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.

Warren Gatland explains his new hardline approach yesterday

Wales told they will pay for yellows

See a silly yellow card, see a serious month's wages disappear down the toilet.

Wales' Bradley Davies has been banned

Davies handed seven-week ban

Wales second-rower's suspension for tip-tackling leaves Gatland short of options in the pack for visit of Scotland

Bradley Davies is shown yellow during the match with Ireland

Bradley Davies suspended for the rest of the Six Nations

Wales lock Bradley Davies will miss the rest of this season's RBS 6 Nations Championship after receiving a seven-week ban.

Wales' Ryan Jones already focused on Scotland clash

Ryan Jones has braced Wales for the next step in their RBS 6 Nations title challenge and believes this season's competition remains wide open.

Shovelton: Ministers liked him for his ability to be both serious and fun

Patrick Shovelton: Senior civil servant and obituarist for 'The Independent'

At one level Patrick Shovelton was the epitome of a conventional British senior civil servant whose education at a top public school and Oxford endowed him with a cut-glass accent. A Royal Artillery officer during the war, he rose to the highest echelons of the civil service and was awarded a CB and CMG. He was married to the daughter of the official historian of the RAF, who was herself a Dame of the British Empire.

James Hook lines up a kick at goal for Wales at the 2011 World Cup

James Hook looks for redemption

Wales back tells James Corrigan about his forgettable World Cup and his new life in France

Haywire (15)

Starring: Gina Carano, Ewan McGregor

In the Orchard, the Swallows, By Peter Hobbs

Despite the protagonist's years of suffering, this evocative prison story is a testament to the endurance of love and hope

Enda Stevens becomes Villa's first January signing

Aston Villa sign left-back Enda Stevens

Aston Villa boss Alex McLeish is hoping left-back Enda Stevens can quickly adjust to the demands of the Barclays Premier League after completing his move from Shamrock Rovers.

Paul O'Connel replaces the injured Brian O'Driscoll as captain

Paul O'Connell named as Ireland Six Nations captain

Paul O'Connell will captain Ireland in this season's RBS 6 Nations Championship, the Irish Rugby Football Union has announced.

Gough handed three-week ban

Wales international Ian Gough has received a three-week ban after he was cited for a dangerous tackle during the Ospreys' Heineken Cup home defeat against Saracens six days ago.

Axelle Lemaire says Britain and France should be working together for the good of the economy

Sarkozy's revenge! French to get their own London MP

As cross-Channel tensions rise, Parisian politicians prepare to fight for a new seat centred on the UK capital

Austerity discredited: Ireland goes into reverse

Praised across the world for its model recovery, Dublin finds the pace of cuts too much to bear

Album: Butch Walker And The Black Widows, Butch Walker And The Black Widows (Lojinx)

As either producer or writer, Butch Walker has been the backroom talent behind a number of hits for Pink, Katy Perry and Avril Lavigne (for which, thanks a million, Butch).

Great seats for £20 at the National Theatre

See one of two wonderful plays

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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
Prices correct as of 12 March 2015
The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss