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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 Duke of Buccleuch is Europe's largest landowner with holdings valued at more than £1bn

Imagine a feudal country where 432 families own half the land. Welcome to Scotland

The country's vast estates are under threat of being broken up and sold to small farmers. The laird's response? Get off our land

Buckingham Palace has just opened for summer visits but staff will be working on zero-hours contracts

Buckingham Palace employs summer staff on 'zero-hours' contracts

Part-time staff are not guaranteed any hours but have to agree not to work for anyone else

Dawn Approach (left) defeats Toronado to win the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot last month

Glorious Goodwood: Declaration Of War can spike big guns in Sussex Stakes 'Duel on the Downs'

O'Brien four-year-old offers solid value against younger rivals Toronado and Dawn Approach

Squadron Leader Peter Tunstall, the cooler king of Colditz who failed to get the recognition he deserved

His death has raised questions about why he was never honoured

Lee Westwood said he needed his A game yesterday to win

The Open 2013: Major 'positives' for Lee Westwood but Tiger Woods speeds to the excuses

Westwood let a two-shot lead slip away as Phil Mickelson pulls-off the 'best round of my career'

Phil Mickelson plays out of the green-side bunker on the 15th

The Open 2013: Phil Mickelson fancies double Scotch

American believes he’s found secret that will  enable him to back up Castle Stuart victory

A woman cools her foot in a fountain during hot weather in Nottingham, central England May 8, 2008. REUTERS/Darren Staples

Heatwave, what heatwave? Hanging out in Britain's coldest spots

It's not all sweat and sweltering - from Ceredigion to Cornwall, find out what you could be up to in out of the heat

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: Our MPs were made of sterner stuff in the 17th century

The ‘closest thing’ to a CEO, supposed Mr Nye, was the ‘Secretary and Keeper of the Records’

Richard Hawley received a nomination for Best Male, five years after his last nomination

Gig review: Richard Hawley, Somerset House, London

Dressed in black and protected by fifties-style shades, Richard Hawley explains the inspiration behind 'Don't Stare At The Sun': the mundane act of taking his youngest son kite flying. “What made it interesting was I was off me head on fucking acid”.

Palladio’s Palazzo Barbaran da Porto

Slice of the City: Vicenza - a trove of architectural treasures

Palladio’s grand buildings are a feature of this northern Italian city

The Blagger's Guide To: Historical fiction

All you need to know about the hottest literary topic of the week

The Beatles made it into The Feeling's 12-minute medley of British rock’s greatest achievements

The Beatles and Blur - but no Oasis or Rolling Stones - for the Queen's 12 minutes of British pop

The Feeling will perform the medley at Buckingham Palace this weekend

Wimbledon 2013 Men's Final: It was a game of clichés for the men in the commentary box

Until play actually started the BBC must have been quietly satisfied with its Wimbledon coverage. Or at least relieved. With an hour or so gone and virtually the whole country watching, at least none of their commentators had triggered a Twitter-storm – as John Inverdale had done the day before with his less-than-chivalrous remarks about Marion Bartoli and the hitherto unexplored Appearance/Trying Really Hard nexus.

Details of private military funeral to be held for murdered Woolwich soldier Lee Rigby announced

Drummer Lee Rigby, who was killed near his barracks in Woolwich, south-east London in May, will be given a private military funeral in Greater Manchester on 12 July.

Work to refurbish House of Lords toilets could cost up to £100,000

Work to refurbish House of Lords toilets could cost up to £100,000

Up to £100,000 will be spent sprucing up two toilets in the House of Lords, it has been revealed.

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Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
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Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map