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Children can get a sense of adventure at the Bear Grylls Survival Academy

The 20 best days out for the summer holidays: From Spitfires to summer ferry sailings

From summer ferry sailings in Tyne and Wear and adventure days at Bear Grylls Survival Academy to Spitfires at the Imperial War Museum Duxford and bog-snorkelling at the World Alternative Games...

Legoland Windsor's master model-makers reveal the tricks of their trade (including how to stop the kids wrecking your Eiffel Tower)

They are the master builders: Lego's crack team of model-makers, who have just glued down the last of 650,000 bricks as they recreate Paris in Windsor. Susie Mesure goes behind the scenes

The Top Ten: Elegant variations

I think it was Lloyd Bracey who started this game of inverting or altering clichés to make them fresh again (a cliché originally being a stencil). We started with a 'yes-brainer', which was his, and Will Brett's 'might-read', which is something between a must-read and a 'tl;dr': 'too long, didn't read'.

The Top Ten: Great unremarked changes of our lifetime

This list was suggested by Andrew Denny, who was responsible for the first item. Sorry if it is basically a lot of old people saying, "You don't know how lucky you are."

The Tour will begin in Yorkshire for the first time in its history

Tour de France: God's own county vs 'the most arrogant country in the world': Which is better – France or Yorkshire?

The Independent's unscientific head-to-head between the Tour de France's spiritual home and its new home for the weekend

500th Common Riding: The Scottish town of Hawick is preparing to mark its boundary with England in spectacular fashion

Common Riding is an annual ritual on the Scottish Borders, marking ancient battles with England – and offering a young hero the chance to shine. In the town of Hawick, the locals are getting ready...

Let me ask you this: 'What is it like to be in a fire?'

It is singularly the most terrifying and adrenaline-pumping experience I have ever had. That much is to be expected, but add to whatever you're imagining the fact that I was a young nurse and was trying to help women give birth at the time that I realised my hospital was becoming enveloped in smoke.

Buried treasure: the drowned village of Mardale

Remains of Britain's abandoned villages could be lost during construction of HS2 railway line

The high-speed train is due to dissect the country, cutting down travel time for the modern commuter, but in the process tearing through 1,000 years of history

Weather wars at the Met Office: Is it going to be a 'barbecue summer' this year?

Adam Scaife has a tricky job: long-range forecaster at the Met Office
Katy Guest, at the time when she had a holiday job selling roses to drunks in the nightspots of the West Country

Here’s a real ‘How do you do’ – we don’t know how to greet each other

Standard greetings have fallen out of fashion, says expert

Yawn...Founder James Ward at the fourth annual Boring Conference

Boring Conference 2014: Yawning? Well, you’re supposed to be

The annual conference celebrating life’s seemingly tedious things is in danger of becoming interesting

A letter dated 1 March 1883 from Charles Darwin has brought into question the origins of Ice Hockey

Move over, Canada! Was Charles Darwin one of ice-hockey’s first players?

Blow to Canadian cousins as book claims their national sport evolved on frozen ponds of England

Let me ask you this: 'What are the economics of lying?'

This is a wonderful question because the issue of deception brings out some of the best successes and the greatest flaws in economic theory – particularly game theory, the area in which lying has been studied most.

The Liverpool Road railway station in Manchester, dating from 1830, is the oldest surviving mainline station in the world
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Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
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Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
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A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
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