Across the Pond: Crowds Thin, Prices Drop in Great Britain

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NOW'S THE TIME to head to Great Britain. The summer crowds are gone, the weather is nicer, and the prices have fallen from the summer high season.

The folks at the British Tourist Authority have inundated us with new, free brochures and guides to help you plan an off-season trip. Among them are the following:

"U.K. The Guide" debunks the myth that Britain is nothing but quaint and cute and full of terrific old castles. This 68-page, magazine-style brochure was written with young visitors in mind. In it, you'll find articles on the club scene, street fashion, surfing, an alternative calendar and listings of hotels and restaurants that cater to the tastes and budgets of younger travelers. For a copy, call (800) 462-2748. If you'd rather hoof it than club it, BTA also has published "Britain for Walkers." Part fold-out map, part magazine, the guide will help you locate each of Britain's 62 major walking trails and offers a brief description of each. On the other side of the map, you'll find suggestions on arranging accommodations, protecting the countryside and detailed descriptions of six selected walks through parts of England, Scotland and Wales. You'll also find a list of companies offering organized walks. For a copy, send a self-addressed, business-sized envelope with 78 cents postage to British Tourist Authority, 551 Fifth Avenue, Suite 701, New York, N.Y. 10176-0799. Web heads can check out the authority's web site: You'll find useful things to know before traveling to Britain, a list of haunted hotels and inns, a calendar of events and links to sites managed by the English, Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland tourist boards. Healthy, Happy Trails Preparing for a trip usually involves canceling newspapers, making reservations and packing the bags. Usually, not a thought is given to your health. But stop and imagine what it would be like to get sick in a foreign country, barely knowing the language, much less the state of the health-care system. Taking a few precautions before leaving home sounds like a good idea. CDB Healthcare and SmithKline Beecham have published "The Safe Travel Book" to help avoid and prepare for medical problems abroad. The 16-page booklet includes a list of health records and ID to take with you, safe travel practices, recommended vaccinations, medical supplies to take along and tips on what to do about animal bites. For a free copy, call (800) 437-2829. Living Up To Its Name Budget Car and Truck Rental is offering a $25-a-day weekend rate on its economy- through full-size cars until Jan. 31, 1997. Here are the rules: You must reserve in advance and mention either the $25-a-day weekend rate or request code OK at the time of booking. Availability is limited, so you'll need to book as early as possible. You must rent the car for at least two days. Pick up the car between noon Thursday and noon Saturday; return it by noon Monday. …


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