Chester: Races, Romans and the River Dee

Make some history of your own with a visit to this captivating Cheshire city, says Lucy Gilmore

Halki: Time out on a timeless Greek island

On Halki the pace is slow, the food is good and the locals welcome you like one of the family. Linda Cookson succumbs to its laid-back charm

Howard Jacobson: It's that time of the year again, again

If the return of football is always cruel, this year it’s even crueller because it never went away

This boot was made for walking: Hiking the spur of Italy's heel

The stunning scenery of Italy's Gargano Peninsula's is no longer the preserve of pilgrims.

Album: Rodion Shchedrin, The Sealed Angel (Wergo)

First performed in 1988, Shchedrin's so-called "Russian Liturgy" was smuggled into the communist cultural landscape under the guise of a Nikolai Leskov story about the transcendent power of art.

Great works: Annunciation (1438-45), Fra Angelico

Museo de San Marco, Florence

A 12-day voyage through 2,000 years of history

The Black Sea has endured wars, revolutions, and the rise and fall of empires. Suzanne Cadisch took a cruise around its ports

Rhodes: Two sides to a Greek island

A new family resort on Rhodes has everything children want from a holiday. The challenge: convincing them to venture outside the gates

Two nations, one World Cup final and 440 years of hurt

Spain play the Netherlands tomorrow against a background of conflict that goes back centuries.

Album: Karl Jenkins Gloria/Te Deum (EMI Classical)

As with his earlier Adiemus and last year's Christmas album Stella Natalis, Karl Jenkins' new piece Gloria, while ostensibly a Christian work, embodies the kind of multi-cultural holism we're unlikely to encounter in either politics or pulpit, with readings from Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist and Islamic sources interspersed among the five movements like inscrutable musical sorbets.

Unearthed, the ancient texts that tell story of Christianity

A British bookbinder has restored ancient copies of the gospels dating back to the fourth century, writes Jerome Taylor

The General Synod of the Church of England: A brief introduction to the issues

The latest – and, arguably, the most important – meeting of the Church of England’s General Synod will start this Friday in York.

Pope launches mission to re-evangelise the West

Pope Benedict XVI has created a new office to "re-evangelise" the Western world in an attempt to roll back secularist advances in what the Vatican sees as the traditional heartland of Christendom.

Home of retired archbishop searched in sex abuse case

Police raided the home and office of the recently retired archbishop of Belgium yesterday, carrying off documents and a personal computer as part of an investigation into the sexual abuse of children by Roman Catholic priests, officials said.

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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
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No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
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