Ashes 2013-14: England cricket captain Alastair Cook apologised to fans after 5-0 series whitewash

Cook's side were bowled out for 166 in their second innings to confirm a 281-run win for their rivals

Happy days: Steve McClaren has accentuated the positive in lifting Derby County into promotion contention

Steve McClaren on road to repairing his reputation at Derby County

Rams manager is regarded more as a messiah of the East Midlands than the 'wally with a brolly' of his England days

UK weather: Britain faces another barrage of rain as coastal regions count cost of 'worst storms in 20 years'

Two dead, a teenager missing, damage to homes and businesses, transport disrupted. And it isn't over. More rain, high tides and gale-force winds are on the way

All white: There has been fresh snow on the pistes at Tignes

Snow report: New year snowfall proves welcome in the Alps

It was a snowy start to the New Year in Europe, especially in many French and Italian resorts where more than 20cm has fallen and more is on the way. Fresh powder skiing is also on offer in North America.

England coach Andy Flower (L) and captain Alastair Cook (R) look set to continue in their roles despite coming under-fire for the dismal Ashes series performance

Ashes 2013-14: Alastair Cook and Andy Flower to remain as captain and coach respectively

The ECB chief executive David Collier has given his backing to the under-fire pair

Nick Griffin, leader of the BNP which opponents say has suffered a split

'Free from financial worries': BNP leader Nick Griffin declared bankrupt

News means he was having 'a good day'

Biggest house-price leap in four years sparks affordability worry

Nationwide warns affordability may become 'stretched' if demand continues to outstrip supply

England all-rounder Ben Stokes took six wickets on day one of the fifth and final Ashes Test

Ashes 2013-14: Six-wicket haul doesn't beat Perth century for England's star man Ben Stokes

Stokes finished the Australia first innings with figures of 6-99 as he shone where England struggled once more

John Biffen’s withering verdict on Margaret Thatcher's Cabinet meetings: 'Miserably disappointing' gatherings full of 'unctuous self-satisfaction'

Cabinet meetings under Margaret Thatcher were “miserably disappointing” gatherings devoid of debate and filled with “unctuous self-satisfaction”, one her most senior ministers said in 1984.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is unveiled as the new manager of Cardiff City

New Cardiff City boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer denies Sir Alex Ferguson warned him against taking job

Solskjaer sat alongside controversial owner Vincent Tan during yesterday's 2-0 defeat and has been named as Malky Mackay's replacement following his sacking last month

'NHS 111 is now a stable and improving service and we are confident it will continue to get better'

Botched launch of 111 helpline could cost NHS an extra £5.5m

The chief operating officer at NHS England said the service is 'now stable and improving, and we are confident it will continue to get better'

It Goes With the Territory: Memoirs of a Poet, By Elaine Feinstein: Book review

A vivid evocation of a life dedicated to poetry and writing

The most expensive and the cheapest home sales in England and Wales

Latest official figures also show a sharp drop in home repossessions

Martin and Sean McKinney dodge a wave at Saltcoats Harbour in Saltcoats, Scotland.

Flood warning: why the long-term forecast for homeowners is so alarming

With no end to the rain in sight, we report on why inadequate defences and lax building laws will put thousands of people at risk

A sign sits in flood water on a road in southern England.

UK weather: four children rescued by helicopter in Scotland as storms are forecast to bring in the new year

The Met Office has issued a severe weather warning for rain on New Year's Day in areas including western Scotland and southern England

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Independent Travel
Bruges
Lake Como
Burgundy
South AFrica
Paris
Northern Corsica
Prices correct as of 21 November 2014
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

When two worlds collide

Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?