Life and Style Fatale attraction: Brigitte Bardot in her youth

As yet another book lauds women across the Channel, Gillian Orr looks at the truth behind Madame Parfaite: extreme dieting and fear of a pressured, fattist society

Eurostar launches probe into new breakdown

Eurostar was investigating its latest embarrassing cross-channel train breakdown today which left more than 700 people stranded in darkness.

Inside Travel: Express routes that bring France closer

Some stunning French destinations now lie within four hours of St Pancras

Eurostar services suspended for third day



The London-to-Brussels services of Channel Tunnel high-speed train company Eurostar was suspended for a third day today after the Belgian commuter rail disaster which has claimed at least 18 lives.

Crash sparks train driver strike in Belgium

Train drivers across Belgium went on strike yesterday, saying that a collision that killed 18 people on the outskirts of Brussels had vindicated fears over rail safety.

Eurostar rapped over Channel Tunnel breakdown

The extent of Eurostar failures and the "appalling" conditions hundreds of its passengers endured while trapped on broken-down trains in the Channel Tunnel were highlighted today in an independent report into the pre-Christmas travel chaos.

Eurostar to pay £10m in compensation

Transport Eurostar expects to pay around £10m in compensation for chaos in the Channel Tunnel before Christmas. The money will go to about 100,000 passengers, many of whom were stranded for hours when five trains broke down in the tunnel. In a letter of apology, Eurostar chief executive, Richard Brown, said: "We failed to deliver the standard of service you expect."

Villagers campaign against Kent's giant white horse

When a vast white horse as tall as Nelson’s Column was unveiled a year ago as the art work chosen to become England’s “Angel of the South”, critics eulogised the boldness and beauty of the gargantuan sculpture to be placed on a scrubby Kent hillside towering over the ancient route between London and Dover.

Travellers need true grit in ice-bound Britain

Travelling Britons braved fresh icy blasts today as the severe weather did its best to wreck the country's transport links.

Simon Calder: Keep moving - the lessons for Eurostar

Hope for the best, but be prepared for the worst: that travel maxim has been especially appropriate this week. Last Saturday hundreds of people woke up (if they had ever managed to sleep) on the floor of a Eurotunnel car-carrying shuttle, a grim dawn that beats even the morning after The Independent office party. They occupied this makeshift dormitory after being among the 2,000 people "rescued" from the five Eurostar trains that were sent into the Anglo-French hole in the ground that devours reputations as effortlessly as it does rolling stock.

Watchdog urges Eurostar improvements after snow chaos

Last weekend's Channel Tunnel travel chaos showed that the set-up of Eurostar and Eurotunnel "does not meet the information needs of passengers", the tunnel's Anglo-French supervisory body said today.

It never snows but it pours for Eurostar

Eurostar, reeling from the worst week in its history, faced a new threat yesterday – a cut-price competitor on the railway route beneath the Channel.

Anger at winter transport chaos

Thousands of passengers on both sides of the Channel were scrambling to get home in time for Christmas last night after Eurostar blamed the closure of their train network on the wrong type of snow.

Thousands stranded as Eurostar service is suspended

Service halted after trains broke down and trapped passengers in tunnel

Leading article: Eurostar was not just a mechanical breakdown

Events in the tunnel raise serious questions about emergency planning

Letters: Climate after Copenhagen

After Copenhagen, we will have to engineer the climate
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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
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 1 May 2015
General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'