TOP travel guide the Lonely Planet has released its first ever list of the nation’s most ‘memorable, beautiful, surprising and compelling sights’ – and it includes our own ‘local gems’.
For the first time, the travel media company has chosen the UK’s best sights and experiences and ranked them in ‘order of their brilliance’.
The top 500 ‘unmissable sights’ featured in the ‘Ultimate United Kingdom Travelist’ published yesterday [Tuesday] include thirty-four from across the South-east.
Leading the way for Southeast England is Bonfire Night in Lewes which makes the list at number 31. Lonely Planet say ‘Nowhere else in the UK celebrates Bonfire Night quite like this small East Sussex town, which becomes something of a full-blown riot each year’.
Other must-see attractions and experiences include Sissinghurst Castle Garden, which is mid-table, ranking 250th out of the UK’s top 500 sights.
Bedgebury Pinetum, the arboretum in Goudhurst, and once the home of Britain’s tallest tree, comes in at number 331, while the stained glass windows at All Saints Church, decorated by Russian modernist, Marc Chagall just makes the list at 498.
Wider afield, Beachy Head and the Seven Sisters cliffs near Eastbourne are noted as ‘one of the south’s most memorable spectacles’ while Whitstable’s famous Oyster Festival makes the list at number 92, just before ‘eerie’ and ‘bleakly beautiful’ Dungeness at 110.
The UK’s most unmissable attraction is the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, which takes the top spot in the list, staking its claim because ‘the Fringe floods the city with art and nowhere beats it for spectacle or scale’.
To create the Lonely Planet Ultimate United Kingdom Travelist, the travel media company say they compiled every highlight from the past Lonely Planet guidebooks that had caught the attention of Lonely Planet’s writers and 20 leading figures in the country’s travel sector.
Lonely Planet’s VP of Experience, Tom Hall, said: “Lonely Planet’s Ultimate United Kingdom Travelist brings together the UK’s most compelling sights and experiences, ranging from world-class museums and giant cathedrals to rollicking festivals, inky lochs and tiny pubs.
“With rolling chalk hills, Victorian seaside, fairy tale castles and fine food and drink, Southeast England has something for everyone, so it’s only right that a good number of the region’s wonderful offerings feature among our favourites.”