An Edwardian gazebo in Kingston, passed as you meander along the river Thames

Walk of the month: Kingston upon Thames - Red bricks and boxes on the riverbank

The Thames Path combines history with nature as it forges towards the capital from Hampton Court Palace

The Big Six: Chilean retreat

Tailor-made excursions, double-height rooms, vineyards, bohemian barrios, geodesic domes, and lakeside restaurants

If all people lived in isolation for a year, would we wipe out all contagious diseases?’

Each person is teeming with bacteria, and we have a lot of viruses, too. A lot of the bacteria that live on and in our bodies can cause disease even if they aren't causing problems at the moment (for instance, E coli in the gut). So, no way. If each person lived in isolation for a year they'd still come out teeming with germs. But maybe it would theoretically wipe out some certain pathogen – I can't think of any, though. We actually need our bacteria, a lot of what goes on is a symbiotic relationship.

The Big Six: Chilean retreat

Tailor-made excursions, double-height rooms, vineyards, bohemian barrios, geodesic domes, and lakeside restaurants

Huge waves pound Eyemouth harbour in Scotland during the storm surge

UK extreme weather: Government in perfect storm over climate change gaffe as floods render homes uninsurable

Ministers accused of hugely underestimating number of households rendered uninsurable by repeated flooding

The singer was spotted in the £2,915 Christopher Kane parka with a real fur collar as she accompanied husband Jay Z to a vegan meal

Newly vegan Beyoncé wears fox fur to dine in meat free restaurant

The singer was spotted in the £2,915 Christopher Kane parka with a real fur collar as she accompanied husband Jay Z to a vegan meal

Video star: Olympic medal winner Tom Daley

Tom Daley: modern man

The revelation about the Olympian's sexuality, delivered on YouTube to a fascinated world, says more about the age we live in than Tom Daley's love life

The Barrier Reef, the world's largest living organism, has been damaged by climate change, pollution and voracious crown-of-thorns starfish

A last chance to save Australia’s Great Barrier Reef: Scientists launch audacious plan to create ‘fertility clinic’ to breed endangered coral

The world’s largest living organism has shrunk by about half over the past 30 years as a result of climate change, ocean acidification, pollution and crown-of-thorns starfish, which prey on coral

A dramatic increase in the number of people who enjoy the taste of reindeer is putting pressure on stocks in Finland

Demand for Dasher and Dancer at dinner tables strains Finland's reindeer stocks

Suppliers are turning down requests for the exotic meat for fear of depleting the forests

Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, left, whose idea was supplanted by Charles Darwin, right

The smell of fear can be inherited, scientists prove

Study shows scents associated with terror may be passed on for two male generations

Fiona Stewart, founder of The Green Man Festival

'It's nice to go bonkers in a field': The Green Man music festival's founder is teaching the world to rock

Fiona Stewart has been able to secure major headline acts without being able to offer the huge fees which they can command at other events

Mozambique Airlines plane crashes in Namibia, killing all 34 on board

A Mozambique Airlines plane en route to Angola crashed in a game park in northeast Namibia killing all 34 people on board, a Namibian police official said on Saturday.

The Big Six: Kenyan safari camps

Daily game walks, hungry hippos, luxury camps, tented suites, sundowners, and river-facing decks

Moaning, screaming, dying: This is what poaching sounds like

In the forests of Africa, elephants usually get shot out of sight or hearing. But the Elephant Listening Project - a conservation group - has changed that. They put microphones deep into the forests of the DRC and Gabon, to record elephant communications. What those hidden microphones also picked up was this - the moment an elephant is gunned down by poachers.

World's oldest prehistoric toilet unearthed in Argentina

Fossilised dung left by megaherbivores 240-million years ago have been found clustered together

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Independent Travel
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona from £629pp
Dubrovnik
Vietnam
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South Africa
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Prices correct as of 12 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas