Highlands and islands are among world’s top destinations

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Guidebook Lonely Planet has declared Scotland’s Highlands and islands as one of the world’s top regions for 2019.

The region came fifth in a top 10 of countries, regions, cities and best value places to visit. Leonardo Da Vinci’s home of Piedmont in Italy got the top slot followed by  The Catskills in the USA, Northern Peru and Australia’s Red Centre.

The Highlands and islands’ must-see destination placing was in part due to the whisky boom, says the guide.

Unmissable experiences it recommends include the seafood and joining a nature-watching trip to discover the wealth of wildlife from red deer to golden eagles and basking sharks.

Tom Hall, Lonely Planet’s editorial director, said: ‘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.’