News French actor Gerard Depardieu poses with people from Estaimpuis during a ceremony held in his honor at the Chateau Bourgogne

Mayor of Estaimpuis credits French star with boosting the economy, creating jobs and bringing new visitors to the small corner of Wallonia

Paradise in a rainstorm

For those who make the journey to wet, wind-swept Wester Ross the rewards lie in a feast for the eye matched only by the promise of the menus. By Andrew Marr

There is a green hill, not very far away

There's 11 of them, and they're all mountains over 3,000ft. As St Patrick's Day approaches, Jeremy Seal discovers the joys of bagging Ireland's 'Munros'

Hotel grades made easy

The English Tourist Board yesterday announced the adoption of a single five-star ratings system for hotels in a move aimed at ending years of confusion over the quality of rooms and services. The system, using the internationally recognised five stars, will cover all hotels with a similar scheme for bed-and-breakfasts, guesthouses, farmhouses and inns. It takes into account the quality of accommodation, yet emphasises the facilities provided, offering a single integrated star rating, and is due to be launched in 2000,

Letter: Wrong island

Readers who follow the travel directions from Rarotonga to Aitutaki by setting sail in a fragile canoe "across a wondrous lagoon" will almost certainly not arrive ("Castaway Islands", Review, 12 January). As Rarotonga is a volcanic, rather than a coral island, it has no lagoon, only a coral reef. And as Aitutaki lies hundreds of kilometres away, the normal mode of transfer is in a great white bird, not a canoe. Once they arrive, intrepid readers may be disappointed to discover that they share this "uninhabited island" with hundreds of permanent residents, plus of course, the tourists who inhabit the luxury hotel, the many guest houses, and Rikki's Crusher Bar.

British woman killed in raid

A British-born woman and her four-year-old daughter have been stabbed to death in South Africa.

Blots on the horizon

Proposals to scrap restrictions on rural advertising hoardings will change the face of the countryside.

THE MONDAY INTERVIEW: Karen Jones: Premium price for the cafes that painted the town rouge

The managing director of Pelican Group talks to Tom Stevenson

MPs and the great British seaside holiday

From my eyrie in the press gallery I looked down upon a scene of devastation and civil strife. Scottish Labour MPs gurgled obscenities about referenda and consultation. Grey-haired Welshmen wept for the future of their Assembly. Here and there rebellious spirits huddled together to mutter about fascism in one party, echoing Ken Livingstone's comparison between Benito Mussolini and Antonio Blair.

A tiny Paris on the Coromandel coast

Pondicherry in south India was French territory for 300 years. You can still eat steak frites there.

City Diary: Warburg kicks the ball around with bets on euro

Economists at SBC Warburg have clearly had a bit of time on their hands recently. They have turned their thoughts to the impending European football championships, weaving in a dash of political and economic comment on all the participating nations. It is all neatly packaged in the bank's newly published Euro'96 Special.

Gunman in hospital as nation mourns

Tasmania massacre: Psychological problems of arrested man revealed as eye-witnesses describe rampage that left 34 dead

Gunman leaves a tableau of death

Tasmania massacre: Witnesses describe rampage that left 34 dead, and describe mentally-ill suspect's love of firearms

THE SUZI FEAY COLUMN: White knuckled on the pleasure beach

THERE'S a blonde woman in the Blackpool Sea Life Centre wearing a Kiss-Me-Quick Hat. She's with a bronzed gent dressed all in white - that's bronzed as opposed to wind-whipped - and together they're adding a lubricious undertow to the teenage guide's glib patter. She holds out her hand and rubs the exposed snout of an affectionate ray while her companion sniggers in her ear. These two are a slightly younger version of the couples we see boosting up and down the sea-front in whacking great cars. At pavement level the old folks parade around, lagged like ambulant boilers. Why do so many of them end up in squally Blackpool? Perhaps they are forced by their offspring, who hope thereby to clip a few years off their span: "You're retiring to Blackpool, Mam and Dad!" "Oh, but we like it here in Jersey ..."

No place to call home

This is Shelter Awareness Week. Mary Braid went to Skegness to spend a day with a family at the bottom of the housing pile
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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Vietnam & Cambodia
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Bruges
India & Nepal
Japan
Berlin, Dresden, Meissen & Colditz
Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker