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

News
A Brazilian wandering spider
news

World's most lethal spider found under a bunch of bananas

News
people
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in the win over QPR
footballInternet reacts to miss shocker for Liverpool striker
Voices
Sol Campbell near his home in Chelsea
voices
News
i100
News
Kimi the fox cub
newsBurberry under fire from animal rights group - and their star, Kimi
Sport
Fans of Palmeiras looks dejected during the match between Palmeiras and Santos
footballPalmeiras fan killed trying to 'ambush' bus full of opposition supporters
Arts and Entertainment
filmsIt's nearly a wrap on Star Wars: Episode 7, producer reveals
Life and Style
fashion
News
i100
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Vietnam & Cambodia
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Bruges
India & Nepal
Japan
Berlin, Dresden, Meissen & Colditz
Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album
Hugh Bonneville & Peter James: 'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'

How We Met: Hugh Bonneville & Peter James

'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's heavenly crab dishes don't need hours of preparation

Bill Granger's heavenly crab recipes

Scared off by the strain of shelling a crab? Let a fishmonger do the hard work so you can focus on getting the flavours right
Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

After a remarkable conversion from reckless defender to prolific striker, Monaco's ace says he wants to make his loan deal at Old Trafford permanent
Terry Venables: Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England

Terry Venables column

Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England
The Inside Word: Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past

Michael Calvin's Inside Word

Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past