News

While politicians agonise over the size of the Government’s debt, one of the most expensive publicly funded projects in recent years is quietly getting under way.

The 10 Best adventure playgrounds

No matter how chilly it is outside, come half term, you're going to need to tire out the children. Try one of these for size

Fort Niagara, Greater Niagara

Win your perfect New York State adventure

From the majestic mountains, cities and lakes to the pastoral farmlands and vineyards, New York State has it all and we are giving one lucky couple the chance to win their New York State Adventure of a lifetime!

<p>Gritti Palace San Marco</p>
<p>Roll out the red carpet: this grande dame returns on Friday, following a 15-month facelift. Built for the Doge of Venice in 1525, it acted as the Gritti family's official residence for years, before becoming a hotel in the 19th century. It's been a Starwood property since 1994, and its latest transformation features rococo sofas, Murano chandeliers and rich Rubelli textiles restored, with designer Donghia furniture and antique Girandole mirrors added to the lavish mix. Notable guests lend their names to the 21 suites – Hemingway and Guggenheim among them – while the Club del Doge restaurant flaunts tables beside the Grand Canal.</p>
<p>Gritti Palace, Santa Maria del Giglio, San Marco (00 39 041 296 1222; thegrittipalace.com). Doubles start at €485, with breakfast.</p>

The Big Six: Venetian palace hotels

Notable guests, romantic retreats and ultra-chic hideaways

Jubilation in Jordan: The top of the peak felt like the end-of-the-world - but what a view

The sign said, 'The end of the world'; as did the look on my three-year-old's face. Below us, the dusky pink desert canyons and dimpled, rocky mountains of the Jordan Valley stretched west towards Jerusalem. And somewhere, far, far below the precipice we'd scaled to 'Sacrifice View', a bright blue cap was now swirling away, whisked off my son's head by the sharp wind that greeted us at the summit.

The Shard's view is a new joy, but taking the high ground has always elevated the senses

Plus: A four-letter word arrives on Radio 4 and the latest spin on a misused word

<p>{1} Beer to Branscombe, Devon</p>
<p>This amble along the Jurassic Coast is perfect for dog-walkers. The South West Coast Path is canine-friendly and Branscombe and East Beach in Beer allow dogs on the sands. The Anchor Inn and the Mason's Arms, at the star and end of the route, are also recommended by DoggiePubs.org.uk.</p>
<p>5.3 miles, southwestcoastpath.com</p>

The 10 best coastal walks

Whether you want a short hike or more of a marathon, stretch your legs and enjoy some of Britain's best sea views

Errors and Omissions: When medicine and geology get mixed up in a purple haze

Our peerless pedant reviews the slips from this week's Independent

Feeling flush? Ticket prices fail to deter tourists as The Shard opening day sells-out

A visit to the top of the building costs £24.95 for adults and £18.95 for children

The massacre at Newtown has led to a heated debate about gun ownership in America

Newspaper's map of gun permit owners sparks backlash

On December 19, days after the horrific shooting at a Newtown, Connecticut, elementary school, President Barack Obama said he found it encouraging that a discussion had re-emerged about how to deter future mass shootings. "That conversation has to continue," he said.

Duchess of Cambridge to attend BBC's Sports Personality award show

The Duchess of Cambridge will attend the BBC's Sports Personality award show tonight in her first public engagement since leaving hospital for severe pregnancy sickness, St James' Palace said.

Open Jaw: Where readers write back

Southend to Newquay flights

Travel Challenge: A Brazilian break during Rio Carnival

Each week we invite three companies to offer us their best deal for a specific break. Today: Brazil for Rio Carnival. Prices are per person, based on two sharing, and include 10 nights' B&B, flights from Heathrow to Rio in February 2013, transfers and a one-day Sambadrome ticket.

<p>1. Church of St Peter and St Paul, Guildford, Surrey</p>
<p>23 December, free, 01483 202594</p>
<p>Wrap up warm to hear the carols in this ancient church. Mulled wine and mince pies should help to keep you toasty, though.</p>

The 10 Best carol services

From candlelit concerts to the famous King’s College Choir, we pick the best of this year’s celebrations of song

Sport
Australia vs New Zealand live
cricket Follow over-by-over coverage as rivals New Zealand and Australia face off
Sport
Hamilton runs down the back straight in the rain
F1
News
Zayn has become the first member to leave One Direction. 'I have to do what feels right in my heart,' he said
peopleWe wince at anguish of fans, but his 1D departure shows the perils of fame in the social media age
Life and Style
Researchers found that just 10 one-minute swill-and-spit sessions are enough to soften tooth enamel and make teeth vulnerable to erosion
health
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
The Regent Street Cinema’s projection room in the 1920s
film
News
Leah Devine is only the ninth female to have made the Young Magician of the Year final since the contest began more than 50 years
peopleMeet the 16-year-old who has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year
News
Jonathan Anderson was born in Northern Ireland but now based between London, where he presents a line named JW Anderson
peopleBritish designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
News
Andy Davidhazy at the beginning (left) and end (right) of his hike
video
News
Taylor Swift is applying to trademark song lyrics from 1989
people
Latest stories from i100
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 12 March 2015
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing