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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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British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
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Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones
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Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
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Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
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Senzo Meyiwa during the 2013 Orange African Cup of Nations match between South Africa and Morocco
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Fernando Torres has not scored in 266 minutes of pre-season for Chelsea
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A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones