Travel

I start by making some calculations to soothe myself. Using the Rail & Sail combo route from London via Holyhead to Dublin takes nine or so hours; to fly between the two cities takes 50 minutes – but a few hours have to be added on for the to-ing, fro-ing and faffing at airports. A one-way rail/sail ticket costs about 30 quid all in – a flight is double that, unless you're very organised or lucky. Even if you're very disorganised, the rail/sail option can be bought just before you travel at no extra cost.

Olympic Torch crosses Irish border

The Olympic Torch has crossed the Irish border on an historic visit to the Republic today in a symbol of the peace process.

Explore Dublin with Irish Ferry Holidays for £450

Travel Challenge: Summer break in Ireland

Each week we invite three companies to offer us their best deal for a specific holiday. Today: a summer trip to the Emerald Isle. Prices are per person, based on two people travelling together. Each includes a week's accommodation and transport from the UK on Monday 11 June.

Power Point: Sean O'Brien celebrates after scoring the first of Leinster's five tries against Ulster at Twickenham

O'Driscoll heralds a Leinster 'dynasty' as cup final records fall

Leinster 42 Ulster 14: Irish province win their third Heineken Cup final in four years by blowing away battling Ulster with five-try display of power, pace and precision

Radamel Falcao celebrates his second goal during the Europa League final

Flying Radamel Falcao sees stock rise even higher after Europa League success

Next step is surely the big league for striker who scored twice in Europa final, but will it be with Atletico Madrid or will other suitors gather?

Miller's try gives sale edge against bath

In the Aviva Premiership's one match last night, Sale beat Bath 16-9 at Edgeley Park. The Sale full-back Rob Miller scored the only try of the match with nine minutes to play; Nick Macleod converted and also kicked three penalties. Olly Barkley kicked three penalties for Bath.

Administrators find £13m black hole in WorldSpreads accounts

Customers of a spread betting firm are likely to be left seeking compensation after an estimated £13 million black hole in its accounts was revealed today.

England coach Stuart Lancaster celebrates victory over Ireland with Ben Morgan

England to place faith in house of Lancaster

England 30 Ireland 9: RFU forced into rethink with even rival Mallett appearing to back caretaker's promotion

Exploration company strikes oil off County Cork

An exploration company has struck oil and discovered the first commercial well off the Irish coast.

Scots turn to SAS for help against Italy

After a run of six defeats, including four blanks in the Six Nations championship, Scotland's head coach Andy Robinson has called in the SAS before the wooden spoon decider against Italy in Rome on Saturday.

Nick De Luca to start for Scotland against Italy

Centre Nick De Luca has been restored to the starting line-up in Scotland's only change for Saturday's RBS 6 Nations wooden spoon decider with Italy.

Sean Lamont would settle for 'ugly' win against Ireland

Scotland winger Sean Lamont would take an ugly win against Ireland on Saturday after feeling they have tried to play too much “pretty” rugby in the RBS 6 Nations so far.

How We Met: Ed Byrne & Andrew Maxwell

'We were exotic strangers competing for notches on the bedpost'

'War of the Worlds' hires Kaiser Chief

A full-scale Martian invasion will be enacted at arenas across Britain when Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds returns in a new stage show starring Ricky Wilson, the Kaiser Chiefs singer.

Paul Scholes scored Manchester United's opener against Bolton

Dion Dublin backs Paul Scholes international comeback

Former Manchester United star Dion Dublin is convinced Paul Scholes would be welcomed back into the England fold with open arms.

Ronnie Henry has now played over 300 games for Stevenage

Ronnie Henry: Tale of the two Ronnies shows that it really is a funny old game

Ronnie Henry won '61 Double with Spurs. His grandson failed to make it at the Lane but will now captain Stevenage when the clubs meet in the FA Cup. He speaks to Simon Hart

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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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
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