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Record dog walking

Dog owners in England can help the city of Newcastle retain its place in the Guinness Book of Records as the site of the world’s largest dog walk by joining in this year’s attempt at a new record on June 13.

The Great North Dog Walk follows a 3½-mile coastal route along the cliffs. Last year, 17,427 dogs representing 169 breeds participated.

The walk is suitable for families and older dogs. All dogs must be on a leash, and each participant is allowed to walk just one dog. Starting time is 10 a.m. Entry is free. Participants can register in advance or on the day of the walk.

For details, head to www.greatnorthdogwalk.co.uk.

Alsace packages

France’s Alsace region has a variety of vacation packages to entice visitors. Their themes include gastronomic, outdoor activities, cities and sports breaks.

The two-day “Colmar and the Wine Route” deal, for example, takes in the romantic town of Colmar and a trip along the Route des Vin. Per person, double occupancy, it costs 110 euros in a two-star hotel and 130 euros in a three-star hotel.

The price includes one night’s accommodation, a three-course traditional dinner in Colmar, a three-course traditional lunch along the wine route and a visit to a wine cellar with tasting.

The three-day “Discover Alsatian Cooking” package offers a cooking lesson with a French chef who will demonstrate culinary methods then let you get involved in the cooking. The price is 180 euros per person, double occupancy, and includes two nights’ accommodations, two breakfasts, one traditional dinner and one gastronomic dinner with four seasonal dishes.

See www.tourisme-alsace.com/en/packages.

York Mystery Plays

On July 11 and 18, York, England, will stage its medieval mystery plays, a series of pieces about major biblical events from creation to Judgment Day. In the Middle Ages, actors from each of the city guilds would perform a cycle of the plays on wagons drawn through the city’s streets so that different groups could watch each part. The performances could go on for several days. There are four known cycle of plays still existing: Towneley, Chester, York and Coventry. This year’s program consists of 12 plays divided into two parts. The first part begins with the “Creation to the Fifth Day” and ends with “The Agony in the Garden.” The second part begins with “The Dream of Pilate’s Wife” and ends with “The Last Judgment.” Performances begin at noon and end at 6 p.m. at four locations, some with ticketed seating from 10 pounds (about $15). Standing admission is free.

In addition to the plays, York has organized medieval walks and medieval text readings and performances from July 10 to 18. Several hotels are also offering packaged Mystery Play deals. See www.yorkmysteryplays.co.uk.

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