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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Day In a Page

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 20 February 2015
Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable