NOT all the travel bargains are to be found on charter flights to the Mediterranean. The on-going depression in the holiday business is generating some extraordinary bargains at home as well.

Last weekend I stayed at the recently opened Novotel in Newcastle. In the hope of stimulating business this month the hotel - like the other Novotels in Britain - is offering a special summer deal. The Newcastle Novotel (091 214 0303) charges pounds 46 per room per night - the price, for a minimum of two nights, covers two adults and two children sharing a room and includes a full breakfast for everybody (the price of the buffet breakfast is normally pounds 7.50 per person).

The Novotel, part of a growing UK Novotel chain, is more lavish than the French version and rooms can comfortably accommodate two adults and two children.