Melody makers ... an ensemble plays an open-air event at the Grafenegg festival in Austria.

For those about to baroque

Michael White nominates Europe's most affordable and laid-back classical music festivals in the northern summer.

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Cyclists riding along Rasinovo Embankment of Vltava River, Nove Mesto. Prague

One of the chain gang

Do spectacular countryside and camaraderie make up for rampant nettles and a sore backside? Alison Stewart and friends find out.

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Crowd pleaser ... NK department store's windows draw crowds.

Ten towns a-trading

From Stockholm to Berlin via Budapest, Paul Ewart explores the best Christmas markets the Continent has to offer - where hand-made gifts, local delicacies and lashings of tradition are to be found.

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