Coastal Wales voted ‘world’s best region’ for 2012

Forget about heading to Australia or Thailand on your gap year; instead you should be heading to Wales, according to Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2012.

The All Wales Coastal Path has just been voted the 'world’s best region' to travel in 2012.

The path, 870-miles-long, will take tourists and walkers around the country’s entire coastline, and is set to open in May next year.  Walking the entire 870 miles could make for quite a unique gap year.

Pembrokeshire is described as a 'show-stealing starting point' while the town of Port Meirion is styled as 'part Italian Riviera, part wedding cake, part surreal spy-thriller'.

Tom Hall, editor for Lonely Planet, told the Independent: “As well as the novel ability to walk its entire coastline, the region comes out top because of its wildlife, great surf, castles and fantastic spots such as Barrafundle Bay and St David's.

“Now that Wills and Kate have set up home in the area it has also received the royal stamp of approval.”

John Griffiths, Wales's Environment Minister, welcomed the praise: "This recognition of the Wales Coast Path from the Lonely Planet is fantastic news. When the Path is officially opened on 5th May 2012, Wales will become the first country in the world to have a formal trail the whole way around its coast.

“Many people from around the world already visit Wales to enjoy its spectacular coastal scenery. We hope that this recognition from Lonely Planet will encourage many more to visit our coastal resorts and walk along our Coast Path."

Another top accolade went to the UK with London being voted ‘best city for 2012’, being described as 'a pugnacious so-and-so' with the Olympics 'riding into town' next year.

The guide tells tourist to forget the possibility of 'overpriced hotel rooms' due to the Olympics, adding that London has room for everyone.

So what do you think gappers? Will you be travelling to Wales next year on your gap year?

The top 10 regions to travel in 2012 are:

  1. Costal Wales
  2. La Ruta Maya, Belize
  3. Northern Kenya
  4. Arunachal Pradesh, India
  5. Hvar, Croatia
  6. Sicily, Italy
  7. Maritime Provinces, Canada
  8. Queenstown & Southern Lakes, New Zealand
  9. Borneo, Malaysia
  10. Poitou-Charentes, France