Chris Leadbeater

Chris Leadbeater is a full-time travel journalist who has written for The Independent since 2009. He specialises in the USA, South America and Europe, but has covered destinations as varied as Mozambique, New Zealand, Indonesia and Lebanon. Prior to becoming a travel journalist, he worked as a music writer and for men's magazines.

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Thrills and spills: the Santa Cruz Beach boardwalk

Family California: Traveller's Guide

From the high-adrenalin theme parks of Los Angeles to the natural wonders of Yosemite, this vast state will thrill visitors of all ages, says Chris Leadbeater
One of the ancient tomb guardians

Colombia: Secrets of an ancient curiosity

San Agustin's collection of animated, carved tomb guardians is the only trace of a lost civilisation that pre-dates the Incas or Maya, says Chris Leadbeater
Past imperfect: Columbia's State House

On the rights track in South Carolina

Sixty years ago, a racist assault in the state capital marked a pivotal moment in the quest for black civil liberties, says Chris Leadbeater

Scotland: Back to the battle lines

Seven hundred years ago, Robert the Bruce defeated the English at Bannockburn. Chris Leadbeater feels a resonance today

Traveller's Guide: Family Florida

There are plenty of reasons why the Sunshine State is still a top destination for children and adults alike, says Chris Leadbeater

48 Hours In: Prague

Summer is the best time to explore the Czech capital, as the city bursts into life with art exhibitions and classical concerts, writes Chris Leadbeater
Horse power: Churchill Downs on Derby day

A date with the Kentucky Derby

Churchill Downs is the revered home of American horse racing, as Chris Leadbeater discovers on a trip to Kentucky
The Maboneng Township Arts Experience

South Africa's bright future

Twenty years after the nation held its first democratic elections, Cape Town is using its World Design Capital status to look to the future, says Chris Leadbeater

Gourmet Cumbria: The Big Six

Drunken Duck Inn, Ambleside

Active Cumbria

Get to grips with your adventurous side in this natural playground, says Chris Leadbeater

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Day In a Page

Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little