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Destination of the week: anywhere in Belgium

Destination of the week: anywhere in Belgium

To coincide with the opening of the new line through Kent, Eurostar (08705 186 186; has transformed its fare structure to Brussels and beyond. As from tomorrow, a ticket to the Belgian capital will be valid for travel to anywhere else in the country, via Brussels-Midi station. This includes the key Flemish cities of Bruges, Ghent and Antwerp, and also opens up the less well-known French-speaking Walloon areas, such as Liège and the Ardennes. As a result, all of these destinations will be available at a fare of £59 from London Waterloo or Ashford, providing you book in advance and/or choose off-peak trains.

Even better, you need not specify your destination in advance. The rule is that you simply show your Eurostar ticket to Brussels to SNCB (Belgian Railways) staff. You are allowed to travel within 24 hours of arriving in, or departing from, Brussels, which opens up the possibility of a two-centre break - staying overnight in the Belgian capital, and travelling on to Bruges or Antwerp the next day.

Travellers to adjacent countries may also make use of the deal: you can reach the frontier of Luxembourg, Germany or Holland.

The other big change is for day-trip tickets to most Eurostar destinations. Instead of paying anything up to the full standard fare of £298 return to Paris or Brussels, a £59 fare will be available on any day of the week. You must book at least three weeks ahead for travel between Monday and Friday, but only half an hour in advance (subject to availability) at weekends.

Bargain of the week: New Year in New York

Airlines are scrambling for cash-flow to tide them over the lean winter months. On the world's busiest intercontinental air route, between London and New York, many of them have short-term promotions for flights at the start of next year. For example, Travelocity (0870 111 7060; has this week been offering Lufthansa flights via Frankfurt for £169 return, and Air Canada via Toronto for £172. But even better value, given the faster journey time and superior economy class, is offered by Virgin Atlantic (£189) and British Airways (£194). For tall travellers, American Airlines at £191 return through Opodo (0870 241 7051; looks good - there's more leg-room. These prices are restricted to a few weeks between New Year's Day and St Valentine's weekend, and are selling fast; book by the end of September to be safe.