathon length at most (Ok there are "extreme runners" doing 100s of kms but this is a good practical definition I feel) I don't know of anywhere else in the World where you could pick up 5 different WHS during such a run. Nor as yet have I been able to find another set of 4 within such a distance to place alongside your London group to make up a threesome "Connection" of "At least 4 WHS within Running Distance (defined as being no more than a Marathon)". Can anyone else find one??

There are different tunes which could be played to include different Belfries or Beguinages around Brussels to add to the 3 city sites but we should exclude these as being "trumped" by the bigger set of 5. It really is "amazing" how the Brussels area has attracted so many WHS. Who would have imagined that, out of all the amazing heritage areas around the world, it would be the area in and around Brussels which has turned out to be the World's greatest heritage hot spot for "World class" sites in such a concentrated area. Well if you believe that you will believe anything!! But I guess we shouldn't be surprised that Brussels operates just like the EU which has its home there - collecting WHS just like it collects European money and power!

Author meltwaterfalls
Partaker
#3 | Posted: 3 Apr 2010 09:03 
Thanks for the feedback, but I may have to leave the cricket bat at home for the marathon.
I can't believe I missed the quintuple prospects of Leuven as it is a city I know very well. Perhaps I can tie a run in with my next visit, and there are plenty of good places to rehydrate afterwards as well.

Author ersy
Partaker
#4 | Posted: 19 Aug 2019 07:24 
Like the idea. I've got another 4 sites that are even closer together in Beijing: starting at the Temple of Heaven continue north to the Forbidden City and continue to Houhai Lake (which is part of the Grand Canal site) before veering northwest and ending up at the Summer Palace. According to Google Maps it's 23.1km, though might be a little further in actuality, but still under 24km. Plus if the Central Axis of Beijing gets the nod it'll be 5 sites (or 4 sites in under 8km).

Author ersy
Partaker
#5 | Posted: 19 Aug 2019 07:24 
Wouldn't recommend running through the streets of Beijing though - air quality is horrendous!

Author meltwaterfalls
Partaker
#6 | Posted: 19 Aug 2019 08:14 | Edited by: meltwaterfalls 
Oh nice spot. I must admit I'm with you on it perhaps not being the healthiest run, and the section from Houhai Lake out to the Summer Palace has the potential to be rather grim.

But still a nice addition. Possible shortest route 20.9km I reversed it to end at Temple of Heaven as that may be closer to a potential city centre hotel.

Also here is another shorter one, that likewise may not actually be a fun run, but gets you four WHS and two Tentative sites in under 20km.

Mexico City:
UNAM - Casa Barragan (This looks like a really grim run along a heavily used road at altitude proceed with caution!!) - Zocalo to pic up both the Historic Centre of Mexico City and Camino Real.
(with two minor detours to future proof with tentative sites Museo Casa Estudio Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo and Chapultepec Woods, Hill and Castle, though the later makes plenty of sense to add at least a little greenery)

Possible route

And not quite making the 20km cut off (29km and with a rather gruelling start to the run) there is another one:

Seoul
Namhansanseong (South Gate) - Seolleung Royal Tombs (Royal Joseon Tombs) - (via Gwanghuimun for the Seoul City Walls T-List site) - Jongmyo Shrine - Changdeokgung Palace.

For some reason Google Maps doesn't seem to offer directions in Korea at the moment, so here it is in Bing Maps, which is almost as gruelling to construct as it would be to run.

Author meltwaterfalls
Partaker
#7 | Posted: 19 Aug 2019 11:15 | Edited by: meltwaterfalls 
Just to compile all of these with maps:

I will try to see if there are any others where there are 4 WHS within marathon distance (42.195 km / 26 miles 385 yards).

Brussels (1 & 1.5): 4 WHS, 1 t-list, 13.4km or top it up to 4 WHS, 2 t-list, 14.7km (Primeval Beech Forests (Sonian Forest), Stoclet Palace, Horta Town Houses (Van Eetvelde), Grand Place + Galleries St Hubert & Palais de Justice)

Brussels (2 & 2.5): 6 WHS, 1 t-list, 36.5km or top it up to 6 WHS, 2 t-list, 37.8 km (Grand Place, Horta Town Houses (Van Eetvelde), Stoclet Palace, Primeval Beech Forests (Sonian Forest), Flemish Béguinages (Groot Begijnhof, Leuven), Belfries (St Peters, Leuven) + Galleries St Hubert & Palais de Justice)

Mexico City: 4 WHS, 2 t-list, 19.2km (UNAM - Casa Barragan, Historic Centre of Mexico City, Camino Real + Museo Casa Estudio Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo & Chapultepec Woods, Hill and Castle)

Paris (1 & 1.5): 4 WHS 20.2km or 4 WHS and 2 t-list 23.6km (Versailles, Le Corbusier (Immeuble locatif à la Porte Molitor), Paris, Pilgrimage Route to Santiago in France (Tour St Jacques) + Hangar Y and Office National d'Etudes et de Recherches Aérospatiales, Meudon)

Beijing: 4 WHS, 1 t-list, 20.9km (Summer Palace, Grand Canal, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven + Central Axis of Beijing)

London: 4 WHS, 24.9km (Kew Gardens, Westminster, Tower of London, Greenwich)

Seoul: 4 WHS, 1 t-list, 29.2 km (Namhansanseong, Royal Joseon Tombs, Jongmyo Shrine, Changdeokgung Palace + Seoul City Walls)

Rome: 4 WHS, 1 t-list, 36.5 km (Villa d'Este, Villa Adriana, Rome, Vatican City + via Francigena)

Jerusalem: 4 WHS, 1 t-list 40km (Hebron, Battir, Bethlehem, Jerusalem + Jerusalem (Israeli tentative site))

And just in case there is any movement on these tentative sites I've mapped some potential future option that will smash the current Brussels record:

Esfahan: 3 WHS, 2 t-list 6.9km (Persian Garden (Chehel Sotoon Palace), Meidan Emam, Masjed-e Jâme, Vank Cathedral & Industrial Heritage of textile in Iran (Risbaf Cotton Factory)) 5.4 km for 4 WHS if the industrial heritage of textiles gets inscribed.

Valletta: 3 WHS, 1 t-list 5.2km!! (Megalithic Temples (Tarxien), Hypogeum, Valletta + Knights Fortifications (Floriana))

Author Colvin
Partaker
#8 | Posted: 19 Aug 2019 19:25 
You might be able to find a route from Vatican City to Tivoli, which is about 19-20 miles outside Rome. That would give you another spot with four sites (plus two countries).

BTW, way to go on your marathon training — that's an awesome goal!

Author winterkjm
Partaker
#9 | Posted: 20 Aug 2019 00:18 | Edited by: winterkjm 
Namsansanseong is not really realistic, nor useful. Namhansanseong is 12 km in circumference, so even if you take the less than ideal route from North of the Han River to one of the gates, you are still left with a rather large WHS to explore, unless you just immediately turn back? Shouldn't there at least be some criteria for a scenic route?

If Hanyangdoseong, the Seoul City Wall is inscribed in 2021 or 2022, a unique WHS running experience will come into fruition. Potentially 4 world heritage sites and a rather enjoyable visiting experience!

Changdoeokgung - Jongmyo - Dongdaemun Gate - Naksan Park - Hyehwamun Gate - Jeongneung Royal Tomb

This route would cover about 6 km and include 2km of Seoul City Wall, where you can run on or alongside the historic wall.

Author meltwaterfalls
Partaker
#10 | Posted: 20 Aug 2019 05:43 | Edited by: meltwaterfalls 
winterkjm:
take the less than ideal route from North of the Han River to one of the gates, you are still left with a rather large WHS to explore, unless you just immediately turn back? Shouldn't there at least be some criteria for a scenic route?

Oh yes, this wouldn't be about the visiting experience, most of these just start/ finish at the entrance gate to one or more WHS.

If you were interested in a decent run or good visiting experiences these wouldn't be routes I would choose and I certainly wouldn't contemplate the Mexico City or Beijing ones without careful consideration of the health impacts.
Even the London one has some stretches that are a pretty rubbish (Hammersmith - Kensington Gardens was rather boring and Bermondsey to Greenwich nearly defeated us).

I guess the only criteria I had was that you have to enter the core zone -or- skirt the boundary where an entrance fee would be required/ access is limited. This is more about the running between specific points than the visiting experience.

winterkjm:
Changdoeokgung - Jongmyo - Dongdaemun Gate - Naksan Park - Hyehwamun Gate - Jeongneung Royal Tomb

Yep that looks like a rather lovely run, and much more enjoyable form of exercise than many of the current proposals.

Thanks for flagging up Tivoli Colvin, I've added it though reveresed the order to descend from Tivoli down to the Vatican as a down hill slope at the start feels nicer than an uphill climb at the end.
It looks like vast stretches of it would be rather work-a-day, running through the industrial outskirts of Rome and that road in from Tivoli doesn't look very pedestrian friendly, but it has one hell of a finish; round the Colosseum, past the Pantheon, across Piazza Navonna, over the Tiber before running down via della Conciliazione into St Peter's Square.

Author Colvin
Partaker
#11 | Posted: 20 Aug 2019 07:59 
meltwaterfalls:
I've added it though reveresed the order to descend from Tivoli down to the Vatican as a down hill slop at the start feels nicer than an uphill climb at the end.

That makes a lot of sense. Also, I noticed that no one has brought up Paris yet. You should be able to do a route from Versailles to Notre Dame (about 15 miles), ending at Tour Saint-Jacques (Routes of Santiago de Compostela in France), while also throwing in a couple of Le Corbusier buildings. You might also have room to fit Meudon in off the T-list.

You're going to end up with a great WHS marathon list when you're done with this. Maybe UNESCO should consider some of these (if even remotely feasible) as fundraisers for sites in danger.

Author meltwaterfalls
Partaker
#12 | Posted: 20 Aug 2019 08:31 | Edited by: meltwaterfalls 
Colvin:
Also, I noticed that no one has brought up Paris yet

Gah how did I miss that! (Added above)

I even sent Els the three central sites for the walking distance connection yesterday, but didn't extend out to Versailles

Thanks Colvin, and I'm sure my wife will also thank you for dictating our future holiday destinations :)

Jasam if you are in the area and fancy some exercise let me know :)

Author Colvin
Partaker
#13 | Posted: 20 Aug 2019 08:39 
Also, it might be tight, and I'm not certain about checkpoints, but you may be able to just make it from the Old City of Jerusalem to Hebron, passing by Bethlehem and Battir, but it would likely be close.

Author Colvin
Partaker
#14 | Posted: 20 Aug 2019 08:43 
No problem for the Paris one; I'm surprised it wasn't one I thought of yesterday, either.

meltwaterfalls:
I'm sure my wife will also thank you for dictating our future holiday destinations

At least most of these sites are pretty scenic and have things to do for families!

Author meltwaterfalls
Partaker
#15 | Posted: 20 Aug 2019 10:16 
Colvin:
Old City of Jerusalem to Hebron, passing by Bethlehem and Battir

How's that for a slice of fried gold, an international one! I though I had one with Monte San Giorgio earlier but it was just the two markers for the Swiss and Italian parts of the inscription.

Just creeps in under the marathon distance at 40 km. I would guess that this one may need to use the pause activity setting on the stop watch for the border crossing though. Google maps kept on forcing a weird route out of Hebron, I'm not sure if that is for specific reasons or if it is just a wonky algorithm.

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