Travel Vibrant Guangzhou

Adjust your body clock and explore an exciting city en route, says Simon Calder

Lake escape: the Hotel Lenno in Italy

Travel deals - UK spa breaks, Barcelona, and skiing in the Dolomites

Deals of the week

Under £200... Recuperate on a UK spa break

Secret Escapes offers a range of day spa breaks in the UK. Examples include access to The Malvern Spa in Worcestershire for £65 per guest, with a 30-minute treatment, use of the spa and a light lunch between now and March, when booked by tomorrow. secretescapes.com

Get me out of here - Mauritius, Madeira, cruising the Arctic Circle

Now... Grab some winter sun in Mauritius

Depart on 5 December for a week in Mauritius. Western & Oriental's offer on the Indian Ocean island is £1,159pp for seven nights at the Veranda Paul & Virginie resort, with all meals, transfers and Emirates flights from Heathrow via Dubai included. westernoriental.com

The cheapest time to travel is between April and June

How to explore Australia

Our guide to getting there, getting in, and getting around

A Hindu devotee, whose body is pierced with skewers, takes part in the religious festival of Panguni Uthiram in the southern Indian city of Chennai March 26, 2013. The festival is observed in the Tamil month of Panguni and is celebrated in honour of the Hindu god Muruga. The devotees make offerings to lord Muruga with sacrificial feats they believe will keep them away from evil spirits. REUTERS/Babu

New study shows how inflicting pain in religious festivals increases charitable giving

Researchers compared two rituals - one involving only praying and singing, the other requiring participants to pierce their bodies with hooks, skewers and needles

An elderly couple take a quite moment near the peak of Chopok mountain in Low Tatra mountains

Expats call for fairer pension payouts

Half of pensioners abroad have had their pension frozen. That’s not right, they say

Get me out of here - rural Portugal, Mauritius, Egypt

Now... Depart this month for a break in rural Portugal. Sunvil has four nights' B&B at two Pousadas (historic hotels) split between Estremoz and Alcacer do Sal, with TAP flights from Heathrow to Lisbon, car hire and one dinner for £542 per person. Sunvil.co.uk

A Boeing 787 Dreamliner

Thomson takes delivery of first Dreamliner plane

The first UK airline to fly the ultra-green Dreamliner plane finally took delivery of its initial aircraft today.

Travel Agenda: The Refinery in New York City; new Generator Hostel opens in Berlin and new range of travel luggage by Knomo

From hip Berlin hostels to luxury luggage and Wallace & Gromit's Thrill-o-Matic ride

Anger at McAreavey murder photos

The publication of crime scene photographs of Michaela McAreavey, who was murdered on her honeymoon in Mauritius, marks a new low, her family said.

Publication of photos of Michaela McAreavey triggers family outcry

The publication of crime scene photographs of murdered honeymooner Michaela McAreavey's body by a Mauritian newspaper marks a new low, her family said.

Some like it hot: the Mount Cinnamon Beach Club and Resort in Grenada

Summer 2012: Sun guaranteed

Head to the far south of Italy for sun-drenched days on Puglia's beaches. Long Travel (01694 722193; long-travel.co.uk) is offering free B&B at Masseria Torre Coccaro, near Fasano, for children aged up to 12 this summer. This 39-room five-star hotel is set in a 17th-century masseria that counts a chapel among its charming buildings.

McAreavey suspects 'tortured'

A man charged with murdering the daughter of one of Ireland's best-known sporting personalities yesterday claimed that police interrogators had held his head in a bucket of water and partially suffocated him with a towel.

Sheila Hancock: Holding forth on Just a Minute on 'hope over experience'

Recycled Radio, Radio 4, Monday
Tarzan: Lord of the Jungle, Radio 4, Tuesday

Welcome to Hancock's half-minute (and other utter failures)

Somali security forces take part in a detention of mock pirates during a training drill in Mogadishu

World leaders plan crackdown on Somali pirates

As David Cameron hosts summit to tackle threat to trade on the Indian Ocean, Britain is accused of soft-pedalling the issue

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Gordon and Tana Ramsay arrive at the High Court, London
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Actor Burt Reynolds last year
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Johnny Handle, Northumberland, Ted Relph, President of Lakeland Dialect Society, and Sid Calderbank, Lancashire, founder of the National Dialect Day
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The data shows that the number of “unlawfully” large infant classes has doubled in the last 12 months alone
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Arts and Entertainment
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sportRio Ferdinand returns from his three-game suspension today
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The Speaker of the House will takes his turn as guest editor of the Today programme
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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Lake Garda
Lake Como
Bruges
Paris
Prices correct as of 28 November 2014
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
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