The newly-published third edition of Travel with Children by Maureen Wheeler (Lonely Planet, pounds 6.95) is full of encouragement for the travelling parent, such as: "put your darlings in the care of a Balinese pembantu (nanny) - they know more magic than Mary Poppins". The extra challenges of travelling with children are covered, such as the non-dependence on - and hence non-availability of - nappies in the developing world.

Butlin's is trying to stretch the summer at its Southcoast World theme park in Bognor Regis by opening of two "interactive flume rides". Terror Trip takes you through Dracula's Castle to the lost world of Hades, while Pinball turns you into a human trigger with prizes for the highest scores. Call 0345 700 700.

The National Trust has a Week of Christmas Walks from Boxing Day to New Year's Day. A list of activities can be obtained by sending an addressed envelope with a 29p stamp to: PO Box 59, Bromley, Kent BR1 3XL. A Family Walk to Celebrate the New Year is to be held on 1 January at 11am at Toller Porcorum, Dorchester. Call 01300 320684.

If your family has no family seat, you can always rent one. Scott's Castle Holidays (0131 226 7615) offers stately homes in Scotland. Shooting, fishing or just feeling smug are some activities on offer.

West Somerset Railway (01643 704996) is staging several family events between now and Christmas. Next weekend, Minehead station meets Thomas the Tank. "Santa Specials" are running on the first, third and fourth weekends in December.

Christmas specials are also being run by Kirklees Light Railway (01484 865727) and the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway (01535 645214) in West Yorkshire. New Year's Day is Family Day at the Embsay Steam Railway (01756 794727), near Skipton in North Yorkshire.

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