Ecky thump! Yorkshire named among top three regions in the world

Yorkshire has been placed among the top three regions in the world to visit, by popular travel guide Lonely Planet. The historic county of Northern England won out against other world-famous regions such as Zimbabwe and Zambia’s Victoria Falls and Texas, in the US, to claim third place in the Lonely Planet’s top ten world regions, behind Sikkim, in India, and The Kimberley in Australia.

Yorkshire is one of Britain’s most popular holiday destinations. Despite this, publishers at the Lonely Planet are concerned that the region is still underrated, and hope that the award will help to boost the county’s ratings, saying: “It’s only a matter of time before this rough-around-the-edges gentleman of the north gets the traveller attention it deserves.”

The travel guide made reference to Yorkshire’s “rugged moorlands, heritage homes and cosy pubs” in its explanation for awarding the county the bronze position. Other reasons for the region’s placing in the top three regions include the incredible contribution of Yorkshire athletes at last year’s London Olympic Games. Heptathlete Jessica Ennis, triathletes Alastair and Jonathan Brownlee, cyclist Ed Clancy and boxer Nicola Adams were among the large number of Yorkshire athletes who won seven of Great Britain’s 29 total gold medals. Indeed, Olympic athletes from Yorkshire bagged more medals than entire countries such as South Africa and Spain.

Gary Verity, chief executive of tourism body Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “Endorsements rarely come much better than this from a guide that has a worldwide reputation.This is massive for Yorkshire and our thousands of amazing tourism businesses, destinations and events.”

The accolade comes as less than surprising for citizens of the region: the town of Harrogate, near Leeds, was deemed Britain’s ‘happiest place’ by a poll in 2012. And next year, the prestigious Tour de France will make its grand départ from Leeds.

Other Lonely Planet top tens included Best Country (topped by 2016 Olympic host Brazil and swiftly followed by Antarctica), and Best Value Destinations, in which the Greek islands won out over Italy’s heel. Meanwhile, Denmark, Thailand and Belize were named the top three Family Destinations.

Sources include BBC News, The Guardian

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