The Independent Parent: Where can we find a reasonably priced apartment in Vancouver? Oh, and a nearby glacier too...

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The Independent Travel

Q. My partner and I have planned a trip at the end of July to Los Angeles and Vancouver with his 10-year-old daughter. We will be in Vancouver for eight nights. Do you know of any apartments or suites available for holiday rental in central Vancouver? We can spend around £100 a night. My partner's daughter would also like to see, and possibly walk on, a glacier.

Q. My partner and I have planned a trip at the end of July to Los Angeles and Vancouver with his 10-year-old daughter. We will be in Vancouver for eight nights. Do you know of any apartments or suites available for holiday rental in central Vancouver? We can spend around £100 a night. My partner's daughter would also like to see, and possibly walk on, a glacier.

S Wilson, via e-mail

A. Vancouver is a city that enjoys a spectacular location surrounded by sea, snow-capped mountains, inlets and islands. It's a great family destination, particularly in summer when you will be able to take advantage of the vast array of outdoor activities the city and the surrounding areas have to offer. This year the strength of the pound will help visitors from Britain. Renting an apartment or suite is a good idea and should help keep costs down. But the sooner you book the better, as July and August are peak season.

I have found several self-catering options for you in Vancouver's West End district in the heart of the city's bustling Downtown peninsula.

At the top end of your budget are the Rosellen Suites (001 604 689 4807; www.rosellensuites.com), at 2030 Barclay Street. These two-bedroom suites are equipped with a kitchen and dining area for four people, a master and guest bedroom, bathroom, and a living-room with a TV. Prices from May to September are C$249 (£105) per night for a three- to six-night stay, or C$211 (£89) per night for seven to 29 nights. Children under 12 stay free.

Slightly cheaper is the Sunset Inn & Suites (001 604 688 2474; www.sunsetinn.com) at 1111 Burnaby Street. These one-bedroom suites come with a double-sized sofa-bed in the living area, a fully equipped kitchen and dining area, bathroom and balcony. The cost for the three of you in July or August will be C$188 (£79) per night.

A cheaper option still is the Oceanside Apartment Hotel (001 604 682 5641; www.oceanside-hotel.com) at 1847 Pendrell Street. The suites contain a master bedroom, living area with a sofa-bed, a fully equipped kitchen and dining area, cable TV, telephone access and free parking. The price for the three of you in a one- bedroom suite isC$150 (£63) per night.

You won't have to drive too far to find a glacier. Once you have finally exhausted Vancouver's many possibilities head to Whistler, a three-hour drive away. To hire a car with Budget (0870 153 9170; www.budget.co.uk) costs from around C$30 (£13) per day. But the road from Vancouver to Whistler can be congested and so you might consider taking the bus from Vancouver. Greyhound (001 604 932 5031; www.greyhound.ca) provides a service with seven daily departures from Pacific Central Station, for a total fare of around C$110 (£50).

Whistler is the only location in British Columbia where you will be able to see glaciers. As well as being Canada's largest ski resort, it is equally popular in summer thanks to its stunning scenery. The "Seventh Heaven Chair" ski-lift takes people from "Rendezvous" on Blackcomb Mountain up 2,284 metres to the 112-acre Horstman Glacier for summer skiing and walking tours.

Glacier-walking is not recommended without a guide. I have found two companies that offer glacier tours during the summer who will also provide all the necessary equipment and clothing - just don't forget to wear lots of sunscreen. The Whistler Alpine Guides Bureau (001 604 938 9242; www.whistlerguides.com) offers daily tours departing at 10am. The tour lasts for five hours and costs C$129 (£54) for adults and C$109 (£46) for children under 15. Similarly, The Whistler Activity & Information Centre (001 604 938 2769; www.mywhistler.com) is the booking agent for a less taxing half-day tour of the glacier with Coast Mountain Guides, again departing daily at 9am and 1pm. This includes a guided tour walk up the mountain and over a section of the glacier lasting around three and a half hours. The price of C$99 (£40) per adult and CA$69 (£28) per child (aged seven to 12) includes a guide, equipment and snacks.

For more information call Visit Canada on 0906 871 5000 or see www.hellobc.com.

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