Bargain of the week: cheap flights around Britain

The UK's airlines have a problem - over Christmas and the New Year, they have an awkward number of seats to fill. One of the no-frills operators, easyJet, is seeking to shift some of these by cutting fares. The new route between Luton and Liverpool is on sale at pounds 23 return for those who book via, or pounds 25 for people who call 0870 6 000 000. Other routes that look good on specific dates are Edinburgh and Glasgow to and from Luton.

Destination of the week

The Great Glen

From next Tuesday onwards, the days are getting longer. The winter solstice casts the most darkness upon the far north of Scotland, but the payback is that, in summer, there is much more daylight.

The 2000 programme for the converted barge Fingal of Caledonia promises to make the most of the summer with a programme of activity holidays while the vessel cruises the Great Glen between Inverness and Fort William.

Activities include cycling, windsurfing, hiking, and plunging into pools, with special weeks for photography, wildlife and the history of the canal. Fingal of Caledonia is operated by Caledonian Discovery (01397 772167 or The usual price for a week's cruise in summer is pounds 429. Before then, the company offers winter mountain craft and skiing holidays.

Currency of the week:

The Cambodian Riel

As Stephen Jessel wrote last week, a nation that recently abolished cash, along with society and indeed tourism, is once more attracting visitors.

Since life returned to the killing fields, the national currency - like the country - has bloomed into something both beautiful and confusing. The riel is worth relatively little (around 7,000 to the pound at the last count), but each note is a work of beauty. The Cambodian script and numerals are impenetrable to most visitors but, luckily, a French version is given on the reverse.

Even though "tourists in Cambodia must expect to pay higher charges than local people, and in different currency, too", according to Thomas Cook, life will be inexpensive - and it is increasingly easy for visitors to plug into the local economy, spending the splendid local currency.

Competition of the year:

Last call for photographers

For the fourth year in a row, we are pleased to link up with Wanderlust - the magazine for independent travellers - to encourage excellence in travel photography. If you are an amateur photographer (no professionals may enter), and believe your picture could be worth a thousand words - it could earn you, and a companion, a fort-night's safari in Namibia to complete a photographic commission.

The top 30 entries will be displayed at Destinations 2000, to be held in London Olympia from 10 to 13 February next year. The award will be made at the event, and the winning picture will appear in the next edition of Wanderlust.

All entries must be accompanied by an official entry form, which explains the full rules and conditions. The closing date for receipt of photos is 31 Dec 1999.

For an application, send an SAE to: The Independent/Wanderlust (Photo Comp), PO Box 1832, Windsor, Berks SL4 1YT. Only people with UK addresses may apply.