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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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Lake Garda, Venice & Verona from £629pp
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Prices correct as of 12 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

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
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas