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

Go Higher: Wales & The South-west - Money Matters

GENERALLY WALES and the South-west is an inexpensive area to live in - indeed some of the smaller Welsh towns are among the cheapest in Britain. Top of the league this year must be Lampeter: mindful of increasing financial demands on students, and to celebrate the millennium, the university is offering half-price accommodation to all new undergraduate students starting in October 1999 - a saving of over pounds 700 a year.

Russia's little empty Oxford

Street Life SUZDAL

Helter Skelter

Manson 30 years on

The last of all resorts

OAPs return to Bridlington year after year, but can it attract a new generation?

Old miners dig in against tide of change in seaside resorts

OH FOR Bridlington, its sea, sun and South Prom, for years an annual salvation from industrial grime for South Yorkshire's workers. When the pits started closing, many an ex-miner invested his Coal Board pay-out in a guest house of his own there.

Congo peace role for Mandela

THE FORMER South African president, Nelson Mandela, is next week expected to make his first appearance in the unofficial role of international peace-broker at a summit in Zambia aimed at ending the war in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Mandela's bleak homeland ready for saviour's return

"THE CASINO can go there!" said Nosithili Mpamatye, excitedly pondering the post- presidential prospects of Qunu, Nelson Mandela's home village. Sitting among ripening marrows on her farmhouse front step, she pointed towards a hillside covered with yellow grass.

Country: My kingdom for a horse

Country Matters

Travel: Dive deep beneath the waves

f snorkelling in the Cayes whets your appetite for the underwater world of Central America, why not head down to Utila, one of the Bay Islands of Honduras, and learn to scuba dive?

Books: Reviews

A Tall Man in a Low Land - Some Time Among the Belgians, Harry Pearson

Rough Guide: Pull up a cushion and taste the world's smelliest fruit

Paul Gray, author of 'The Rough Guide to Thailand', stuffs an axe cushion and tastes a golden pillow

Lagoons and lost islands

In a world where few tourist-free zones remain, there are still deserted parts of the Philippines to explore. Nigel Hicks is a willing castaway

Monks break their 900-year silence - on CD

THE MONKS at Parkminster, the only working Carthusian monastery in England, have broken their 900-year silence. Today they launch a CD of their prayer and plainchant.

Hotels charge earth to see eclipse

ASTRONOMY enthusiasts will be able to watch the solar eclipse in Cornwall next year - but only at an astronomical price. Hotels are to charge up to pounds 3,000 for their rooms during the first total eclipse to be seen in Britain for 72 years.
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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 15 May 2015
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future