Bagain of the week

Accommodation within Britain for pounds 2 per night is still possible, specifically at three camping barns in the West Pennines operated by Lancashire Countryside Service. The barns, at Rivington, Darwen and Entwistle Reservoir, have no heating or lighting. You must book in advance by writing to the Great House Barn Information Centre, Rivington Lane, Horwich, Bolton BL6 7SB.

Details of low-cost accommodation elsewhere in the British Isles is contained in the Independent Hostel Guide 1997, itself a bargain at pounds 3.95. Order through the Backpackers' Press, 2 Rockview Cottages, Matlock Bath, Derbyshire DE4 3PG.

Trouble spots

Risks in the east of Europe, according to alerts issued this month by the Foreign Office

Belarus: Parts of Belarus were badly contaminated at the time of the Chernobyl nuclear accident. Care should be taken throughout the country to avoid certain foodstuffs (primarily dairy produce, mushrooms and forest fruits) which can carry high levels of radiation.

Greece (Corfu): Given the current unrest in Albania and the close proximity of Albania to Corfu, great care should be taken by yacht owners sailing in the Corfu Channel. Vessels should in particular keep well away from the Albanian coast and should stay overnight in harbours where boats can be guarded.

Latvia: Travellers should be alert to the possibility of mugging, theft and pickpocketing. Avoid unlit streets and parks at night. Car theft is rife. Where possible use guarded car parks, and keep valuables out of sight.

Travel Advice Unit (0171-238 4503 or 4504, or fax 0171-238 4545); on the Internet, at http://www.fco.gov. uk/ or BBC2 Ceefax, page 470 onwards.

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