The first steam locomotive to haul a passenger train non-stop from London to Scotland, the Flying Scotsman, is back in service after three years of restoration. From London, passengers can now take luxury day-trips on board Pullman-style carriages to various destinations. The Flying Scotsman, with its distinctive apple-green livery, was built in 1923 by the London and North Eastern Railway. After 3.2 million kilometres, it was withdrawn from service in 1963 and sold for preservation. Since then it has toured the United States and Australia. By 1995 the engine was in pieces; it was rescued by Dr Tony Marchington, a pharmaceutical engineer from Derby, who bought it in 1996 and restored it. More than a dozen trips from London are planned this year to destinations such as Salisbury, Norwich, and Shakespeare country, through Warwick to Stratford-upon-Avon. A millennium trip to Scotland will depart in the 20th century and return in the 21st. For information on tours phone (44-1543) 250865, or fax (44-1543) 417531. Meanwhile, a nine-day Scottish Highland Rail festival will begin on September 25, with steam train running over some of Scotland's most scenic routes. Europe's best beaches France and Spain have topped the list for having the most environmentally friendly beaches in Europe. Of the 2,500 beaches and marinas awarded the 1999 European Blue Flag seal of approval, France gained 399 and Spain 390. The list, published by the Foundation for Environmental Education in Europe, covers 21 countries, and awards are made depending on water quality, sanitary and safety facilities. Greece (318) came third, followed by Denmark (176), Portugal (115) and Italy (98). Germany had only 26 beaches approved, but it has a relatively short coastline. Alitalia's night switch Alitalia will, from September 2, switch its three weekly departures from the SAR to Milan and Rome from morning to evening. At present, the flights leave at 11.05am, and the new schedule will be 11.25pm. Passengers flying with Alitalia on this route between September 2 and October 31 will earn 50 per cent extra air miles. Alitalia says the evening departures will allow passengers a far greater number of connections. They will also be more competitive. For more information, phone 2543 6998 or 2543 6866. Doing it in style Britain's National Trust is helping people tie the knot in that of the landed gentry. There are 20 historic National Trust properties in England licensed for wedding ceremonies. They include Tattershall Castle, near Lincoln, dating from 1440; Sutton House, Hackney, London, which was built by one of King Henry VIII's statesmen; and Ham House, in Richmond, southwest London, home to President Washington's ancestors.