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London and Edinburgh air/6 nights, $1,179

Jet to the U.K. in early autumn for a taste of the always-happening British metropolis and picturesque Edinburgh.
Image: Big Ben in London
The London & Edinburgh Fling package includes round-trip airfare to London, round-trip airfare between London and Edinburgh, and six nights' accommodations divided between the two cities. Kirsty Wigglesworth / AP file
/ Source: ARTHUR FROMMER'S BUDGET TRAVEL

The Real Deal: Round-trip international airfare, a round-trip local flight, and six nights' accommodations, from $1,179 per person—plus taxes of up to $240.

When: Depart Oct. 1-24, 2008; add $70 for Sept. 6-30; $540 for Aug. 10-Sept. 5.

Gateways: New York City; add $140 for Boston; $170 for D.C.; $280 for Albany, Chicago, Miami, Providence; $310 for Baltimore, Buffalo, Manchester, Rochester; $340 for Burlington, Cleveland, Columbus, Detroit, Norfolk, Richmond; $460 for Fort Lauderdale, San Francisco; $510 for Houston, San Antonio; additional cities available.

The fine print: Based on weekday departures; add $25 per person each way for travel Friday through Sunday. Continental breakfast daily, hotel taxes and service charges, fuel surcharges, and a round-trip flight between London and Edinburgh are included. Airport taxes and fees are an additional $240 per person. Based on double or triple occupancy; single supplement is $320. Read these guidelines before you book any Real Deal.

Book by: Aug. 14, 2008.

Contact: Virgin Vacations, 888/937-8474, virgin-vacations.com.

Why it's a deal: According to a recent search on Kayak, the lowest multi-city fares (New York-London-Edinburgh-London-New York) start at $1,072, including taxes, in mid-October (multiple carriers). For an additional $347, Virgin covers airfare plus the six-night hotel stay and taxes.

Trip details: The London & Edinburgh Fling package includes round-trip airfare to London on a Virgin Atlantic carrier, round-trip airfare between London and Edinburgh on a BMI carrier, and six nights' accommodations divided between the two cities.

During the first half of your trip, you'll be staying in a standard room at Central Park Hotel in the residential area of Bayswater in central London, about 15 miles from the airport. The 257-room property has Wi-Fi Internet access and a restaurant and lounge on the premises.

You'll be near Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, and other popular attractions like Portobello Road Market and Pollock's Toy Museum. Plus, with both the Queensway and Bayswater tube stations within walking distance of the hotel, you'll have easy access to the rest of the sprawling city.

Leaving London, you'll take a short flight on BMI to Edinburgh, Scotland. Your home for the next three nights will be the 66-room Clarendon Hotel in the lively West End, near Edinburgh Castle. The Victorian town house, dating back to 1880, is 10 yards from the bustling Princes Street and within walking distance of various theaters, restaurants, and sightseeing attractions.

Be sure to stop at nearby Holyrood Palace, which has served as the main residence of Scottish royalty since the 15th century, and the Edinburgh Camera Obscura and World of Illusions, where you can watch a live, moving panorama of the city projected onto a viewing table through a giant periscope. (It gives you the illusion that you can pick passersby up and hold them in the palm of your hand.)

Those wishing to venture further into Edinburgh can take a train or bus from the Waverley and Haymarket train stations or the St Andrew Square bus station, each within a 10-minute stroll from the hotel.

From Edinburgh, you'll fly back to London to catch your flight home. For more on what to expect, visit the official tourism Web sites for London and Edinburgh.