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UK weekly edition, Wednesday, July 30, 2008

To our readers: Stripes UK is considering dropping the Cheap Seats feature. With escalating airfares that change on a daily basis, we fear the column is not serving our readers the way it should. If you have any thoughts on the feature or suggestions for a travel-related column you think would better serve you, please e-mail us at: uknews@estripes.osd.mil

Next month — Sept. 2-6Rimini, Italy: 86.20 pounds round tripFly Ryanair from London Stansted to Rimini.

This stylish beach resort city on the Adriatic Sea offers plenty of attractions for a fun-packed family holiday.

Start at the nine miles of sandy beaches where vacationers can be seen lazily sunbathing in the sun or playing in the crystal clear seas. The beach is adorned with huts selling everything from sunscreen and beach towels to pizza and soda. Other beach shacks rent out loungers, sun umbrellas and water-sports equipment for the day.

Don’t worry about having to leave the beach for food; there are many beach-side restaurants and cafes with fresh fish dishes on the menu.

Head into the city to explore some of its attractions, including the oldest surviving Roman arch, the Arco D’augusto, and the once-majestic palace Castel Sismondo. Two museums to visit are the Museo Delle Forze Aeree, which houses a collection of planes and uniforms from various conflicts, and the San Giuliano, which houses a fine collection of artworks.

Children will enjoy spending time at Fiabilandia, a theme park with rides and live entertainment or Aquafan — a local water park.

In the evenings, visit the beachside bars for music and dancing into the early morning.

Three months — Oct. 31-Nov. 2County Clare, Ireland: 73.16 pounds round tripFly Ryanair from London Stansted to Shannon.

Three miles from the Shannon town center is Bunratty Castle. The castle, the most complete and authentic medieval fortress in Ireland, is decorated with 15th- and 16th-century furnishings, tapestries and works of art. At night, the castle is the setting for year-round medieval banquets.

The village of Bunratty offers excellent shopping, including Avoca Handweavers and Bunratty Village Mills and Blarney Woollen Mills Complex. Many restaurants and pubs can be found there, including the popular Durty Nelly’s.

Craggaunowen Castle in Quin houses a collection of medieval art and its surrounding wattle and daub houses bring the Bronze Age to life. This unique attraction includes a ring fort, a fifth-century farmhouse, Iron Age roadway and more.

Nearby is the village of Newmarket-on-Fergus, where you can find a footpath to Mooghaun Fort. There in 1854, an important discovery of Bronze Age gold ornaments, including gorgets, necklets and bracelets, was made. This, the "Great Clare Find," was one of the largest discoveries of its kind made in Western Europe.


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