News Dave Lee Travis, whose real name is David Patrick Griffin, arrives at Southwark Crown Court on 17 January 17 2014

Former Radio One disc jockey Dave Lee Travis has told his trial he is “astonished” at sex offence allegations against him and told jurors he is a “normal, decent human being”.

The big six: Chiltern highlights

Waddesdon Manor, Waddesdon

In the 1870s, Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild built an opulent, 16th-century-style chateau to entertain his friends and display his art collection. It was opened to the public and gifted to the National Trust in 1957, although the Rothschild family remains closely involved. Visitors can explore 45 rooms. The collection includes paintings by Gainsborough, Reynolds and Dutch Old Masters. The gardens, too, are a joy.

Waddesdon Manor, Waddesdon, near Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire (01296 653 226; waddesdon.org.uk ). Admission to house and gardens: adults £13.20 weekdays, £15 weekends.

Bodies found in blaze house

The bodies of two people, thought to be a mother and child, have been found in a house destroyed by a massive fire, emergency services said today.

Top-performing school head questions value of GCSEs

The head of the top performing GCSE school claims today that the exam is no longer "academically challenging".

Boys score rare victory at A-level

Boys at independent schools have scored better A-level results than girls at the top level.

UK braced for more torrential rain

Torrential downpours are expected to hit large areas of the country tonight as forecasters warn of flash flooding and lightning strikes.

Student faces court over father's death

A law student will go on trial today accused of murdering his father.

Prickly heat: the suffering of the hedgehogs

prolonged hot weather may be fine for us but it's not much good for wildlife, and it is particularly bad for hedgehogs, while for baby hedgehogs it's even worse.

'Scandal tour' at Profumo country house

The country house associated with one of the greatest political scandals of the 20th century will later this month offer its hotel guests a special package that will include a "scandal tour".

Man charged with 2004 murder of retired colonel

A former gamekeeper has been charged with murder six years after a retired colonel was shot dead with a shotgun as he answered his front door.

McDonald's to train Olympics volunteers

McDonald's will help recruit and train the 70,000 volunteers who will be key to staging the London 2012 Olympics.

Discovery of babies' skeletons exposes the dark side of life in Roman Britain

One of Roman Britain's darkest secrets is close to being laid bare by modern science. Experts from English Heritage are examining dozens of infant skeletons buried 17 centuries ago in a quiet valley just north of the River Thames in Buckinghamshire.

Porter charged with attempted poisoning

A kitchen porter has been charged with attempting to poison pupils at a top public school.

TV reception restored after transmitter blaze

Around 400,000 homes had their television reception back today after a fire engulfed a 200m-high transmitter.

Horse trader absconds from animal cruelty case

A horse trader convicted of the worst case of animal cruelty ever seen by the RSPCA absconded from court as he awaited sentence.

Protest votes speak volumes for Bercow

Although Ukip's Nigel Farage remained in hospital after the light-aircraft crash that almost killed him on polling day, scenes at the Buckingham count, where he stood for Parliament, remained decidedly colourful.

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University Edible Garden, Leeds – a sustainable garden in the centre of the university, passers-by can help themselves to the home-grown produce
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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
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz