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

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

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

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
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable