Scotland's Highlands and Islands named as global must-see destination for 2019 by Lonely Planet


29 October 2018
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The Highlands and Islands of Scotland are the sole Scottish destinations to receive a global honour with must-see status for 2019 from Lonely Planet.
Scotland's Highlands and Islands named as global must-see destination for 2019 by Lonely Planet Images

The Highlands and Islands of Scotland* are the sole Scottish destinations to receive a global honour with must-see status for 2019 from Lonely Planet.

Travel authority Lonely Planet has revealed that Scotland's Highlands and Islands regions have been listed amongst its top 10 ‘Best in Travel’ destinations for 2019 – the only Scottish destinations to be included.

Described in the new guide as “one of the wildest, least inhabited and most scenic parts of Europe,” Scotland’s Highlands and Islands have, for decades, attracted visitors from around the world, who are drawn to their unparalleled scenery, unique culture and wildlife; a wide variety of outdoor pursuits and extreme sports, including surfing, diving and skiing; a range of attractions, welcoming locals and delicious local food and drink.

The guide also praises the regions’ “innovative and fast-developing accommodation sector, from purpose-built campervan parking spots to designer cottages modelled on ancient buildings.”

The four pages in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2019 dedicated to Scotland’s Highlands and Islands, gives special mention to the “hugely successful” North Coast 500 driving route which you can read about here, as well as the North East 250 and the Snow Roads.

Amongst the ‘unmissable experiences’ included in the guide are:

  • climbing a mountain, with the iconic peak of Suilven referenced
  • savouring seafood at one of the Highlands and islands many fine restaurants
  • joining a nature watching trip to discover the wealth of wildlife that abounds

VisitScotland Highlands & Islands video

Punching above its weight

Malcolm Roughead, VisitScotland Chief Executive, said: “I am thrilled, though not entirely surprised, to discover that Scotland’s Highlands and Islands have appeared in this prestigious list.

“This stunning part of Scotland punches well above its weight on the world stage, as a thriving holiday destination for people from both across the globe and the UK, as well as a popular location for film production companies looking for a beautiful backdrop for their next blockbuster.

“With accolades like this one to their name, Scotland’s Highlands and Islands will be in the global spotlight once again. However, it is imperative that we don’t become complacent, as we need to continue to provide world-class experiences, events and attractions to keep up with the ever-changing visitor demands.

QUICK LINK: Twenty top attractions in the Highlands

* Lonely Planet defines the Highlands in the book as the area above the Highland Boundary Fault - the topographical feature that divides the Lowlands and the Highlands and which goes diagonally from Helensburgh in the west to just above Stonehaven in the east coast. The ‘Islands’ in this case refers to the Outer Hebrides.

(text and video courtesy of VisitScotland, Cuillins copyright Stefan Krause, Isle of Harris copyright F Leask)