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Victims of violence turned away

Memorabilia from the Wenlock Olympian Society inside Much Wenlock Town Museum

Amble into Olympic history: Walk of the month - Much Wenlock, Shropshire

Take your time in the Shropshire town where the modern games began, says Mark Rowe

Portfolio: Norman Lomax

It was at a swimming pool in Weymouth that Norman Lomax first saw Sue Austin propelling herself through the water in an adapted wheelchair – and it was something of a eureka moment for him. "As a photographer," he explains, "the best stories are of ordinary people doing extraordinary things – that's what I saw here."

Aidan O'Brien is hoping for an opening-day victory at Ascot

Colombo on course for Coventry

If conditions do not improve before Tuesday, then he might need all the navigation skills of his namesake. But it is the bookmakers who will struggle to keep their heads above water at Royal Ascot if Cristoforo Colombo can land its first major plunge on the opening day.

Viceroy, Vagaru Island, Shaviyani Atoll, Maldives

The Big Six: Luxury dive resorts

Viceroy, Maldives

Rock star: Granite boulders at the Banyan Tree resort, Mahé

Traveller's guide: Seychelles

Scattered across 650 miles of the Indian Ocean, these tropical islands offer superb beaches, dramatic scenery and a benign climate.

Willie Mullins (right) trains Boston Bob, the favourite for the Albert Bartlett Hurdle today

Sea Of Thunder can drown out big noise Boston Bob

Willie Mullins has described Boston Bob as a match for any novice he has ever brought to the Festival, which guarantees he will start a hot favourite for the Albert Bartlett Hurdle today. It would be no surprise to see him look a Gold Cup winner in the making, but the odds will be very short about a horse running on quick ground for the first time.

The English Monster, By Lloyd Shepherd

The waterman constable and the bogeyman

Traveller's Guide: Great Barrier Reef

It's 2,000km long and home to a dazzling array of marine life – and the onshore options are just as vibrant, says Lonely Planet's Catherine Le Nevez.

Oceans on brink of catastrophe

Marine life facing mass extinction 'within one human generation' / State of seas 'much worse than we thought', says global panel of scientists

Laura McLean-Ferris: Prepare to be disorientated and utterly transported

Getting lost in Venice is a cinch: all those labyrinthine, watery alleys. It's something else entirely to lose yourself in Venice and find that you have arrived in a dusty corner of Istanbul. This, however, is exactly the experience Mike Nelson, the first installation artist to officially represent Britain at the Venice Biennale, has created in the British Pavilion.

24-hour room service: Coral Lodge 15.41, Mozambique

As Mozambique's tourist season gets under way, the industry will be hoping for an improvement in the country's fortune. Visitor numbers fell by 28 per cent last year, after hopes of a boost from the Fifa World Cup in South Africa failed to materialise, the global economic slump dragged on and food riots broke out in the southern African nation.

Warning over gap year safety rules

A coroner is urging the Government to review "gap year" adventure holiday companies' safety procedures, after 17-year-old Luke Molnar died on a conservation trip to Fiji.

Michael McCarthy: Why put one of the Earth's last pristine reefs at risk?

They're the world's richest ecosystems. They're also the world's most threatened ecosystems. Why would you want to add to the risks now facing coral reefs, when you don't have to?

Chef with a dream bets on Castro's hunger for reform

In his final report from Cuba, David Usborne visits a Havana restaurant benefiting from a relaxation of private business laws
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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'