Planeteer: UN peace mission ends in Sierra Leone, Edinburgh Castle breaks records, Thailand offers extreme makeovers

Edinburgh Castle at night. Image by Glen Bowman / CC BY-SA 2.0

Get the best travel news here curated by Lonely Planet’s Destination Editors, who use their expertise to bring you the stories that matter from all over the world. In today’s edition: the UN ends peace operations in Sierra Leone, Edinburgh Castle has record visitor numbers, and Thailand has launched an extreme makeover competition for tourists.

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Stories curated by Lonely Planet’s Europe Destination Editors: Jo Cooke, James Smart, Brana Vladisavljevic, Kate Morgan, Anna Tyler and Gemma Graham.

Edinburgh Castle at night. Image by Glen Bowman / CC BY-SA 2.0

Edinburgh Castle visitor numbers soar
A record 1.4 million people visited Edinburgh Castle last year, making it the UK’s most popular paid-for attraction outside London. Other outdoor attractions such as Cullodon Battlefield and Stirling Castle also fared well, although indoor attractions like galleries suffered drops – this is believed to be partly due to good weather last summer. Read more:

Via Dinarica hiking route voted world’s Best New Trail
The 600-mile White Trail, which combines old hiking routes from Slovenia to Albania and follows the highest peaks of the Dinaric Alps mountain range, has been voted the world’s Best New Trail by Outside magazine. It’s part of the new Via Dinarica project in the western Balkans, which works to promote sustainable tourism and support local communities in the region. Read more:

Full house for Kosovo’s first football friendly
Kosovo’s national football team plays its first ever international friendly match approved by FIFA today. The match against Haiti takes place in Kosovska Mitrovica, which is the only stadium in the country that fits FIFA’s criteria. All tickets are sold out. The long-awaited match is very important for Kosovo as it’s not allowed to join FIFA or UEFA and take part in official competitions. Read more:

Raccoon discovery sparks fears for native species in Sweden
Environmentalists in Sweden are concerned over the discovery of a raccoon washed up on a beach in Sk


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