Travel Snow forecast is looking good for Sochi

The number of Brits planning to go to Sochi in Russia for the Winter Olympics in three weeks' time will be minimal. Apart from the usual Russian visa requirements, flights are limited, a special "spectator pass" is required in a bid to combat security threats and prices for accommodation and the top events are very expensive.

Ten best ski essentials

Whether you’re sticking to the nursery slopes, bolting down a black run or heading off-piste, we’ve got all the gear to keep you warm and looking cool...

Click on the image on the right to launch the gallery

Skiing: Kostelic increases lead in cup standings

Ivica Kostelic of Croatia extended his runaway start to 2011, winning a men's World Cup slalom yesterday for his fourth victory in 15 days.

Skiing: Kostelic's fine run continues in Switzerland

Croatia's Ivica Kostelic races downhill on his way to victory in the World Cup super-combined slalom race in Wengen, Switzerland yesterday. It was Kostelic's third victory in 12 days, stretching his lead in the overall World Cup standings. "I'm just riding on this wave and going from race to race," said Kostelic.

Skiing: Kostelic sluices home to secure overall top spot

Ivica Kostelic of Croatia completed his excellent week by winning the latest slalom round in the World Cup in Adelboden in Switzerland to move to the top of the overall standings.

Skiing: Walchhofer flying in farewell season

Austria's Michael Walchhofer added another victory to his farewell season yesterday, becoming the first skier to win the gruelling World Cup downhill on the Stelvio course three times.

Briton dies in Alps ski accident

A British man has died in a skiing accident in the French Alps.

Space-age 'huts' for Alpine trekkers irk the traditionalists

An unwritten rule of the mountains states that anyone in need can take refuge in the solitary huts dotted across the world's higher peaks.

The Essential Skiing Guide: The rest of Europe

Almost every country in Europe – even Croatia, Cyprus and Portugal – has at least one ski area. And as well as the "big four" Alpine nations, UK tour operators offer holidays at dozens of resorts in eastern Europe, the Pyrenees and Scandinavia.

A Room Swept White, By Sophie Hannah

When young television producer, Fliss Benson, is suddenly put in charge of a ground-breaking documentary about miscarriages of justice involving a string of cot deaths, alarm bells ring.

Skeletons (NC)

The spirit of Charlie Kaufman lives but doesn't quite soar in this eccentric metaphysical comedy from Nick Whitfield.

Cycling: Vogondy holds off Sicard charge

Nicolas Vogondy of France won yesterday's fourth stage of the Criterium du Dauphine after breaking away in the last 2km of the final ascent.

Disability sport to get £10m funding rise, says minister

Disability sport is to get a £10m boost from Sport England, the Sports Minister Gerry Sutcliffe said at the weekend.

Skiing: Miller calls halt to season as ankle injury takes its toll

Olympic gold medalist Bode Miller has decided to end his season, a week before the World Cup finals in Germany. The American skier ducked out early to rest a sore right ankle, and said he hopes to discuss his future with the United States men's coach Sasha Rearick.

Skiing: Gisin holds off Vonn to claim surprise victory

Switzerland's Dominique Gisin was a surprise winner of the Crans Montana Super-G at the weekend in the final event before the World Cup finals at Garmisch-Partenkirchen.

Winter Olympics in Brief: Razzoli follows the Tomba tradition to take gold for Italy

Giuliano Razzoli gave Italy its first gold medal of the Vancouver Games with victory in the men's slalom. Razzoli, making his Olympics debut, led after the first leg and clinched gold with a combined time of one minute 39.32 seconds to become the first Italian man to win an Alpine medal since Alberto Tomba in 1994. Croatia's Ivica Kostelic took the silver 0.16sec back and the bronze went to Sweden's Andre Myhrer, 0.44sec adrift. Austria's Benjamin Raich, the defending champion, was fourth but the American Bode Miller lost his chance of becoming the first man to win four Alpine medals at the same Olympics when he straddled the fifth gate in Saturday's foggy conditions. "It's a dream, I worked a long time for this day. It's incredible," said Razzoli.

News
Young Winstone: His ‘tough-guy’ image is a misconception
people
News
David Ryall in Harry Potter
people
Arts and Entertainment
Man of action: Christian Bale stars in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
Sport
Adnan Januzaj and Gareth Bale
footballManchester United set to loan out Januzaj to make room for Bale - if a move for the Welshman firms up
Sport
Wayne Rooney warms up ahead of the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United at White Hart Lane
football
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca alongside Harrison Ford's Han Solo in 'Star Wars'
film
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
filmIdris Elba responds to James Bond rumours on Twitter
News
Hackers revealed Oscar-winning actress Lawrence was paid less than her male co-stars in American Hustle
people
Arts and Entertainment
Ellie Levenson’s The Election book demystifies politics for children
bookNew children's book primes the next generation for politics
News
Outspoken: Alexander Fury, John Rentoul, Ellen E Jones and Katy Guest
newsFrom the Scottish referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Career Services

Day In a Page

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
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
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
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015