Scottish islands named as top world travel destination for 2019

Scottish islands have been named as a top world travel destination for 2019.

Scottish islands have been named as a top world travel destination for 2019.

CNN Travel has named the Inner and Outer Hebrides in a list of 19 must-see destinations to visit this year.

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The islands sit alongside New York City, Auckland, Ghana, Kerala, Lima and Fukuoka - amongst others - in the guide.

CNN Travel editors said that, despite the well-documented white sands and turquoise waters of the islands, “nothing can prepare you for seeing the Hebridean islands”.

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Skye, Islay, Lewis and Harris were recommended for a visit given their deeply-embedded natural beauty, history and culture.

The guide said: “The birthplace of Harris Tweed, the famous cloth that’s been woven, dyed and spun by the islanders for centuries, is also home to its own Stonehenge-style mystery in the Callanish Standing Stones.

“Unlike Stonehenge, visitors can get up close to the standing circle of boulders at Callanish, which is believed to have been erected about 5,000 years ago.”

The guide recommends taking the drive to Ullapool and the ferry across to Stornoway to get there.

It adds: “Each Hebridean island has its own distinctive vibe, but they’re all grounded in a similar small-town community spirit.

“Islay, the southernmost Hebridean isle, known for its whisky distilleries and incredible beaches, offers a true sense of island life.

“Driving around, visitors might be more likely to encounter cows than people, but any meeting with an islander will likely earn an “Islay wave” -- a friendly acknowledgment from a fellow driver.”

Chris Taylor, Regional Leadership Director at VisitScotland, welcomed the latest endorsement for the islands.

“The Hebrides offer such a unique visitor experience that it is no wonder they have been chosen by CNN Travel as one of the top 19 destinations in the world to visit this year.

“It’s the potent mix of stunning landscapes, rich history and heritage, inspiring culture and warmth of the people, that makes the islands the go-to place for the discerning traveller looking for an adventure in Scotland.”