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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A snowmobile is the ideal way to reach Barentsburg in winter

Barentsburg: chilly invite to a land frozen in time

Barentsburg in the Svalbard archipelago is a curious Soviet relic best explored by snowmobile, says Chris Leadbeater

Easter in the city

There's plenty going on around the country for all the family, from chocolate-fuelled fun and robot-making, to an Olympic escape

Gingerbread house: classic Nevisian architecture

Indolence is bliss: High and mighty on the Caribbean island of Nevis

After a lung-bursting hike up this tropical island's volcanic peak, Chris Leadbeater is relieved to head back down to a more leisurely pace of life

Motoring along: Ho Chi Minh's luxury shops

48 hours in: Ho Chi Minh City

Vietnam's biggest city packs in fresh flavours, French relics and a futuristic skyline

Restored: Dresden’s Semperoper

Dresden: Past glory is revived in this rebuilt wonder

Almost destroyed in 1945, this German city’s Baroque core shines again

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48 hours in: Florence

Beat the summer crowds to the Tuscan capital and you'll have room to appreciate its Renaissance riches and flair for fashion

The price is right: the Great Wall of China

All exclusive, all-inclusive holidays

You pay your money, you get the trip of a lifetime ... with no nasty hidden extras. Chris Leadbeater gives his guide to the packages that offer more than buffets and beaches

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48 Hours In: Buenos Aires

As summer sun bathes Argentina's capital, the city takes on a carnival air – just in time for its annual Shakespeare festival

New hotels for 2013

Are you sleeping comfortably? Next year promises a bumper crop of exciting openings.  Chris Leadbeater selects 13 imminent arrivals

Grande dame: The Hotel Astoria today

St Petersburg's Hotel Astoria: If these grand old walls could talk...

As the Russian hotel marks its 100th birthday, Chris Leadbeater recalls its rich past

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Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home