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Globe trotting

BRITAIN FOR SENIORS. There are advantages to getting a few gray hairs. Money-saving deals on transportation, accommodations and sightseeing are available to travelers to the United Kingdom who are over 50. Furthermore, thanks to a weakened pound, the U.S. dollar is going farther than it has for years. A new booklet called "Britain: Time to Travel" has information about discounts for seniors who travel around Britain by rail, bus and even rental car. It lists hotel chains, including Best Western, Comfort, Quality and Clarion, as well as Red Carnation Hotels' London properties, that give discounts for the 50-plus crowd. And, while many of the nation's art galleries and museums don't charge admission, others that do are, for the first time, letting people who are over 65 in free. Request a free copy by calling the British Tourist Authority at 1-800-462-2748 weekdays. Web site: www.travelbritain.org/mature

IMPRESSIONS OF FRANCE. An exhibition of landscapes by luminaries of the Impressionist movement is at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa through Aug. 27. It will be at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond from Sept. 21 through Dec. 10. These paintings normally call the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, their home. Featured artists include Monet, Renoir, Boudin, Pissarro, Sisley, Degas, Cezanne, Gauguin and van Gogh. Reserve tickets at the Virginia museum by calling 1-888-446-6638.

GREAT LAKES AQUARIUM. The newly minted facility, at 353 Harbor Drive, in Duluth, Minn., has five major habitat exhibits, 19 satellite tanks and 29 interactive exhibits. The attraction is expected to be the crown jewel of the city's waterfront development. Web site: www.glaquarium.org

REVOLUTIONARY WAR TRAIL. Mel Gibson's performance as Benjamin Martin in "The Patriot" has renewed interest in sites in the Carolinas pertaining to the war for independence. The Carolinas' Backcountry Alliance has published a new brochure that highlights sites that played a roll in the war (and, perhaps, the movie). Request a free copy by calling 1-800-VISITNC. Scenes from the movie were filmed in historic Brattonsville (near Rock Hill, S.C.), where Capt. Christian Huck's British forces were defeated by combined rebel forces in July 1780. Guilford Courthouse National Military Park (Greensboro, N.C.) and Cowpens National Battlefield (Cowpens, S.C.) were sites of two famous battles.

A number of historic sites, including Old Salem (Winston-Salem, N.C.), Tannenbaum Historic Park (Greensboro, N.C.), the Historic Camden Revolutionary War Site (Camden, S.C.) and Historic Brattonsville have living history programs.

WASHINGTON, D.C., WALKING TOURS. A self-guided walking tour called "Beyond The Monuments" highlights the history, architecture, parks and gardens in Georgetown, Lafayette Square (across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House), the Adams Morgan neighborhood, Capitol Hill, Dupont Circle, U Street/Shaw, Downtown and Brookland. Pick up a free map and tour brochure at Metro (subway) stations.

Millennium Heritage Tours, which take place every Saturday through Oct. 14, leave from the D.C. Visitors Center at the Ronald Reagan International Trade Building, downtown, for a four-hour guided tour that includes lunch. They combine history with a live musical or theatrical performance. Choose from three tours: Duke Ellington's D.C., A Tour of Historic Shaw; Stories and Secrets of Georgia Avenue, Washington's Undiscovered Main Street; or Anacostia, Different Voices, Different Views. Make reservations by calling 1-202-232-2915.

BOUTIQUE HOTELS. Boutique Lodging International is an organization of small, independently owned hotels. The organization was founded by Bill Kimpton, mastermind of the Kimpton Group, which owns a stable of small hotels including the Hotel Monaco (of which there is one in Salt Lake City). Often, boutique hotels are in beautifully renovated historic buildings. Find out about boutique hotels by visiting the Web. Web site: www.BoutiqueLodging.com


E-mail: kclayton@desnews.com