What's the best way to..?

Meet Two Gentlemen of Verona? Go to the Globe Theatre (0171-401 9919) in Southwark. The play chosen by Globe for its grand opening this evening is not the Bard's best, but it has done wonders for tourism in this ancient north Italian city. Thespian travellers are attracted by the prospect of meeting Verona's present-day signori, and by the balcony where Juliet was courted by Romeo. Just across the Veneto lies the setting for the Merchant of Venice.

See the global appeal of Shakespeare? Head to India and catch one of the Indian Summer Theatre Company's 24 productions of King Lear, staged over 37 days between now and 26 September, from Madras to Rajasthan. Details from Simon Wheeler on 01962 772314.

Get from Coventry to the Caribbean? Fly to Jamaica and back with Air Jamaica (0181 570 7999) before 30 September and National Express Coaches will transfer you to Heathrow, free. The offer also applies to Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Manchester and Wolverhampton.

Take time off in the autumn without organising a thing? Book a guided weekend holiday with Whistler Breaks (01743 718964). You can go birdwatching in Lancashire, take a tour of Great Houses in Derbyshire or recreate the scenes from Pride and Prejudice in Stamford. The cost of pounds 170 includes meals, accommodation, transport, guides and all entrance fees.

Dive in and lose your fear of water? Learn to swim in Hereford with Acorn Activities (01432 830083). People of all ages can take the plunge and book a place on the five-day course. Once you get really proficient you can follow this up with Acorn's two-hour introductory scuba-diving course. The swimming course costs pounds 180, not including accommodation, and the scuba diving introductory course is pounds 50.

Revive sore eyes in Santa Monica, California? Take a ride on the pier's Big Wheel at sunset when the views are briefly lit up by the Green Flash streaking the horizon. If that sight is not enough for you, head for the State Beach between 1 and 6 October when the Kite Convention's flying colours will dance across the sky to music. The competition includes an event at night, the kites decorated with tiny lights.

Catch a sunbeam? Go to the Croatian island of Hvar, officially the sunniest part of the Adriatic, with Phoenix Holidays (0345 626468). Prices start at pounds 199 per person and include one week's B&B in the village of Stari Grad.

Find out when to travel by train? Phone the new national rail inquiries line on 0345 484950 and your call will be directed to the first available bureau from Tunbridge Wells to Glasgow, but charged at local rates.

Feel like a millionaire for the day? Hire a Jaguar XJ Executive from Budget (0800 181 181) for pounds 169. You needn't drive anywhere - you could just spend the day reclining on the leather seats or admiring your reflection in the walnut trim.

Cut half an hour off your flight time? Get a chauffeur to park your car for you. Hogg Robinson BTI (01252 372000) arranges this service for business travellers from pounds 13.50 for a day to pounds 45 for cars parked for six days. For an extra pounds 7.50 they'll even clean the car out for you.

RHIANNON BATTEN

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