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QUESTION: I am planning to take my family out west to a dude ranch. Can you suggest some good, reasonably priced places?

ANSWER: There are a couple of ways of tracking down information on dude ranches, or guest ranches as they are alternately called by the growing industry that surrounds them.The Dude Ranchers' Association is made up of 111 member ranches in 11 states and British Columbia and Alberta, Canada. It was founded in 1926 with 35 members. Part of its recent success, according to its past executive director, Amey Grubbs, is the popularity of the novel "Lonesome Dove" by Larry McMurtry (Simon & Schuster) and the television series based on the book, and the movie "City Slickers," starring Billy Crystal (a sequel, "City Slickers II," was released this month).

The association publishes a 32-page annual directory, The Dude Rancher, that lists all its members, with a capsule description of each ranch and its facilities that also includes the rates. Most ranches offer more than just riding, although that is what attracts the majority of people to them in the first place.

Expect to find such attractions as fly fishing, swimming pools, volleyball, square dancing and even narrow-gauge train rides and trap shooting. Prices, which include breakfast, lunch and dinner and all activities on the ranch, range from about $750 to $1,500 a person a week, double occupancy.

For a copy of the directory and more information send $5 to the Dude Ranchers' Association, Post Office Box 471G, LaPorte, Colo. 80535; telephone (303) 223-8440.

A definitive source is the guide "Gene Kilgore's Ranch Vacations," the third edition of which was published in March.

The book, over 500 pages in length with 124 pages of color photographs, describes 275 ranches in 26 states, British Columbia and Alberta. The author, who also owns a real estate company that advises people buying and selling ranches in the United States and Canada, has visited each of the places he writes about.

The guide, which costs $19.95 plus $4.25 shipping and handling, is available in bookstores or from John Muir Publications, Post Office Box 613, Santa Fe, N.M. 87504; (800) 888-7504.

In Colorado, 40 ranches belong to their own state association as well as to the national group.

The Colorado group puts out its own directory and vacation guide, which is available free from the Colorado Dude & Guest Ranch Association, P.O. Box 300, Tabernash, Colo. 80478; (303) 724-3653.

QUESTION: I would like to go to Amsterdam or Rotterdam this fall and book passage on a barge for a trip up the Rhine as far as Switzerland if possible. How do I go about doing this?

ANSWER: Because of strong currents and heavy commercial traffic, travel up the Rhine by barge of the kind to be seen on the rivers and canals of England and France is not available.

The alternative is riverboats holding from 120 to 300 passengers that make the journey from the Netherlands to Switzerland in about a week. Prices range from about $270 a person for a three-day, two-night cruise to about $1,400 a person for a seven-night trip.

Any of the following can book trips:

KD River Cruises, 2500 Westchester Ave., Purchase, N.Y. 10577; (914) 696-3600 or (800) 346-6525.

LeBoat, Worldwide Holidays Afloat, P.O. Box E, Maywood, N.J. 07607; (201) 342-1838 or (800) 922-0291.

Sea Air Holiday, 733 Summer St., Stamford, Conn. 06091; (203) 356-9033 or (800) 732-6247.

Europe Cruise Line, 225 North Michigan Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60601; (312) 540-5500 or (800) 880-0071.

QUESTION: I am interested in attending a folk music festival this summer in Scotland (I believe in the Highlands or the islands). Can you tell me where to get information on them?

ANSWER: There at least three this summer and all will be held in the islands.

The Isle of Barra Festival, or the Feis Bharraigh, to give it its Gaelic name, was established in 1981 to provide musical and Gaelic-language tuition for children. It now offers 35 tutors in 15 different classes, including chanter/piping, accordion, tin whistle and Hebridean dancing, and is open to adults, too.

This year the festival will run from July 3 to 15. Fees for a week of classes start at $37.50 for an adult and for the oldest child in a family ($15 for other children in the family).

Each evening traditional Gaelic entertainment is provided by the tutors and local artists. Each event costs $4.50 or $6.

More information: Margaret Ann Beggs, Feish Bharraigh Office, Castlebay, Isle of Barra, Western Isles, Scotland PA80 5XD; (44 871) 810 562, fax (871) 810 638.

The Skye Folk Festival, July 25 to 30, will consist of evening ceilidhs by local, Scottish and international bands at the Skye Gathering Hall, Portree. Admission will be $6. Fiddle, whistle, harp and Appalachian clogging workshops will be held during the day.

More information: Mrs. Morag Henriksen, 16 Kitson Crescent, Portree, Isle of Skye, Western Isles, Scotland IV51 9DP; (44 478) 612506.

The Harris Arts Festival, Aug. 29 to Sept. 4, will feature classical and folk music as well as drama, poetry, dance, storytelling and visual arts. Admission prices have not yet been determined.

More information: Ian Callaghan, Scarista House, Isle of Harris, Western Isles, Scotland PA85 3HX; (44 859) 550238.

QUESTION: Can you tell me how to go about renting a cottage in Bermuda?

ANSWER: Bermuda is well-known for its cottage colonies, which usually consist of a group of cottages, a main clubhouse, dining room, lounge and bar. Rates at the following range from $109 to $287 a person a night, double occupancy, not including meals.

Ariel Sands Beach Club, P.O. Box HM 334, Hamilton HM BX, Bermuda; (800) 637-4116, fax (809) 236-0087.

Cambridge Beaches, Somerset MA 02, Bermuda; (800) 468-7300, fax (809) 234-3352.

Fourways Inn, P.O. Box PG 294, Paget PG BX, Bermuda; (800) 962-7654, fax (809) 236-5528.

Horizons & Cottages, P.O. Box 198, Paget PG BX, Bermuda; (800) 468-0022, fax (809) 236-1981.

Lantana Colony Club, P.O. Box SB 90, Somerset Bridge SB BX, Bermuda; (800) 468-3733, fax (809) 234-2562.

Pink Beach Club & Cottages, P.O. Box HM 1017, Hamilton HM DX, Bermuda; (800) 355 6161, fax (809) 293-8935.

The St. George's Club, P.O. Box GE 92, St. George's GE BX, Bermuda; (809) 297-1200, fax (809) 297-8003.