UK DEPARTURES

ROCK HOLIDAYS
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The Independent Travel
The oldest rock in Europe is Lewisian gneiss, found in the extreme north-west of Scotland. An October hike organised by North-West Frontiers (01854 666229) begins in the town of Lochinver and passes through glacier- sculpted mountains and across deserted beaches. The cost for one week is pounds 295 including B&B accommodation and transportation of luggage.

Thirty-one Latchmere Road is a council house in Leeds, and one of the stops on a Gardens of Yorkshire tour organised by Boxwood Tours (01235 532791). Other sites on the five-day tour are Studley Royal and Harewood House, and lunch will be taken on one day with the owners of Middlethorpe Hall. The trip is from 18 to 22 September, and costs pounds 630 - with no single supplement.

To reach the parts of Britain that the railways do not serve, the ideal adjunct is the latest Doe's Bus-Rail Guide - a travel schedule to Britain giving summer bus times from stations to more than 300 places not on the rail network. The new edition costs pounds 6, including postage to anywhere in Europe, and can be ordered from the editor, Barry Doe, at 25 Newmorton Road, Bournemouth BH9 3NU (01202 528707).

Four weeks from today, the 1995 Milton Keynes Festival of Humour begins. For a copy of the programme, write to the Tourism Development Officer, Milton Keynes Borough Council, 1 Saxon Gate East, Milton Keynes MK9 3HJ.

Young people who want to get out and about during the winter could consult the Great Escapes brochure of winter breaks from the YHA of England and Wales. Numerous weekend and half-time breaks are on offer, and some qualify as projects for the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme. Most are based at YHA activity centres. At Edale in the Peak District, for example, a multi- activity weekend aimed at 12 to 15-year-olds samples anything from hiking to skiing.

Autumn Gold, the Scottish Tourist Board's latest marketing offensive, offers a range of discounts for off-season visitors. To get there, British Midland (0141-882 5000) is providing two tickets for the price of one from London, East Midlands and Leeds/Bradford to Edinburgh and Glasgow. Deals on accommodation are available and tickets for October's Aberdeen Alternative Festival, featuring Nanci Griffith and the Michael Nyman Band, get a 20 per cent discount. Call 0345 511511 to claim your free discount card.

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