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Next weekend — Feb. 16-19Poitiers, France: 40.99 pounds round trip

Fly Ryanair from London Stansted to Poitiers.

Start your visit of Poitiers at the Notre-Dame-la-Grande Church with biblical carvings and 15th- and 16th-century statues on the outside. At night, the church is beautifully illuminated.

From there, head to the Episcopal quarter to visit Saint-Pierre Cathedral with its window depicting the crucifixion of Christ, his ascension and resurrection. Also in this quarter, you can visit the Saint-Jean baptistery built in the early fourth century and housing a collection of stone coffins. And you can see the 11th-century Saint-Radegonde church, which has a Roman tower and the tomb of Queen Radegonde.

Take a break from the sightseeing to visit the Grande Rue, which passes through the quarter and is lined with shops. There you can visit La Maison de Poupee, a quaint doll shop, and other craftmen’s shops.

Families looking for something different should venture to Futuroscope, a science theme park with more than 20 attractions. Among them are the Kinemax, a rock crystal covered with mirrors with a 400-seat cinema, and the Omnimax, which uses a special lens and gigantic dome as a screen to put you in the action. Other attractions include 3-D adventures, dancing with robots and a magical illusion show. According to, this is a great opportunity to “live in the future today.”

Next month — March 16-18Poznan, Poland: 74.41 pounds round trip

Fly Wizz Air from London Luton to Poznan.

Stary Ryneck, the old market square, is a great launching point to start your exploration of Poznan. In the square, visitors will find the 16th-century town hall, whose basement and first-floor house the Museum of the History of Poznan. At noon, look at the town hall tower clock to see two little automated billy goats lock horns 12 times.

Another attraction within Stary Ryneck is the 18th-century Guard House, which contains the Wielkopolska Museum of the Struggle for Independence and the Museum of the Wielkopolska Uprising of 1918-1919. On the southern side of the square is the Wielkopolska Military Museum, with exhibits on the Polish army and its armor and equipment.

Next, holidaymakers should head to the Royal Castle housing the Museum of Applied Arts, whose collections include textiles, clocks, ceramics and more from the middle ages to modern times. Another attraction is the Painting and Sculpture Gallery of the National Museum, with collections of Polish, Flemish, Italian and Dutch paintings.

Now pass over to Ostrow Tumski, one of the oldest areas of Poznan, and take in the majestic cathedral. According to the city’s Web site,, the cathedral is Poznan’s oldest heritage building. This three-aisle Gothic basilica is surrounded by a semicircle of chapels, has two front towers and three eastern side towers and a 15th-century portal. The portal contains a more modern bronze door depicting scenes from the lives of Saint Peter on the outside and Saint Paul on the inside. It is in this cathedral that many of Poland’s first leaders are buried.

For a more recreational holiday in Poznan, try visiting the Malta Ski Sports and Recreation Centre on the south side of Lake Maltanskie. With a year-round artificial ski slope, tourists can ski and toboggan even during the summer months.

Airfare prices include estimated taxes and are courtesy of the Web site Prices were verified as of Monday afternoon when Stripes UK went to press. Deals are not guaranteed to be available; restrictions may apply.


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