Tuesday, December 18, 2018
The skye times mobile

Two popular Highland beauty spots have been named in the top 15 UK-wide attractions outside of London, based on posts from 300,000 users on photo-sharing app Instagram.

Loch Ness came in at number 10, whilst Eilean Donan Castle on the west coast was fifth on the list – ahead of Arthur's Seat, Snowdon and even the White Cliffs of Dover, much to the delight of constituency MSP Kate Forbes.

Researchers used the Magi Metrics Instagram data export tool, where posts included the hashtags #beautiful, #lovely, #romantic, #stunning or #wonderful, and then ranked the iconic attractions in order from 1 to 15.

Kate Forbes MSP, whose Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch constituency includes both iconic Highland landmarks, welcomed the news.

She said: "This proves that the rest of the world agrees with us that the Highlands are stunningly beautiful.

"There is a lot of competition on Instagram for beautiful places and top attractions, so its brilliant to see two sites in the constituency make the top 15.

"With places like Loch Ness and Skye making the top attractions to visit across the world, it will be another busy tourist season.

"I am working hard to ensure we are better prepared for this season than we were last year.

"Just this week, half a million has been allocated to develop parking and other facilities at the Fairy Pools, and £100,000 each to improve parking at Neist Point and at the Quiraing."

Loch Ness is Scotland's most famous loch, and arguably best known for reported sightings of 'Nessie'.

Stretching for 23 miles, it attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.

Eilean Donan Castle, which sits on a small tidal island where the sea lochs Loch Duich, Loch Long and Loch Alsh meet – is one of Scotland's most iconic sites and regularly features on postcards and TV.
 
Originally founded in the 13th century, the castle was destroyed in 1719 by government ships at the time of the Jacobite rebellions.
 
It was rebuilt in the early 20th century, and is now one of Scotland's most popular tourist attractions.

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