Travel Briefs

Hidden behind closed doors for over two centuries, the Royal Academy’s suite of Fine Rooms has been restored to its Neo-Palladian glory and in March opened to the public for the first time.

On the first floor of Burlington House in London’s Piccadilly, the suite displays art treasures built up by the foundation since 1768. It includes paintings by Reynolds, Gainsborough, Constable, Spencer and David Hockney as well as Michelangelo’s marble sculpture “Taddei Tondo.”

For info...


The home of a 19th-century cartoonist and his family has reopened in London after a 3-year renovation. A middle-class townhouse of the period, Linley Sambourne House was the home of the Punch magazine illustrator Edward Linley Sambourne from 1875.

The home is crammed full of period artifacts, including porcelain, etchings and statuettes. Visitors are taken around the house by a costumed actor who plays the part of Mrs. Sambourne, their son or the domestic maid.

The house is...


The Landmark Trust is a preservation charity which restores architecturally interesting and historic buildings in Britain and offers them as self-catering holiday homes. Prices vary according to the size of the property and the season, averaging about £25 (near $42) per person per night.

The 20th edition of the “Landmark Trust Handbook” lists 178 properties and costs £9.50 (refundable against a booking) including postage and packing. Call 01628 825925 or visit

The free guide “Stay on a Farm 2004” lists more than 1,100 farms in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland offering bed and a hearty breakfast at an average cost of £25 (near $46) per person per night. The majority have en-suite bathrooms, and many provide an evening meal.

The 162-page guide has photographs and details of each property plus information on farms with self-catering accommodation or caravan and camping facilities. It is available from VisitBritain overseas offices...


The resort Gleneagles is celebrating its 80th birthday in 2004 with “Classic Scottish Sojourns,” in which guests can explore Scotland via private chauffeur-guided tours.

The 3-night/4-day program costs $1,800 (guaranteed in U.S. dollars), based on double occupancy, and includes accommodation, full Scottish breakfast daily, one full-day tour OR two half-day tours and 17.5% VAT. Also included are one round of golf, one whisky tasting and one massage for each guest.



VisitBritain has a new brochure on beautiful and historic gardens of Britain. It includes info on events and festivals (2004 is the “Year of Gardening” in Britain); insider tips from head gardeners; garden tours and holidays; courses throughout Britain, and seasonal information on which gardens to see and when.

The brochure is available free from VisitBritain’s Travel Center, 551 Fifth Ave., Ste. 701, New York, NY 10176-0799; phone 877/899-8391 or e-mail

To commemorate the 60th anniversary of D-Day, The Orangery restaurant at Kensington Palace and the New Armouries restaurant at HM Tower of London will feature, for one year only beginning June 2004, special World War II menus. The wartime menus, using limited amounts of ingredients as in times of rationing, will be available alongside the more modern menus.

The 2-course War Time Lunch Menu costs £11.50 (near $21) and the 3-course, £14.50 ($26.50), comprising lettuce, parsley and...


The visa fee for American citizens wishing to travel to Turkey was reduced on April 1, 2004, to $20, down 80% from its previous cost of $100.

Application forms can be found on the Internet at, or travelers can obtain a tourist visa upon arrival in Turkey or at any of the five Turkish Consulates in the U.S. (Washington D.C., New York, Chicago, Houston or Los Angeles). For info on Turkey, call 877-FOR-TURKEY.