England’s north-east is ‘the most exciting, beautiful and friendly’ in the country and has joined an exclusive list of 30 ‘must see’ destinations worldwide recommended to travellers by the Lonely Planet Bluelist 2008 guide. Financial Times

The guide, published yesterday also named Eritrea, Damascus and Papua New Guinea, Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada, the Bolivian Amazon, Yemen and the Tiwi Islands off Australia, Fez in Morocco and Chengdu in China.

’These are places which are just on the radar now,’ said Heather Carswell of Lonely Planet.

Among the north-east’s attractions are its scenery, Hadrian’s Wall, its 19th-century architecture, and more recent additions such as Middlesbrough’s new art gallery and the Baltic Centre for contemporary art in Gateshead.