Let's Go / Best Bets
Living Horse MuseumThrough Jan. 7, the Musee Vivant du Cheval (Living Horse Museum) in Chantilly, France, is presenting the program “Christmas, the Horse and Child.” The Web site describes it as a compilation of riding school feats performed by 10 riders and 20 horses around the theme of Father Christmas.
The show is performed daily (except Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve) at 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. Tickets cost 18 euros for adults (13 years and up), 17 euros for children 6 to 12, 15 euros for children 2 to 5.
During the year there are daily dressage shows included in the price of the ticket. The 30-minute “Introduction to the Art of Riding” is performed every day except Tuesdays at 11:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m. and 5:15 p.m. On Saturdays (except holidays), the ponies present a 25-minute show.
The private living and training museum was founded in 1982 on estate grounds first developed in 1719. It includes a central nave, 31 rooms covering 4,000 square meters of floor space and 800 meters of track. These are for not only museum exhibitions about the horse but also riding demonstrations several times a day through the year.
The horses are from Andalusia and Portugal and similar to those ridden by princes in the 18th century, when the Grandes Ecuries (stables) were built.
For details, see the Web site www.museevivantducheval.fr.
Victorian cemeteriesDon’t think that the Friends of Kensal Green in London are caretakers of a park. Rather, these enthusiasts promote the city’s first of seven large Victorian cemeteries. Kensal Green, on the outskirts of the city, was established in the 1830s and covers 72 acres.
The organization runs a two-hour tour at 2 p.m. every Sunday. Among the highlights are ornate monuments and tombs decorated with angels and Egyptian imagery, the graves of a son and daughter of King George III, the Anglican and Dissenters’ Chapels and more mausoleums than any other graveyard in England, containing the remains of writers Anthony Trollope and W. Macepeace Thackeray.
On the first and third Sunday of each month, the tour drops into England’s largest catacomb, which still accepts coffins — 216 vaults with room for 4,000 coffins.
The cemetery in Harrow Road (Kensal Green Underground) is open daily until dusk. Tour leaders ask for a five-pound donation (about $10).
For information, check the Web at www.kensalgreen.co.uk.
Irish manor packageSceptre Tours, which organizes trips in Ireland, offers an Adare Manor package tour, which it says can fill fast. The five-star manor was voted the No. 1 European Resort by Condé Nast Traveler magazine in 2002.
The package runs June through December, so you have time to check it out now for a 2007 stay. Cost is $499 per person, double occupancy, from June through September; $379 in October, and $329 in November and December. The price includes a first-night hotel in Shannon or Dublin, Irish coffee reception, two nights in a Town and Country B&B, the final night in the Adare Manor and an economy car rental.
For details on this and other tours, see the Web site www.sceptretours.com.
Students in FlorencePlanning to study in Florence? You might want to look at www.florenceforfun.org before you go. The site was created by a university director to integrate students into the city’s nightlife. It organizes nights out for students and works with clubs and bars in the city. It also offers information on English-language movie theaters, food and wine, art and fashion, museums, accommodations, airport transfers, tours in Italy and Europe, living in Florence and discounts.
Best BetENGLAND: The Bishop’s Eucharist and Pilgrimage to Fountains Abbey in Yorkshire takes place Tuesday (Boxing Day). The route follows the trail of the monks who broke away from St. Mary’s Church in York to found their own abbey. In 1132, they journeyed to Ripon, where they spent Christmas, and on Dec. 27 continued to the new site.
Tuesday’s pilgrimage begins with a 10 a.m. service in Ripon Cathedral. At 10:30 a.m., the four-mile walk to the abbey begins. The cathedral Web site is www.riponcathedral.org.uk.