Sunday 22 July 2018

Six Irish 'mega-sights' make Lonely Planet's Top 500 places of all time

Six of the best

Titanic Belfast
Titanic Belfast
The Cliffs of Moher
The Giant's Causeway in Co. Antrim (103)
Lonely Planet's 'Ultimate Travellist'
The Long Room in Trinity College. Photo: Deposit/Jelle van der Wolf
The Rock of Cashel at sunset.
Newgrange, Co. Meath - Brú na Bóinne features at no. 224 on Lonely Planet's 'Ultimate Travelist'
Pól Ó Conghaile

Pól Ó Conghaile

Cambodia's Angkor Watt is the "ultimate" travel destination, but you'll have to scroll to No.103 for the first Irish entry on Lonely Planet's "definitive" bucket list.

The Giant’s Causeway ranks 103rd on the travel bible's 'Ultimate Travelist', a list of the world's "top must-see sights of all time" published this week. 

Brú na Bóinne makes the cut at No. 224, as do the Cliffs of Moher (378), Titanic Belfast (424), Dublin’s Trinity College (468) and the Rock of Cashel (497).

Lonely Planet describes its latest publication as "the definitive bucket list for every type of traveller," with the world's Top 500 "mega-sights" ranked by a globe-trotting community of travel experts and authors on the ground.

Angkor Watt was "the undisputed champion," it says.

Described as the “Hindu heaven on earth”, Cambodia's jungle complex of over 1,000 temples, shrines and tombs topped the list at No.1.

Lonely Planet’s Ultimate Travelist – The Top 10

  1. Temples of Angkor, Cambodia
  2. Great Barrier Reef, Australia
  3. Machu Picchu, Peru
  4. Great Wall of China
  5. Taj Mahal, India
  6. Grand Canyon National Park, USA
  7. Colosseum, Italy
  8. Iguazú Falls, Brazil-Argentina
  9. Alhambra, Spain
  10. Aya Sofya, Turkey

The Rock of Cashel at sunset.

The Rock of Cashel - Top 500

Of the Irish inclusions making the list, Brú na Bóinne - the archaeological landscape dominated by the passage tombs of Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth - is described in the book as "an extraordinary sight: a vast Neolithic necropolis of squat, rotund tombs set in emerald plains".

The Rock of Cashel (above) "exudes a glorious, bleak magic that you'll remember far more readily than you will the crowds," Lonely Planet says.

As well as housing the Book of Kells, Trinity College is described as "one of [Dublin's] loveliest areas for a stroll," while Northern Ireland's Giant's Causeway is hailed as "an evocative spot" and Titanic Belfast "a multimedia extravaganza".

The news comes as CSO figures show overseas visitors to Ireland have risen 11.7pc in the first six months of the year, with Dublin voted the world's second-friendliest city by readers of the prestigious US travel publication, Condé Nast Traveler.

Last year, Lonely Planet included a "stunningly scenic" Ireland on its list of the Top 10 countries to visit in 2015.

“Lonely Planet is one of the premier sources of information for people all across the world when researching a holiday, and lists like these quite literally put Ireland on the map," said Alex Connolly, Fáilte Ireland's Head of Communications.

The Long Room in Trinity College. Photo: Deposit/Jelle van der Wolf

The Long Room, Trinity College Library

Other European attractions featuring in the Top 20 include the British Museum (15), Barcelona's Sagrada Familia (16) and Santorini in Greece (18).

"This book has been years in the making and brings together the most compelling places in the world according to our team of globetrotting travel experts," said Tom Hall, Editorial Director of Lonely Planet.

"This is our definitive list," he added.

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