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Nuremberg, Germany: 147.59 pounds round trip

Fly Air Berlin from London Stansted to Nuremberg.

Exploration of this Bavarian city should start at the tourist information center on the main market square, Hauptmarkt, where visitors can get maps and discount cards for many of the city’s main attractions.

A few feet away, heading toward the Imperial Castle, are the medieval dungeons branded "the Hole." Explore 12 7-by-7-foot cells and a torture chamber used as a detention facility for those awaiting trial in the 14th century.

Farther along the street is the World War II "art bunker" where Nuremberg stored its treasured masterpieces in rock-cut cellars some 80 feet beneath the castle hill to prevent their destruction.

Also to be explored under castle hill is a series of cellars and passageways once used for beer fermentation and where city residents found shelter during the WWII air raids.

Continue to the Imperial Castle, which sits high above the old town. Schedule three to four hours to explore the castle’s residential and state rooms, the double chapel, a well, and the collection of arms and military equipment. Also visit the nearby Kaiserburg Museum.

While in Nuremberg, taste two of the city’s gastronomic delights: Nuremberger grilled sausage and gingerbread.

Three Months — Sept. 26-28

County Mayo, Ireland: 35.72 pounds round trip

Fly Ryanair from London Stansted to Knock.

Start with a visit to the Knock shrine in the village of Knock. It is believed that, in 1879, 15 residents saw an apparition of the Virgin Mary, St. Joseph and St. John the Evangelist beside the gable of the Church of St. John the Baptist. Most of Knock’s visitors, who have included the late Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul II, go on pilgrimages to the shrine. The road to the shrine is lined with vendors peddling their decorated wares.

From there, head 20 miles west of Knock to the Ballintubber Abbey. This church has been in continuous use for almost 800 years. Built in 1216, it has survived fires and attacks, including one by Oliver Cromwell’s forces, which dismantled the roof. Today it is an impressive site, having been completely restored in 1966. Discover the striking 13th-century windows on the right side of the nave. Inside, the visitor center tells the Abbey’s troubled history.

Now head south of Ballina to Foxford Woollen Mills Visitor Centre to tour the mill, founded in 1892 by a local nun to provide work for the famine-ravaged community. Visit the exhibition center, art gallery, heritage room, shop and restaurant. Visitors can also drop into one of the center’s craft workshops.

If you are of Irish descent and are interested in tracing your family tree, visit the Mayo North Heritage Centre. Its data bank includes indexes to church registers, school records, leases and wills. The adjacent museum houses displays of rural household items and farm machinery.

Airfare prices include taxes and are courtesy of each airline’s 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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