Kent Coast In World's Top 12 Destinations

The Kent coast has been voted one of the world's top 12 destinations for 2011 by a leading travel guide book.

Frommer's praised the county's long stretches of clean, sandy beaches and "bustling seaside towns", highlighting the area between Whitstable and Ramsgate.

The guide also spoke of Herne Bay's "colourful beach huts" and the resort of Broadstairs and its association with novelist Charles Dickens.

Frommer's writers and editors said Kent "shone out as an area that would be of great interest in the run-up to the 2012 Olympics".

They added: "There's plenty to keep visitors going over a long weekend, from quirky independent shops to worthy eateries to stylish boutique hotels."

There was further recognition for British Isles' tourism in the guide's publication of top destinations for 2011, with Ireland being named the best destination by readers, just beating Paris, which took second spot.

Readers said Ireland had "beer, castles and lush landscapes" and was small enough to explore by bicycle or car.

Destinations beaten by Ireland included Australia, New Zealand, Italy and Greece.

Among the 12 places joining Kent as stand-out destinations for 2011 were Stockholm in Sweden, Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, Santiago in Chile, and Atlanta and the Civil War Trail in southern USA.