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Lonely Planet declares Scotland’s Highlands and Islands one of the top regions in the world for 2019

Scotland’s Highlands and islands have been named one of the top regions in the world for travellers in 2019. The region receives the accolade in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2019, the highly anticipated annual collection of the best travel destinations, trends, journeys and experiences to have in the year ahead and which reveals the top 10 regions, countries, cities and best value places to visit in 2019.

The Scottish Highlands and islands earned their place as a must-see destination for 2019 thanks, in part, to the whisky boom, which has seen a swathe of new distilleries open in the region. They offer “a great introduction to one of the wildest, least inhabited and most scenic parts of Europe”. The region’s “innovative and fast-developing” accommodation sector is also highlighted, from purpose-built campervan parking spots to designer cottages modelled on ancient buildings; which make visiting remote areas “easier than ever”. 

Unmissable experiences in the region recommended by Lonely Planet’s experts include:
- Climbing the iconic peak of Suilven following the repair and upgrade of its footpath 
- Savouring the region’s sought-after seafood at one of the Highlands and islands’ many fine restaurants such as the Kylesku Hotel or local favourites like Skye’s Oyster Shed or Lewis’s Scallop Shack
- Joining a nature-watching trip to discover the wealth of wildlife, from red deer, golden eagles and otters to whales, dolphins and basking sharks. 

Tom Hall, Lonely Planet’s Editorial Director, said, “The wild landscapes of Scotland’s Highlands and islands offer the ultimate escape and visiting the region’s remote areas is now easier than ever thanks to impressive developments in accommodation. This is a stunning area with so much to offer travellers, from its glorious natural landscape and rich history to enviable local food and drink.”   

Scotland’s Highlands and islands feature fifth on the list of top regions for 2019, coming in ahead of Gujarat in India, Manitoba in Canada and Elqui Valley in Chile. Piedmont in Italy, home to Leonardo Da Vinci and new UNESCO heritage sites, took the top spot.