Shetland named in 10 top tourist sites by Lonely Planet

Image caption, The Shetland islanders are described as "a fiercely independent and self-reliant bunch"

The Shetland Islands have been included in a list of the world's top 10 tourist sites by travel guide Lonely Planet.

The archipelago is described as possibly "the last untamed corner of the UK" in the Best In Travel 2011.

Edinburgh was listed alongside London as one of the top cities for artistic inspiration, while Glasgow was named in the top 10 comeback cities.

The publication also ranked the Isle of Man TT motorbike race as one of the 10 best things to do in world tourism.

Image caption, Ascents of the Old Man of Hoy can be recorded in a book on the summit

It said: "A haven for tax dodgers and outdoorsy types most of the year, the remote oddball Isle of Man transforms itself in May and June for the Tourist Trophy."

The Orkney Islands, featured in the 10 best things to climb section, with the Old Man of Hoy's iconic 450ft sea stack an invitation to "gather your grappling hooks".

Islanders on Shetland are described by the guide as "a fiercely independent and self-reliant bunch" living in an area where it is easy to spot whales, otters, seals and puffins.

Lerwick, the main town, is a "must-include port of call for cruise ships" and visitors are urged to try local delicacies including seawater oatcakes, Shetland black potatoes and rhubarb with mackerel or herring.

Lonely Planet also rated Edinburgh as one of the 10 best places for dance fever. The Scottish capital has "dance classes and ceilidhs for all levels of experience", it said.

The city is also listed as one of the top 10 for artistic inspiration, with mention of such literary legends as Robert Louis Stevenson, Sir Walter Scott and Robert Burns.

"Scotland's literary output is phenomenal and most of its notable writers have been influenced by the capital," the guide said.

Also in the artistic inspiration top 10 is London, with the guide saying: "You could plot a long, long literary pilgrimage around London, a city immortalised by writers from Charles Dickens to John Betjeman."

The 10 world's greatest bookshops' list includes Daunt Books of London, with its Marylebone branch "the original and best".

Whitby in Yorkshire and London also feature in the top 10 vampire-spotting places in the world.

Image caption, The Marylebone branch of Daunt Books of London is highlighted in the Lonely Planet guide

London makes the top 10 thanks to its Dracula tour, which includes a trip to Highgate Cemetery in north London.

The guide said Whitby had become a popular spot for vampire fanciers inspired by Bram Stoker's Dracula novel, which describes how the most famous vampire of all came ashore at Whitby following a shipwreck.

The Battle of Hastings and the International Living History Fair in Leamington Spa in Warwickshire are in the top 10 historical re-enactments.

Hastings, fought in 1066 and now restaged each year, is seen as the "most-remembered armed conflict in British history", while those attending the fair at Leamington Spa will be "amazed at the breadth of the products on sale", the guide said.

And among the 10 greatest "comeback cities" is Glasgow, where "the once-grim River Clyde, heart of the city's post-World War Two slump, has morphed into its cultural focal point with museums replacing derelict docklands".

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