Paris planningHelp is at hand for those too disorganized or intimidated to plan their own visit to Paris.
The Paris Travel Group can custom-design tours by asking customers a few questions before they go, and then preparing a trip suiting their interests and needs.
Customers fill out information on travel preferences about a month before they go. The form includes any special preferences, such as hotels and shopping, sightseeing musts, number of travelers (including children), special interests and the travelers’ thoughts on what would make an ideal trip. The company reviews the requests and sends a program with daily itineraries, including walking routes, maps, dining and shopping information, photos, latest events and "how-to" advice.
The cost is 220 euros (about $344).
A private travel concierge service also is available. For details, go to www.paristravelgroup.com
Day charity rides and moreCombine cycling with charity in Britain on one of Bike Events’ one-day trips.
There are 13 rides still scheduled for this summer. On July 27, for example, a 50-mile ride goes from Lea Valley Park north of London to Cambridge’s Midsummer Common.
The route is marked with day-glow yellow signs. A map will also show the locations of marshals (for information), mechanics, refreshment stops and first-aid stations. Support vehicles also are available. Entry packs cost 16 pounds (about $31.50) and participants must be at least 14 years old.
On Aug. 10, a 35-mile ride follows the Suffolk Coast. Entry costs 13.50 pounds for adults, 7.50 pounds for children.
The company also offers bike trips in other countries. From July 28 to Aug. 4, for example, you can travel the Amsterdam area. The price of 335 pounds includes ferry crossings with berths in a cabin and breakfast, hostel accommodation, breakfasts and dinners, luggage transfers and posted routes and maps.
Other trips include Holland for Kids (Aug. 2-8), Clare and The Burren (Sept. 3-9) and Cork to Kerry (Sept. 11-17).
Find more details at www.Bike-events.com.
Women-only B&BIf you’re a woman traveling solo or with other women to Florence, Italy, you might want to check out a place that offers bed-and-breakfast accommodations for females only. B&B for Women Only has four rooms with air conditioning. Singles are 45 euros in high season (March 15-Nov. 4) and 35-40 euros in low season; doubles cost 75 euros in high season (about $117) and 60 to 65 euros in low season.
Find more information at www.bandbforwomenonly.eu.
Best BetsENGLAND: If you love the sweet taste of liquorice, you can indulge at this weekend’s Liquorice Festival in Pontefract. Set against the backdrop of the city’s Norman castle ruins and in the town center, the festival’s program includes guided tours of a local liquorice farm, parade, re-enactments, history camps, arts and crafts workshops, exhibitions, street acts and children’s activities. The market will showcase all the foods and drinks you can make with liquorice: candy, beer, cheese, bread, sausage, bacon, pie and herbal remedies. The festival is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. For more details, go to www.pontefractliquorice.co.uk/festival.php.
Dog lovers will want to head to Petersborough’s East of England Showground Tuesday through next Thursday for the East of England Championship Dog Show. An international group of 9,000 dogs in 130 breeds will be judged, and more than 50 trade stalls will be selling all things canine. Daily themes include Tuesday’s "Hounds, Toys and Terriers," Wednesday’s "Gun Dogs and Utility" and Thursday’s "Working and Pastoral." The show is open 8:15 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Tickets cost 4 pounds (about $7.90) for adults, 2 pounds for children 5 to 16 years. Get details atwww.eastofengland.org.uk/july_show_general.htm.
What began with Witcham schoolboys shooting peas at one another in 1971 has become a world family festival and contest to raise funds for maintenance of the town’s Village Hall. At 2 p.m. Sunday, the annual World Peashooting Championship begins, open to anyone who pays the 1 pound admission fee (50 pence for juniors). The peas and shooters will be on sale and a practice area is available for those whose blowing skills are rusty. A village fair will be conducted at the same time, with food, drinks, stalls and children’s activities. Find details at www.witcham.org.uk/_sgg/m1m6_1.htm.
— Jayne Traendly