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Last Updated: Friday, 3 August 2007, 14:12 GMT 15:12 UK
UK 'best holiday place', says PM
Gordon Brown and young sailor
Gordon Brown met young sailors during his Dorset visit
PM Gordon Brown has described Britain as "the best place in the world" to go on holiday, as he visited the venue for Olympics sailing events in Dorset.

In his last official engagement before a family break, he visited the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy.

He said it was "fantastic" to see the 2012 Games preparation and praised the UK as a holiday destination.

Mr Brown, who often holidays in Cape Cod in the US, is spending this year's break in Dorset and Scotland.

Lord Coe - chairman of the 2012 organising committee - showed him around the venue, which opened in 2005 and is expected to be fully functioning from next year.

Mr Brown chatted to people and signed autographs for children during his visit.

These are tremendous times for Britain and we are going to do tremendously well
Gordon Brown

"I wanted to see the preparations for the Olympics myself and it is a fantastic sight with huge enthusiasm here and I want to congratulate everyone for what they have been doing," he said.

"These are tremendous times for Britain and we are going to do tremendously well.

"What is fantastic are the plans for the future, the Olympic facilities here will be the first up and running and from next year people will be able to train right through to 2012."

Mr Brown, who took over as prime minister in June, has opted for a British holiday this year, with wife Sarah and sons John and Fraser.

'Best place in the world'

He said: "I have been holidaying in parts of Britain for the past four years and this is the best place in the world to be, look at the weather and look at the enthusiasm of the people here.

"Not only is it the best place in the world to have a holiday, in 2012 it will send a signal to the world that we are a great sporting nation."

Laura Kuenssberg
We're told Mr Brown is still in charge, because he's still in the UK
BBC political correspondent Laura Kuenssberg

After a spell in Dorset, the prime minister will spend time at the family home in North Queensferry, Scotland.

His predecessor Tony Blair also liked to holiday abroad, frequenting Tuscany and the Caribbean, including staying at the villa of Sir Cliff Richard, among other destinations.

Meanwhile, Conservative leader David Cameron heads off next week for a "traditional bucket and spade" fortnight's break in Brittany.

And Lib Dem leader Sir Menzies Campbell has already spent time on the Scottish island of Tiree and will also visit the south of France.




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