Something To Declare: America by rail; Boris country; congested traffic in France

Where to go, how to save, what to avoid

Destination of the week: America by rail

This summer the US National Park Service is offering a "Trails and Rails Program" in which volunteer guides provide guided tours through scenic areas. Examples: along the Adirondack route between New York and Montreal; the Ann Rutledge from St Louis to Springfield; and between Seattle and Portland aboard the Coast Starlight.

In addition, the spectacular line between Seattle and Vancouver is to be augmented with an extra train each day. Fares and availability can be checked online at www.amtrak.com, or through a specialist rail agent such as Trainseurope (0871 700 7722; www.trainseurope. co.uk). Members of the AA or RAC can get a 10 per cent discount by booking at least three days ahead and presenting their card on board.

Bargain of the week: Boris country

The Hotel du Vin (01491 848400; www.hotelduvin. com) in Henley-on-Thames – the town represented until recently by Boris Johnson – has a special summer deal of £99 per room per night, without breakfast. This boutique hotel (above) retains the Georgian exterior of the old Brakespear's brewery.

The same price applies to other Hotel du Vin properties. But if you can time it right, a special Sunday-night-only deal, aiming to fill rooms on the sabbath in summer, is even better value at £145 for a double room, a three-course dinner, plus breakfast the next day. It applies at Hotels du Vin in York and Tunbridge Wells. Book on 0845 365 4247; quote "Lazy".

Warning of the week: Congested traffic in France

This weekend is the first of the summer when motorists visiting France are likely to encounter "extremely difficult" traffic, according to the authorities. The reason: the annual summer exodus of drivers to the south. The roads around and between Paris and the Rhône Valley are likely to be congested today and tomorrow, with the Rhône Valley rated "extremely difficult". On Monday, Paris and western and northern France rate a "very difficult". But the worst weekend of all is the first in August; on Sunday, 2 August, the forecast is for extremely heavy traffic across the country.

Coming home, the days to avoid around Paris are 17, 24 and 31 August. The usual August return of Parisians from the south to the capital will be amplified by British visitors heading for the Channel ports; all these dates gain a "very difficult" tag. For more information, see www.bison-fute.equipement.gouv.fr. The Calendrier Bison Fute section uses colour coding for predicted traffic levels: green is "normal", black rates "extremely difficult".

News
Food blogger and Guardian writer Jack Monroe with her young son
people
News
people
News
peopleSinger tells The Independent what life is like in rehab in an exclusive video interview
Arts and Entertainment
booksPhotographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years - but he says it wasn’t all fun and games...
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Sport
Aguero - who single-handedly has kept City's Champions League dreams alive - celebrates his dramatic late winner
footballManchester City 3 Bayern Munich 2: Argentine's late hat-rick sees home side snatch vital victory
News
Muhammad Ali pictured in better health in 2006
peopleBut he has enjoyed publicity from his alleged near-death experience
Arts and Entertainment
Tony breaks into Ian Garrett's yacht and makes a shocking discovery
TVReview: Revelations continue to make this drama a tough watch
News
news
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Arts and Entertainment
TV
News
The assumption that women are not as competent in leadership positions as men are leads to increased stress in the workplace
science... and it's down to gender stereotypes
Life and Style
The racy marketing to entice consumers to buy Fairlife, which launches in the US next month
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Inner sanctum: Tove Jansson and friends in her studio in 1992
booksWhat was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
News
i100
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Investigo: Financial reporting Accountant

    £40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits : Investigo: One of the fastest growing g...

    Sphere Digital Recruitment: CRM Executive – Global Travel Brand – Luton – £25k

    25,000: Sphere Digital Recruitment: CRM Executive – Global Travel Brand – Luto...

    Investigo: Group Financial Controller

    £50000 - £55000 per annum: Investigo: A growing group of top end restaurants l...

    Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

    £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Excellent opportunities are available for par...

    Day In a Page

    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

    Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
    Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

    Putin’s far-right ambition

    Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
    Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

    Escape to Moominland

    What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
    Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

    24-Hour party person

    Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
    Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

    A taste for rebellion

    US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
    Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

    Colouring books for adults

    How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
    Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

    What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

    Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
    Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

    Call me Ed Mozart

    Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
    10 best stocking fillers for foodies

    Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

    From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
    Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

    Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

    Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
    'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

    'I am a paedophile'

    Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
    How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

    How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

    Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
    Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

    From a lost deposit to victory

    Green Party on the march in Bristol
    Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

    Winter blunderlands

    Putting the grot into grotto
    'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

    'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

    London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital