She-Wolves, By Helen Castor

A masterful account of Elizabeth I's predecessors

The island that came out of nowhere

It isn't on the map, no one knows what to call it, and it could vanish at any moment. John Lichfield visits L'île Mystérieuse

Dordogne: Saddle up on the scenic route

Armed with a riding hat, Michael Kallenbach meanders through the rolling French countryside

The Captive Queen, By Alison Weir

Despite the odd blast from nit-picking scholars, Alison Weir deserves the large and loyal popular following for her readable historical biographies. She seems set fair to tow them after her now that she has embarked upon historical novels about the same characters. But I can't help feeling that she has missed the celestial omnibus with The Captive Queen. Eleanor of Aquitaine (1122-1204) is the most fabulous (literally) of subjects.

Asian hornet on the way to prey on honeybees

Invasion of predators across Channel threatens massacre of bee colonies

A region rooted in gastronomy

At the brilliantly conceived and executed Musée Gallo-Romain in Périgueux, the the attraction of Aquitaine becomes evident. Even two millennia after the Romans arrived in this corner of Gaul, the motifs speak of a land of plenty, from fish to grapes (a welcome Roman innovation). And one of the many blessings of Périgueux is that you can wander through a town that is rooted in gastronomy.

A tale of two cities: Biarritz and Bayonne

Only eight kilometres apart and proudly individual, the cities of Biarritz and Bayonne revel in their rivalry

Traveller's Guide To: Wine journeys in Aquitaine

To get the full flavour of Aquitaine, explore the region’s vineyards – a chance to see the sites and pick up a few bottles along the way

Aquitaine events

* Set more or less at the meeting point of northern and southern Europe, Aquitaine’s variety of landscapes – from mountains to lush river valleys and an extensive coast – enjoy a particularly kind climate. All of which means there are celebrations based around food, culture and sport throughout the year. Head south to pretty Bayonne during Easter for the Bayonne Ham Fair (1-4 April; bayonne-tourisme.com ; free), when the marketplace by the River Nive (pictured) becomes festooned with some of France’s best pork products, preserved with the highly prized local salt. Inland in northern Aquitaine, the town of Nontron stages a most eccentric fete on 18 April. Le Carnaval des Soufflets ( soufflaculs.net ; free) is a festival of bellows, for which townsfolk dress in nightshirts and parade the main street blowing bellows at each other and into the air while singing nonsensical songs in Occitan. The tradition dates back to medieval days and symbolises purification and the explusion of bad spirits.

Saddle up for a French adventure

Head for the hills and the beauty of Aquitaine’s landscape will soon reveal itself

Aquitaine: travel essentials

Getting there

* Connections between the UK and Aquitaine have never been better. The main air hub is Bordeaux’s Mérignac airport (00 33 5 56 34 50 50; bordeaux.aeroport.fr ), 10km west of the city centre; the JetBus departs every 45 minutes for the city centre. Bordeaux is served by easyJet (0905 821 0905; easyjet.com ) from Gatwick, Luton, Liverpool and Bristol; British Airways (0844 493 0787; ba.com ) from Gatwick; Bmibaby (09111 545454; bmibaby.com) from Manchester; Flybe (0871 700 2000; flybe.com ) from Southampton and Birmingham; and Ryanair (0871 246 0000; ryanair.com ) from Edinburgh.

Watersports: Welcome to a 'land of water'

Aquitaine’s aquatic options include canoeing, canal boats and lily gardens

Hole lot of fun: golf in Aquitaine

Golf has been played in Aquitaine for more than 150 years – and now’s the time to join the club

Gateways to Aquitaine

Pau and Bergerac

Made in Aquitaine: a guide to local crafts

In a small workshop behind the square in Bages, a wine village in Pauillac, Pierre Eveillard is hard at work. A wooden table slopes away in front of him; on it is a flat base, into which tall wicker stalks have been attached, the beginnings of a basket suitable for bread. Tables all around the workshop display other wicker products, all for sale, and made by Pierre and his colleague Carine Koffmann, ranging from egg cups at €5 to large linen baskets priced at €200. Bundles of twigs from 40 different types of willow are propped up all around the workshop, while others are soaking, which softens them up in readiness for the weaving process.

News
news
News
i100
News
Netherlands' goalkeeper Tim Krul fails to make a save from Costa Rica's midfielder Celso Borges during a penalty shoot-out in the quarter-final between Netherlands and Costa Rica during the 2014 FIFA World Cup
newsGoalkeepers suffer from 'gambler’s fallacy' during shoot-outs
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmReview: A week late, Secret Cinema arrives as interactive screening goes Back to the Future
Travel
travel
Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
artCultural relations between Sydney and Melbourne soured by row over milk crate art instillation
Arts and Entertainment
Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux play teeneage lovers in the French erotic drama 'Blue Is The Warmest Colour' - The survey found four times as many women admitting to same-sex experiences than 20 years ago
filmBlue Is The Warmest Colour, Bojack Horseman and Hobbit on the way
Arts and Entertainment
Preparations begin for Edinburgh Festival 2014
Edinburgh festivalAll the best shows to see at Edinburgh this year
News
Two giraffes pictured on Garsfontein Road, Centurion, South Africa.
i100
Career Services

Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices