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Which UK city made the cut? Lonely Planet's 2016 travel trends reveal the cities, regions and countries you should be visiting

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Amy Swales
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Beaches, jungles or cities? Lying around, trekking or simply eating as much as humanly possible? Whatever floats your boat travel-wise, it's likely an escape of some kind has crossed your mind as winter edges closer.

Lucky for you then that the experts at Lonely Planet have just released Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2016, revealing the top 10 recommended countries, cities and regions (see below) for your wish list next year – including two destinations within such easy reach that you have no excuse.

David Soanes Photography © Getty Images

O’Connell Bridge, Dublin / David Soanes Photography © Getty Images

The travel guide's annual compilation ranks Dublin in the Republic of Ireland third and Manchester in England eighth in the top 10 must-visit cities, with the Irish capital beating George Town in Malaysia (fourth) and America's Nashville (ninth), among others.

Manchester is hailed as “a dynamo of British culture” for the planned arts centre The Factory, set to be the home of the Manchester International Festival, and various other openings, including the Whitworth gallery, HOME and the Central Library.

dbvirago © Getty Images

Limestone mountains behind Kotor / dbvirago © Getty Images

The coastal town of Kotor in Montenegro came first (pictured above and in main image), described as “dramatically beautiful” by the Lonely Planet guide for its impressive city walls, incredible location backed by mountains and “labyrinthine marbled lanes where churches, shops, bars and restaurants surprise you on hidden piazzas”.

David Noton © Lonely Planet Images

Arnastapi, West Iceland / David Noton © Lonely Planet Images

Meanwhile, the region everyone should be dusting their passports off for was named as Transylvania in Romania, followed by West Iceland and the Viñales Valley in Cuba, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The top country was revealed to be Botswana, Southern Africa, with Japan in second place and USA third.

f11 photo / © Shutterstock

Nashville's Riverfront Park / f11 photo © Shutterstock

The lists are put together by Lonely Planet's authors, editors and online community, who put forward hundreds of options, which are then scaled down by in-house travel experts.

Justin Foulkes © Lonely Planet Images

The Colosseum, Rome / Justin Foulkes © Lonely Planet Images

The resulting destinations may be overlooked hidden gems or well-known spots generating a buzz with upcoming special events or new developments, such as Rome in Italy – ranked tenth best city in the world thanks to the restoration of the Colosseum and its starring role in the latest Bond film, Spectre.

Chris Hepburn © Getty Images

Salford Quays, Manchester / Chris Hepburn © Getty Images

Scroll down to see the top 10 cities, regions and countries in full.

Lonely Planet Best in Travel 2016

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2016 contains 17 travel-themed lists and is available to buy from the website, priced £9.99.

 

 

 

 

Top 10 Cities 2016

1. Kotor, Montenegro
2. Quito, Ecuador
3. Dublin, Ireland
4. George Town, Malaysia
5. Rotterdam, Netherlands
6. Mumbai, India
7. Fremantle, Australia
8. Manchester, UK
9. Nashville, USA
10. Rome, Italy

Top 10 Regions 2016

1. Transylvania, Romania
2. West Iceland
3. Valle de Viñales, Cuba
4. Friuli’s wine regions, Italy
5. Waiheke Island, New Zealand
6. The Auvergne, France
7. Hawaii, USA
8. Bavaria, Germany
9. Costa Verde, Brazil
10. St Helena, British Territories

Top 10 Countries 2016

1. Botswana
2. Japan
3. USA
4. Palau
5. Latvia
6. Australia
7. Poland
8. Uruguay
9. Greenland
10. Fiji

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Amy Swales

Amy Swales is a freelance writer who likes to eat, drink and talk about her dog. She will continue to plunder her own life and the lives of her loved ones for material in the name of comedy, catharsis and getting pictures of her dog on the internet.

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