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Coastal Wales 'world's best region'

A Welsh coastal path, whose completion has been thrown into doubt by the objection of Gypsies on the route, has been chosen as the world's greatest region in a best-in-travel 2012 guide.

The All Wales Coast Path will take walkers around the country's complete coastline and is due to open in its entirety next year.

But New Age Travellers say their privacy is being invaded.

Today Lonely Planet voted Coastal Wales top in a list of world regions.

"What a wonderful thing. How better to truly appreciate the shape - and soul - of a nation?" the guide says.

Pembrokeshire is seen as a "show-stealing starting point", while the striking town of Portmeirion is described as "part Italian Riviera, part wedding cake, part surreal spy-thriller".

Lonely Planet's Tom Hall said: "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."

In addition to the accolade to Wales, London was seen as the best city in the world.

London is 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.

The guide even makes a virtue of the crush, at times, on the London Underground saying that strangers "shoving their noses into each other's armpits is a life-changing experience".

Other UK places, events and attractions picked out by the guide include:

:: Glastonbury Tor, Somerset - picked as one of the best spots to witness the apocalypse predicted for December 21 2012

:: Willy Lott's Cottage, Suffolk - Featured in Constable's masterpiece painting The Hay Wain, the cottage still stands and is chosen as the best place to be associated with a great work of art

:: Egremont, Cumbria - One of the best places to be a world champion. In this case, of the face-twisting art of gurning

:: Douglas, Isle of Man - One of the best places to take a tram ride. This one is horse-drawn, with constant halts for hay-eating breaks

:: Royal Opera House, London - the admission-free lunchtime concerts in Covent Garden are among the world's best "freebies"

Top country in the world was Uganda, followed by Burma, Ukraine and Jordan.