Ben Ross

Ben Ross is Head of Travel at The Independent. He has worked for the paper for over a decade, and began reporting on travel in 2001. Before joining the travel desk full time, he ran The Independent's special projects department. He started his journalistic career at the BBC working for its commercial arm, BBC Worldwide.

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Sam Riley: 'My job is always bursts of activity in between periods of inactivity. There’s no real reason why I should want to do absolutely nothing, I’ve just always been very good at it.'

My life in travel: Sam Riley

I can be easily entertained from breakfast to the pool, to lying in the sun, to waiting until it’s socially acceptable to start drinking

Game on: summer scenery in Saalbach

Playtime in Austria's Valley of Games

From biking routes to imaginative hiking trails, via flumes and a high-ropes course, Ben Ross and his family were won over by this mountain wonderland
High point: Montreux Jazz Festival

5 ways to enjoy summer in the Alps

The fun doesn’t stop in Europe's greatest mountain range when the snow melts, says Ben Ross

Despite next year’s cut in the levy on flying to the Caribbean, the effect on the final bill will be minimal

Like it or not, Air Passenger Duty is here to stay

Something To Declare

Travel special 2014: Breakfast on bed on a rail journey from Hanoi to Hué

Springtime, just before the new century began. As Laos is now the new Cambodia, Vietnam was then the new Thailand, and my girlfriend and I had arrived – with our backpacks – to see what all the fuss was about. The capital Hanoi had dazzled, and we were due to take the train 420 miles down the coast to Hué. We were late, though. We were always late.

In your element: a snow-clad Heavenly, with Lake Tahoe as a backdrop

Slope off to California

The snow is thin on the ground in the Sierra Nevada at the moment, but when it comes, Lake Tahoe is the place to ski. Ben Ross has an early-season preview

Tignes for ski teenies? Just follow the pink bibs

With young children in tow, a family ski trip can leave you feeling snowed under. But help is at hand, as Ben Ross discovers in the French Alps
Tignes spirit: a winter's night in the resort

Tignes for ski teenies? Just follow the pink bibs

With young children in tow, a family ski trip can leave you feeling snowed under. But help is at hand, as Ben Ross discovers in the French Alps

Virtual reality: Thomas and Zoë ski towards the future of travel in the Google House

Traveller's Guide: Tenerife

In the first of a three-part series on the Canaries, Ben Ross examines the largest of the islands, where it's still possible to get away from it all

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Day In a Page

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'