VisitScotland: Lonely Planet includes Shetland in its top 10 ‘Best in Europe’ destinations for 2019 – the only UK destination to be included

VisitScotland: Lonely Planet includes Shetland in its top 10 ‘Best in Europe’ destinations for 2019 – the only UK destination to be included

EDINBURGH, Scotland, 2019-May-23 — /Travel PR News/ — The UK’s northernmost point has earned its place as one of the top must-see destinations for international travellers in Europe this year.

Travel authority Lonely Planet, has today (21 May) revealed that Shetland has been listed at number six in its top 10 ‘Best in Europe’ destinations for 2019 – the only UK destination to be included.

The islands’ “awesome coastal trails, wicked wildlife watching and fabled fish and chip shops” are singled out for praise and it says visitors can “spot otters and orcas from craggy headlands, then ease into the evening at one of Lerwick’s local pubs.”

For decades Shetland has attracted visitors from every corner of the globe, who are drawn to its breathtaking scenery and coastline, beautiful beaches and crystal-clear waters, unique archaeology, history, culture and wildlife, welcoming locals, delicious local food and drink and its wide variety of outdoor pursuits.

Shetland is also a UNESCO Global Geopark – consisting of a group of more than 100 islands, only 15 of which are inhabited – and is more geologically diverse than any similar sized area in Europe.

Best in Europe 2019 is a highly-anticipated annual collection which has been compiled by Lonely Planet’s travel experts, who for over 45 years, have trodden every cobbled street and admired every view on the continent, searching for those great new experiences for visitors.

In response to Shetland’s inclusion in Lonely Planet’s Best in Europe, Tourism Secretary Fiona Hyslopsaid: “Shetland’s place in the list of top European destinations is richly deserved. Its many islands have so much to offer visitors of all ages, from amazing wildlife and scenery, a rich culture and history, to the warmth and hospitality of the local people.

“Anyone who is looking for a break somewhere a little different this summer should consider Shetland.”

Malcolm Roughead, VisitScotland Chief Executive, said: “Shetland’s appearance as the only UK destination in Lonely Planet’s prestigious ‘Best in Europe 2019’ is testament to the islands’ strong pull for visitors.

“Shetland, a UNESCO Global Geopark, has something for everyone – it boasts breathtaking scenery, unparalleled opportunities to see amazing wildlife and birds, a stunning coastline, delicious local food and drink, unique culture and heritage and an incredible historical and archaeological story to tell. It is somewhere you can enjoy both a relaxing break and an activity-fuelled trip.

“We can’t be complacent however and it is important that we encourage the tourism industry to provide world-class service, facilities, events and attractions to keep up with ever-changing consumer demands and ensure visitors continue to have memorable experiences in Shetland.

“Tourism is more than a holiday experience – it is the heartbeat of the Scottish economy and touches every community, generating income, jobs and social change.”

Steven Coutts, Leader of Shetland Islands Council said: “Shetland has long been known as a welcoming destination for travellers, and it’s great to have made Lonely Planet – and Europe’s – top ten this year.

“Those of us who live here know how fantastic the islands are, with stunning scenery and incredible wildlife on our doorstep. We’re an outward looking community and there’s a growing number of local businesses and organisations showcasing the best of our islands to visitors.

“We’ve a vibrant economy, tremendous natural resources and a beautiful environment, all of which makes Shetland an excellent place to live, work, study and visit.”

Lauren Doughton, Project Manager for Promote Shetland, said: “We’re delighted that Shetland has been included in Lonely Planet’s best of Europe 2019 list. To achieve recognition from such a trusted publication reflects the quality and distinctiveness of Shetland as a destination.

“Shetland offers a unique opportunity to experience dramatic wide-open spaces, outstanding wildlife and moments of calm and quietness mixed with a vibrant cultural and social scene unlike anywhere else in Scotland. We may be a small island group, but we’ve got plenty of room for visitors, and we’re looking forward to welcoming you all.”

For further information about Shetland, visit

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Scotland’s Themed Years

    • Following an industry consultation, the Themed Years will now take place every second year to enable more time for planning and opportunities for collaboration.
    • 2020 has been designated as a year in which Scotland’s Coasts and Waters will be showcased and celebrated with a programme of activity designed to support the nation’s tourism and events sectors.
    • The year, led by VisitScotland will sustain and build upon the momentum of Scotland’s preceding Themed Years to spotlight, celebrate and promote opportunities to experience and enjoy Scotland’s unrivalled Coasts and Waters, encouraging responsible engagement and participation from the people of Scotland and our visitors.
    • A year-long programme of events, activities and ideas will shine a spotlight on the impact our waters have had on Scotland, from the formation of beautiful natural features to the creation of our national drink – whisky.
    • Join the conversation using #YCW2020
    • 2022 will be the Year of Scotland’s Stories – a celebration of our rich literature, film, oral traditions and myths and legends.

Kim Walton
Corporate Press Officer – Regional

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Source: VisitScotland