Saturday 11 April 1998
The best international rail deal from Britain is the pounds 77 ticket from London Waterloo to any station in Holland, through Eurostar (0345 303030). The bargains get even better once you're there: the price for a day-return ticket anywhere in Holland flattens out after 210km (130 miles), which means you can go anywhere you like and back for 67.50 guilders - about pounds 20. So you could travel from Amsterdam to Maastricht or from The Hague to Groningen, on fast, regular and reliable trains, for little more than a round trip on the Gatwick Express.
A new, fast ferry starts running next month, saving travellers hours on a trip to France. P&O (0990 980980) is launching the Superstar Express from Portsmouth to Cherbourg, almost halving the existing five-hour crossing time by conventional vessels.
In the next couple of months, a range of unusual destinations will be introduced by Ryanair (0541 569569) from Stansted: Kristianstad in southern Sweden (from pounds 109 return), Carcassonne in southern France (pounds 119), and St Etienne near Lyon (pounds 119). In Italy, the airline plans to serve Pisa, Rimini and Venice.
As the trend to yet-more-automated lighthouses continues, you can stay in one of the most beautifully located in the British Isles. The Wicklow Lighthouse on the east coast of Ireland costs pounds 480 per week until June; contact the Irish Landmark Trust (00 353 1 662 8425).
Four hundred million bottles of champagne will be drunk on New Year's Eve 1999, according to Richard Knight, author of the first travel guide to the event: The Millennium Guide, published this week by Trailblazer at pounds 4.99. The biggest party is likely to be at the Copacabana Beach in Rio, rather than at the Millennium Dome in Greenwich.
A Missee Lee supper is one of a range of activities organised by the Arthur Ransome Society, based in Cumbria (c/o Abbot Hall Gallery, Kendal LA9 4QT). There are also expeditions in search of Swallowdale, wherry trips on the Norfolk Broads and camping trips to Chichester Harbour.
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