Lonely Planet Writer

LP Pathfinders blog round-up: Best in Travel 2018

In celebration of Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2018, this month we asked our Pathfinders to share their travel stories from our hotlist of top countries, cities, regions and best value destinations.

Ever on-trend our community turned out an incredible amount of travel tales that sees us touchdown in a little-known South African settlement, eat our way through Northern Ireland’s buzzing capital city and Poland’s traditional milk bars, hike through Chile’s otherworldly landscapes and travel back in time to Roman Britain.

The Giant's Causeway, Northern Ireland Northern Ireland's mythical Causeway Coast © S-F / Shutterstock

BELFAST AND THE CAUSEWAY COAST: OUR #1 REGION FOR 2018

Chocolates, gin and seaweed on a fabulous Belfast food tour – Kathryn Burrington

From traditional treats like seaweed, soda bread and champ (mashed potato mixed with spring onions) to fave mouthwatering morals like chocolate and gin this post is sure to have you salivating, and then swiftly booking a ticket to Belfast. Just be sure to pack trousers with an elasticated waistband!

This blogger has a passion for all kinds of travel from stylish city breaks to off-the-grid animal encounters. Follow her blog at travelwithkat.com

Also worth a read:

War and remembrance on a Black Cab Tour of the Belfast Murals – Carol Guttery

SOUTH AFRICA: OUR #10 BEST COUNTRY FOR 2018

The faces of Cape Town: a day tour with a difference – Mark and Miranda

This soul-stirring post takes an evocative look at the community behind the Imizamo Yethu settlement in Hout Bay South Africa. Through the eyes of local guide Nandi we get a glimpse into the highs and lows of daily life here. Mark and Miranda encourage the reader to do away with any preconceptions about these poverty-stricken areas and to find hope in community pioneers like Nandi.

Mark and Miranda left the corporate world for a life more extraordinary. Follow their blog at thecommonwanderer.com

Also worth a read:

11 highlights in South Africa – Jan and Burcu

Sunrise over Pehoe Lake, Torres Del Paine National Park, Chile Chile boasts some of the world's most stunning landscapes © emperorcosar / Shutterstock

CHILE: OUR #1 BEST COUNTRY FOR 2018

Torres del Paine – the 'W' Walk (well, most of it) – Ken and Cally

Ken and Cally’s personalities shine through their writing. By injecting their post with honest and personal reflections they deftly tell the story of their six-day hike whilst also providing a highly-detailed practical itinerary. Their piece is well structured and formatted and the stunning images bring the whole journey to life.

This pair have visited nearly 100 countries so far and have no intention to stop. Follow their blog at dodgyknees.com

Also worth a read:

Searching for street art in Valparaiso, Chile – Chloe Gunning

POLAND: OUR #5 BEST VALUE DESTINATION FOR 2018

Milk bar-hopping in Kraków – Andrew and Katryna Snow

Don’t worry this isn’t just a post for lactose-lovers! Andrew and Katryna take us behind the scenes of some of Poland’s traditional cafeterias known as milk bars. Do as the locals do and visit one of these top spots to try some authentic Polish culture and cuisine.

Andrew and Katryna hail from the US but now call the Netherlands home. Follow their blog at wherethesnowsgo.com

Also worth a read:

An unhelpful guide to… Poland – Bella Falk

The remnants of Milecastle 39 along Hadrian's Wall The remnants of Milecastle 39 along Hadrian's Wall © stocksolutions / Shutterstock

UK: OUR #7 BEST VALUE DESTINATION FOR 2018

The wall – Jonathan Hopwood

Travel back in time 1800 years with Jonathan’s post about visiting Hadrian’s Wall, a huge defensive barrier built by the Romans to separate Scotland and Roman Britain. Jonathan expertly weaves practical information into his narrative which results in a highly comprehensive and engaging post.

At 45 Jonathan decided hit the road and make the next five years his most adventurous yet. Follow his blog at fiveyearsproject.blogspot.co.uk

Also worth a read:

Eight epic castles in Wales you have to visit – Jamie Edwards

Find out what else the Lonely Planet Pathfinders are up to (or sign up yourself!) by checking out the Travel Bloggers: your stories forum on Thorn Tree.