Where to go and what to know

1. Posh pad

Edinburgh has a stylish new self-catering property in the form of Nine Nelson. Located in the Scottish capital's New Town, the refurbished Georgian townhouse has four bedrooms, spread over two floors with period features such as flagstone floors and a winding staircase. Nightly from £595. ninenelson.com

2. En Mas

On 19 July, Mas de Thau opens in the South of France. Situated in the unspoilt Languedoc, the former farmhouse has four family-friendly gîtes, with their own garden or terrace. Amid the grounds, there's also an outdoor pool, kids' club, petting farm and spa for the grown-ups. Weekly stays from €3,825. masdethau.com

3. All aboard

This summer, DFDS Seaways is offering day sailings that depart from the Port of Tyne for a three-hour mini cruise up the north-east coast, visiting sites such as Tynemouth and St Mary's Lighthouse. Families can learn about local wildlife while listening to live music onboard. Departs 10/17 August; £32pp. dfds.co.uk

4. Pedal party

The Tour de France is under way. To celebrate, four "Fan Parks" have been set up in Harrogate and London, with stages, screens, French food and guest appearances. Harrogate opens until tomorrow; Trafalgar Square and Green Park until Monday; Canary Wharf from 24–27 July. tourde francefanpark.co.uk

5. Peak retreat

For those who dream of living the high life in the Swiss ski resort of Gstaad, but can't afford the prices, there's a new hostel. Operated by the Swiss Youth Hostel group, it offers affordable digs in the village of Saanen, with 160 beds from CHF40 (£26)pp, buffet breakfast included. bit.ly/GstaadHostel

6. Saddle up

Paris is extending its pioneering public bike scheme, Vélib, by giving families the chance to hire four models for children aged two-eight years, near green and pedestrianised areas. Options range from the "Hobby Horse" trike for toddlers to the "20 Inch" bike for older kids. From €4 per hour. en.velib.paris.fr

7. In bloom

Tulip Island opened in Amsterdam's green and pleasant Vondelpark yesterday. Remaining in place until 7 September, it invites visitors to pick tulips, arrange them into bouquets and learn about the history of Holland's national emblem. Live musicians will also perform at a bandstand in the middle. tulip-island.com

8. Road save

The budget airport transfer company, easyBus, is launching a low-cost bus service between Waterloo station in London and Gatwick. The frequent link between Europe's busiest train station and the Sussex airport starts on Monday, , with a journey time of 70 minutes. One-way fares start at £2. easybus.co.uk

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