Travel
 

The Big Six: from outdoor Jacuzzis and inky interiors to views of the Eiffel Tower

Leading article: Give the Shard time to settle into the cityscape

The opening last night of the Shard at London Bridge has prompted a fierce debate about whether a building of this size, and with this set of purposes and values, is really appropriate for London in 2012.

My Secret Life: Pierre Dukan, 70, diet guru

'I injected my friends and family'

Nicolas Sarkozy, pictured with wife Carla Bruni, preferred to travel by plane

Monsieur Normal flouts conventions to woo the public

François Hollande, the man who wooed the French with the promise to be a "normal" president, has decided to depart from rules and conventions in the name of normality.

<p>1. Norwich 100 – 27 May</p>
<p>£19.50, ind.pn/norwich100</p>
<p>You can choose between a 100-mile, 50-mile or 25-mile ride on this route, which skirts the Broads and winds its way through olde-worlde Norwich.</p>

The 10 Best cycling events

From the Dragon Ride in Wales to the Tour of County Tyrone, explore stunning scenery and get fit at the same time

Travel Agenda: World Ski and Snowboard festival; Palais de Tokyo; San Giorgio hotel

Tomorrow: The World Ski and Snowboard festival is under way in the Canadian resort of Whistler, with freelate-night music events, art and fashion exhibitions, and extreme sports bringing the season to a jubilant close until 22 April (wssf.com).

Leading article: The bell tolls for the bell toll

Charging visitors who want to climb the tower to see Big Ben had obvious appeal to pettifogging budget-cutters in these times of austerity. They admitted that the idea of making citizens pay to enter their own Parliament would be an affront to democracy, but the clock tower, they said, was separate, so a charge could be levied.

Battersea Power Station offered for sale

One of the UK's most striking buildings is to be offered for sale on the open market for the first time in its history.

Would you dare to look down on Blackpool?

Christopher Hirst marvels at the 'Skywalk' freshly installed at the top of the Tower

Police clash with souvenir sellers under Eiffel Tower

They are a familiar sight to visitors to the Eiffel Tower: souvenir sellers hawking knick-knacks ranging from plastic models of the famous structure to hats that double as umbrellas. But the police are not impressed, and following clashes with the vendors at the weekend, have vowed to crack down.

Ready To Wear: Shalimar was once the most revolutionary of all scents

The reinvention of classics.

DVD: The Lavender Hill Mob (U)

Ealing Studios' wholly delightful heist movie and (platonic) love story stars Alec Guinness as the meek bank clerk who, along with Stanley Holloway's souvenir maker, plans to steal £1m worth of gold bullion out of England in the shape of Eiffel Tower paperweights.

Top 10 films that destroyed Paris

From the Arc de Triomphe being crushed to the Eiffel Tower being struck with lightning or knocked over by a sandwich, here are the top ten films that feature Paris being destroyed.

The best time to visit Paris? When all the Parisians are on are holiday...

They are pushy, rude and tiresomely chic. And soon the city's inhabitants will all be heading for the beach or the countryside.

How to beat the queues at the Eiffel Tower

When the Eiffel Tower was completed in 1889, it was originally – like the London Eye – intended to be a temporary installation, the entrance to the Exposition Universalle in the French capital. Once the magnificently tapering structure was complete, it quickly became the biggest draw in Paris. Plans to dismantle it were overturned, and for the next 41 years it was the highest structure in the world (until superseded by the Chrysler Building in New York).

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee