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Last Updated: Thursday, 25 January 2007, 10:27 GMT
Tourism chiefs hail Lennon hits
John Lennon, Yoko Ono and their children Julian and Kyoko in Durness in 1969
John Lennon returned to Durness with Yoko Ono, Julian and Kyoko
A Scottish Highland village is hoping for a tourism boom after a surge of interest in a website which revealed John Lennon spent holidays there.

The site, promoting Durness, has had over 150,000 hits a day since Monday - up from its usual figure of 3,000.

The area helped inspire Lennon's song In My Life.

Tour operator Durrant Macleod said he hoped people would see why the area "inspired and touched" the former Beatle in "such a profound way".

Car accident

Lennon spent some of his childhood in Durness, and he returned with wife Yoko Ono and their children in 1969. But the holiday was marked by a car accident near Loch Eriboll.

Following that, Lennon told reporters: "If you're going to have a car crash, try to arrange for it to happen in the Highlands. The hospital there was just great."

The tourism initiative by North Highland Tourism Operators is being headed by Prince Charles, the Duke of Rothesay, who spends much of the summer at the Castle of Mey in Caithness.

Lennon and his first cousin, Stanley Parkes, used to stay at the family croft at Sango Bay.

"John never forgot those times at Durness," he said.

"They were among his happiest memories. He loved the wilderness," he added.

He claims the musician spent his time fishing, hunting and writing poetry.

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